For the second time in her professional career, Paige VanZant will headline a UFC event. Only this time it won’t be on UFC Fight Pass.
The popular UFC strawweight faces Michelle Waterson at UFC on FOX 22 Dec. 17 from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. The UFC announced the matchup late Wednesday afternoon.
VanZant comes into the bout having won four of her last five inside the Octagon. She most recently defeated Ultimate Fighter 20 fan-favorite Bec Rawlings via second-round knockout after landing a highlight-reel kick to the head. It was “12 Gauge’s” first fight since dropping her first UFC defeat last December, suffering a fifth-round submission to former strawweight title challenger Rose Namajunas at UFC Fight Night 90. VanZant kept herself busy during the eight-month stretch while taking part in “Dancing with the Stars,” taking second place in the popular celebrity dancing competition.
PVZ also has wins over Felice Herrig, Kailin Curran and Alex Chambers.
Waterson, meanwhile, is set to make her return after what will end up being a 17-month layoff from fighting. The former Invicta FC atomweight champion has not competed since making her UFC debut in July 2015, defeating Angela Magana via third-round submission at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.
UFC on FOX 22 pits two of the more popular strawweights the UFC has to offer, both of whom are ranked within the division’s top 15 (VanZant is ranked No. 8, Waterson No. 13).
No other fights have been announced or the Dec. 17 card.
Keep it locked with Today’s Knockout as more information becomes available for UFC on FOX 22.