Much like the nearby Las Vegas casinos, the Ultimate Fighter house apparently has an age minimum.
UFC officials confirmed with FOX Sports on Monday that Paige Vanzant will not be allowed as a castmate on ‘The Ultimate Fighter 20,’ because she isn’t 21. VanZant just turned 20 last week.
The bizarre thing is that Vanzant tweeted Monday that she wasn’t aware she wouldn’t be on the show. It was initially reported that Vanzant would be a part of the cast when the UFC acquired her contract from Invicta FC. She tweeted Monday that no one told her she wouldn’t be on TUF, despite her training partner Urijah Faber telling Bloody Elbow that she wasn’t allowed to be.
Vanzant cleared everything up with FOX Sports on Tuesday night. She said she’s known for awhile that she wouldn’t be on the reality show, but thought she was supposed to keep it a secret until the UFC officially announced it.
The @ufc doesn't know what there in for 😉 lots of rumors going around, guess all you #FANZANTS will have to keep checking in to find out.
"We were under the impression we had to keep it on the down low," Vanzant said.
At first, she said she was disappointed to not get a spot on the show, but now looks at the bright side — not dealing with all the drama and not having to leave home for six weeks.
"I was upset initially," said Vanzant, who fights out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. "I was very excited to train with those girls and those coaches. I know the experience would have been unbelievable."
This does not mean Vanzant (3-1) won’t be on the UFC roster. She’s still signed with the UFC and waiting anxiously to get booked into her first fight.
The Ultimate Fighter 20, coached by lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez, marks the first time 115-pound female fighters will get to showcase their talent in the UFC. The show begins filming in May and airs starting Sept. 10 on FOX Sports 1.
It’s just the second women’s division to be added to the organization and the winner of the 16-woman TUF tournament will be crowned UFC women’s strawweight champion.
As for Vanzant, she’ll just have to wait a little longer for her shot.