UFC flyweight Paige VanZant says she chose to pose for the world famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to break the stereotype of what a female fighter is supposed to look like, proving she is much more than just a pretty face.

VanZant said in her recent interview she has come to terms with the perception some fans may have of her.

Via Fansided.com

“I’ve been pushing these opportunities to the side,” said VanZant of the opportunity to pose for Sports Illustrated. “I can only hide so much of my girliness. I’ve been turning down opportunities because I do want people to see me as a professional fighter.

“I’m done with that,” she added. “I’m going to 100 percent be myself. There is this new era of being strong and beautiful. The die-hard fight fans can complain that I’m doing things like Sports Illustrated but it’s who I am and I absolutely loved it.”

“There is not a lot of loyalty,” VanZant said. “The true fans support me in any endeavor and they like me as a person. I don’t think there should be any question about my fight career at this point. I’ve broken my arm twice.

“Maybe I don’t look like a professional fighter but, hey, I was born this way. Call my mom and dad.”

VanZant was scheduled to compete at UFC 236 next weekend before the aforementioned broken arm ruled her out of action. She is expected to fight this summer.

Check out some pics of her SI Swimsuit shoot and more below: 

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