Some UFC fighters — and lots of fans — poked fun at Paige VanZant for posting a provocative video showing off the new Reebok collection on her Instagram account, but don’t expect the UFC star to be bothered by the reaction.
VanZant, who signed an endorsement deal with the company in Feb. 2015, told MMA Fighting that she doesn’t pay much attention to what people say of anything she posts on social media, and it wasn’t different this time.
"Actually, I haven’t seen anything that people responded, so I post things and just kinda forget about it,” VanZant said with a laugh. "Definitely it was funny. I never anticipated that kind of reaction, so I had no idea. My manager, my mom, somebody told me about it. But, no, I just thought it was funny.”
The UFC strawweight, who holds a 7-3 MMA record with four wins and two losses inside the Octagon, says that the idea for the video didn’t come from anyone else but her.
"I pretty much kind of do whatever I want,” she said. "It was me being funny, I thought."
The video was deleted right after from her Instagram page, but VanZant guarantees she had nothing to do with it.
"No, I didn’t even delete it,” VanZant said. "Somebody else, I don’t know how. I think my mom deleted it, so it’s my mom being a mom."
Despite the criticism from fellow fighters like Angela Hill and Lauren Murphy, VanZant received the support from UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who is also sponsored by Reebok, and former middleweight kingpin Chris Weidman.
“The thing is I like to show my interaction with Reebok a little bit of a different way than this, but it’s all about kicks,” Jedrzejczyk said during a recent media lunch in Los Angeles. “Good style, if I’m having fun. But I respect that.
“I like Paige VanZant. I think she’s young, talented, very good-looking girl and she became one of the most popular female fighters in the UFC, in the world.”
Weidman also posted his “sexy” version of the VanZant’s Reebok video.
"The thing with Joanna is Joanna is a very confident, strong, amazing woman,” VanZant said. "When you’re a strong woman, you build each other up, not tear each other down."