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In return from ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ Paige VanZant scores knockout

Paige VanZant, right, of the United States, and Bec Rawlings, of Australia, fight during a women's strawweight bout at a UFC Fight Night event in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016.
Paige VanZant, right, of the United States, and Bec Rawlings, of Australia, fight during a women's strawweight bout at a UFC Fight Night event in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. AP

Sacramento's Paige VanZant made a triumphant return to the octagon Saturday night at UFC on F0X 21 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

VanZant, 22, who last fought on Dec. 10 because she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, knocked out Australia's Bec Rawlings in the second round with a jumping switch kick to the head that drove Rawlings to the ground.

Some observers said the kick -- VanZant called it "kick the can" - was the highlight of Saturday's card.

"I know that people want me because I'm differernt," VanZant said in the UFC on FOX post-fight show about her other ventures. "If I wasn't a fighter, I wouldn't be unique. People like me because I'm a MMA figher ... and that's why I'm desired outside of the octagon.

"If other opportunies arise that don't cut into fight camps, I'm definitely going to pursue them, but it I have a fight lined up, that's going to be the priority."

VanZant's next bout could be on the Dec. 17 UFC card announced last week for Golden 1 Center, the new downtown arena that opens Oct. 4. No fighters have been announced, but organizers have said they are committed have having at least one Sacramento area fighter on the card.

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