Mark Ballas, left, and also Paige VanZant attend the “Dancing v The Stars” semifinals episode celebration in ~ Mixology Grill and Lounge on may 16.

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In the seconds before the “Dancing v the Stars” winner was identified Tuesday night, Paige VanZant stood, dealing with downward. Then, deaf design Nyle DiMarco was announced as the champion.

“As ns look back, if i was simply watching the show on TV and I witnessed someone prefer Nyle on, I would certainly vote because that him,” VanZant, an can be fried Fighting Championship strawweight fighter, said the Los Angeles time on Wednesday. “He really was inspirational, doing points no one’s yes, really done before. It was inspiring and I’m happy for him and how he has inspired people.”


While VanZant and her partner, note Ballas, closed Monday’s finale through the top merged scores in their “redemption” and freestyle dances, DiMarco’s stirring freestyle power to a remake of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound that Silence,” moved the judges and masses.


“I provided it everything I’ve got and also I can definitely say i tried mine hardest in this competition,” VanZant said. “I feel choose I quiet walked away through a victory due to the fact that I had the ability to share my story.”

Following their Monday dance, Ballas told the judges through tears exactly how proud he was the VanZant had the ability to summon the ache of being bullied together a child in Oregon and translate it in dancing, movingly, to “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

“I feel prefer I to be able, with to totally show off who I was v dance and the totality journey,” VanZant said. “It’s certainly something i still feeling to this day, however I have actually grown a lot and also I expect I can use my story to reach the end to people who space experiencing the same thing.

“The display did force me to open up. It to be something they wanted me to carry out for a really long time and also I did ultimately get comfortable v it towards the end. I’m happy ns was may be to open up and also share, and also I expect I had the ability to inspire part people. I’ve gained a the majority of feedback, and I’ve partnered v an anti-bullying campaign. I wanted to get it the end there because is so common today – it’s even worse because you can hide behind society media.”


She spoke to The time from new York after showing up on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and also before boarding a flight back to Los Angeles.

“I can’t believe I do it all the way through. That crazy that it’s yes, really over, however it to be an remarkable experience and I’m all set to get back to the hit world,” VanZant said. “I couldn’t be more happiness with just how all it all turned out, and also I couldn’t be happier for Nyle.”

She return to the UFC as a far an ext popular fighter after ~ displaying she grit in a bloody-faced lose to increased Namajunas in December. She has said before she could be earlier in the octagon by UFC 202 in September.

“We’ll begin working functioning on a fight … ns love fighting,” VanZant said. “I’ll struggle whoever the UFC gives me. I’m yes, really happy I brought fans come the UFC and excited to see exactly how many world watch my following fight.”

She also could have powerful backup alternatives in Hollywood, as other UFC women’s fighter Ronda Rousey has actually discovered.

VanZant, 22, claimed she’ll film a “small role” in Jean-Claude valve Damme’s following “Kickboxer” movie while training in Thailand, and also her athletic and dancing prowess had some roughly “Dancing v the Stars” pushing to convince her to return together a expert partner on the show.

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“No, ns love , yet I miss fighting and I’m prepared to get ago in the fight word and also be immersed in combined martial arts again since it’s mine home,” VanZant said. “I can’t wait to view what methods come next and I’d like to take every one that comes my way.”


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