In her new book, “Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life,” UFC flyweight fighter Paige VanZant chronicles her upbringing in Oregon, the emotional moments of her youth and her life as a professional fighter.
But, one chapter in particular stands out more than any other. VanZant, 24, recounts in horrifying detail when she was raped by a group of boys in high school.
“They move me around,” VanZant wrote, according to MMA Fighting. “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.”
Although the timing of the book’s release is right in line with the “Me Too” movement that’s been sweeping the nation for the past year, the Dancing With the Stars alumnus insists that the project had already been in the works when the movement hit. Still, she says, it’s a coincidence whose timing could not have been better.
“It was totally coincidental and I just couldn’t be more happy with the way it worked out,” VanZant said. “It’s like just so comforting that other people kind of took those steps almost before I did, because I’m not the first one. I’m not gonna be the first groundbreaking story. I get to kind of follow and learn from how they did it and see that if they did it, I can do it, too.”
VanZant’s book hit stores on Tuesday.