VanZant set to make UFC return in Vancouver

UFC strawweight star Paige VanZant has a new dance partner.

Fresh off her second-place finish on “Dancing with the Stars,” VanZant will return to the cage against Bec Rawlings on the UFC on 21 card in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Aug. 27.

VanZant had a four-fight winning streak snapped with a submission loss to Rose Namajunas in December before taking a hiatus to compete on the reality show.

The 22-year-old was expected to take on a film role, but instead decided to accept a fight.

“I am so excited about this match-up,” she said on ESPN’s Sportscenter. “I think it’s perfect, especially coming back into the UFC after being away with ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ I love Canada.

“I really miss MMA and the UFC.”

VanZant said the time away allowed her to completely heal after fighting three times in 2015.

“I can’t wait for this one,” she said. “The few nagging injuries I had in my two previous UFC fights are completely gone, because I haven’t done the impact training, the head-on collisions. It actually really helped. It was great cardio and kept me in shape.”

Rawlings, who competed on Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has won two straight fights since losing on the season finale card.

UFC on Fox 21 also features the featherweight debut of Anthony Pettis against Charles Oliveira.

No main event has been named.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at or 702-224-5509. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

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