Paige VanZant has been one of the rising stars inside the women’s side of UFC, especially since the shocking defeat of Ronda Rousey way back at UFC 193.

With a million-dollar smile, a great attitude, and at just 22 years old, the future looked really bright for VanZant in 2016. Oh, and did we mention her stint on the ever-popular Dancing With the Stars?

It all added up to VanZant getting a huge opportunity as part of the co-main event of the evening at the latest UFC on Fox competition on Saturday night. Her opponent was Michelle Waterson, who has been in the game for a few years herself and has developed a nasty reputation as a submission specialist.

That came in handy on Saturday night for Waterson, who took VanZant down with a hip toss into a choke. VanZant didn’t give up easily though and nearly escaped the hold a couple of times.

However, VanZant eventually went to sleep and the fight was stopped in just the first few minutes of a five-round fight.

After the fight, VanZant apparently is set to take some time to reevaluate life at the age of 22. One thing seems to be in the offing — pursuing opportunities outside of MMA in the here and now.

It shouldn’t be shocking that MMA has been a good platform for VanZant to jumpstart a career in the spotlight. Her good looks, toughness and grit have made for a good story so far, and Hollywood loves themselves a good story.

We’ll see what the next project in the spotlight might be for VanZant, but clearly she isn’t lacking in confidence in herself in or out of the Octagon. The bigger question is just how quickly her career outside of the Octagon will take off.

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!