UFC star Paige VanZant has opened up about being the victim a gang-rape in high school at the age 14, and the subsequent bullying and abusive relationships she suffered in her new book, “Rise: Surviving the Fight My Life.”
In the book, which released today, the 24-year old flyweight fighter goes into some detail about the horrific incident, describing how a group boys got her drunk at a party and raped her when she could not defend herself. VanZant says the bullying she experienced after the rape was so bad that she ultimately changed her last name from Sletten to VanZant because the kids at school nicknamed her “Slutton.” She also wrote that once she came home and found condoms hung from the trees around her house “like Christmas ornaments.”
As a result, her family was forced to move from Oregon to Nevada to give her a fresh start.
VanZant tells MMA Fighting that she decided to share her story to let others know they’re not alone, and to be an anti-bullying advocate.
According to MMA Fighting, VanZant is still healing from a broken arm she sustained during a fight with Jessica-Rose Clark at UFC St. Louis in January. The timetable for her return is still unknown but she has vowed to fight again before the end the year.