Born March 26, 1994, Paige Michelle VanZant grew up in the small northwest town of Dayton, Oregon. A tomboy, she got her first ATV at the age of 8, enjoyed fishing and hunting with her father, and routinely got into boxing matches with her brother and the neighborhood boys. A brilliant student, she began taking college courses at the age of 16 and received her GED two years ahead of schedule. During this time her father suggested she try MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and she invested herself fully in the discipline. She is noted for her constant pressure and aggressive grappling style of fighting and has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In 2012 VanZant made her pro MMA debut and began to garner attention. In 2013 she was slated to appear on The Ultimate Fighter television series but had to pull out due to age restrictions since she was only 20 years old. At the age of 20, VanZant made her UFC Strawweight debut on November 22, 2014 where she defeated Kailin Curran in stunning fashion by TKO in the third round. She is one of the youngest fighters to receive the Fight of the Night award.