Elle Brooke can’t help but wonder if Paige VanZant knew what she was signing up for by agreeing to fight her in the Misfits Boxing main event on Saturday in Houston.

When it comes to the fight itself, VanZant has far more experience and should be heavily favored to win. But Brooke’s issues with VanZant really stem from her opponent’s refusal to engage with her on social media, through interviews or anywhere else in hopes of drumming up interest in their fight.

Even after Brooke photoshopped VanZant dog-walking her husband, one-time Bellator title challenger Austin Vanderford, with the caption, “the only thing I am envious of Paige VanZant is her relationship with Austin … every woman’s dream,” she didn’t get a response. In fact, until Wednesday, VanZant didn’t even see the post.

“I’m here to make this fight as big as possible and to get as much views as possible,” Brooke said in a face-to-face with VanZant on The MMA Hour. “Paige didn’t come to the Twitter space. She couldn’t be bothered to do that, she couldn’t even turn up for that. She went home on the second day in Houston. I flew out 10 hours on a flight each way and she wasn’t even there the second day. It’s what you have to do to get people interested.”

Of course, promotion is part of the job, even in the UFC.

Fighters are required to participate in media interviews, press conferences and other activations in the lead-up to an event. But VanZant bristled against Brooke’s accusations that she wasn’t doing enough to build up the hype for their fight.

“I am not promoting the fight as an influencer, I guess, as much as the influencers do it,” VanZant said. “I am used to a different type of organization. You just show up to the UFC and fight. I’m new to the influencer world. I’m not really sure what else anyone expects me to do. I’m here to fight, that’s it. I have one goal, one job. Every single hour of my day is dedicated and time blocked preparing for this fight, preparing to win.

“I think Misfits knows what they did when the signed me, and they signed me for a reason. They didn’t sign me based on my shit talking, because obviously the majority of my career, I’m just not that person. I’m respectful. I respect the people I’m fighting.”

Brooke vehemently disagreed, especially because she understands influencer events like Misfits Boxing draw a different crowd than the shows put on by UFC or BKFC, where VanZant fought previously.

“I think to me, No. 1, it was rude because if you want to be in this space, this is what you have to do,” Brooke said. “When you took this fight, you probably thought what’s it about? Everyone knows what it’s about. Whether it’s Jake Paul, Logan Paul, KSI, people know, so to be like, ‘This is new to me, I don’t know how to promote this,’ I think that’s a bit of a cop out.

“You don’t always have to bash your opponent, but post about it. That’s the bare minimum. To say, ‘All I’ve been doing is training’ — well, me too, but this is what you have to do in this field and if you want to stay in this field, personally, you’re going to get used to that and that’s something you’re going to have to do.”

As much as she took issue with VanZant refusing to engage with her to promote the fight, Brooke actually took a not-so-underhanded swipe at her 30-year-old opponent for even jumping at this opportunity.

Brooke obviously hopes to win, but she knows she’s facing long odds against a UFC and BKFC veteran in her professional boxing debut after several exhibition bouts against reality show stars and fellow influencers. Meanwhile, VanZant decided not to return to UFC or book another bare-knuckle fight in BKFC, but instead came to Misfits to fight an influencer.

“How do you go from being in the UFC, arguably one of the biggest stages in fighting, in combat sports, to then going on to fight an influencer?” Brooke said. “There’s a reason that [Floyd] Mayweather does it, it’s for money. I don’t think it’s necessarily for the passion anymore. You’re doing it for the money and who am I to judge? But I just don’t think that you can necessarily say it’s for the love of the sport. Because you are fighting an influencer. What do you gain from that?”

“She’s gone from UFC, BKFC, to now fighting an influencer. I don’t know, in my head it’s not because she’s on a losing streak and she’s just like, ‘I want an easy fight.’ Is she underestimating me?”

VanZant disagreed and actually praised Brooke as a worthy opponent — even if she won’t say it.

“I’m sad to [hear] you call yourself an influencer,” VanZant said. “I think obviously I see you in a higher light than you do. I think you’re a professional fighter, a professional boxer, and that’s what I’ve prepared to do.”

Author: Staff

Please go to MMAFighting.com to read full article.

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