One of the most popular female fighters in the UFC Paige VanZant opens up in her new book “Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life,” about the struggles she faced growing up that led to her contemplating suicide.
VanZant, 24, detailed to MMA Fighting her experience, including a time in high school when boys got her drunk and she was raped by several of them at the age of 14.
“They move me around,” VanZant wrote. They change my position. I fail each time I try to resist, my limbs like wet cement on my body, my brain a heavy fog. I am awake and conscious, but my body feels dead. I know what is happening but can do nothing to stop it. I have no voice or choice but to submit and pray that it ends soon.”
She said she would come home to condoms being hung on the trees “like Christmas ornaments,” and classmates were calling her “Paige Slutton” as she was born as Paige Sletten. These events were a result of being bullied because they thought she had consensual sex with the boys.
VanZant says this book is a way to become an advocate for anti-bullying:
“A huge reason I’m getting the book out is because I want to be an advocate for anti-bullying, I want to be an advocate,” … “That’s the main wave I want to start from this. The hardest thing for me was the bullies. That just really sunk me even lower, that no one was even there for me.”
VanZant explained to ABC News today how dark these moments became and how she began to have suicidal thoughts:
“I didn’t see any other way out,” and added, “When you’re in that position, when you’re feeling that much pain,” she added, “it’s not that you want to die. You just don’t want to be in pain anymore.”
The UFC superstar just recently told her parents what had happened and credits MMA for saving her life.
“I really hope that if I can change one life, then me telling my story is worth it,” says Paige VanZant.
VanZant’s book “Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life” is available today.