Paige VanZant dazzles in first 'Dancing with the Stars' appearance

Published Mar. 22, 2016 12:40 p.m. ET

Paige VanZant is the odds on favorite to win "Dancing with the Stars" this season and she got off to a solid start in the debut episode Monday night, with a foxtrot alongside partner Mark Ballas.

VanZant is the third UFC fighter to join the show, following Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture before her, but she might have a leg up on the competition with her extensive background in competitive dance.

Partnered up with Ballas, VanZant looked at ease as she smiled through the entire routine and at the close the entire crowd stood up and applauded her performance.

The judges all seemed to enjoy VanZant's debut and said that as she gets more time on the dance floor, her confidence will grow and so will her performances.

VanZant scored a 21 for her first dance, which landed her in fourth place overall based on the judges' tallies for the entire competition. VanZant shares the same spot as Pittsburgh Steelers' wide out Antonio Brown and Denver Broncos defender Von Miller.

Among the people there to support VanZant in her debut was top ranked bantamweight contender Urijah Faber, who has been her coach and mentor at Team Alpha Male ever since she started fighting.

Following her first dance VanZant broke down in tears because she says that's what she always does even after a win inside the Octagon.


The results show for "Dancing with the Stars" airs on Tuesday night as VanZant attempts to move onto the second round of the competition.