10 Things WWE Fans Need To Know About Paige VanZant

9. She Trained At Ken Shamrock's Gym


When VanZant moved to Sparks, Nevada, as a teen, she was looking for a new dance studio at which to continue her training. She couldn't find one, but found the next best thing - The Lion's Den, a gym run by UFC Hall of Famer and former WWE Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock.

Though the school's reputation has changed in recent years - spurred on, in part, by the dropping of an infamously brutal tryout designed to weed out applicants who weren't in peak physical shape - in the late 1990s, The Lion's Den was known as the premier training camp in the sport. Men like Guy Metzger, Frank Shamrock, Maurice Smith, and Vernon White all trained in the Den.

At her father's urging, VanZant - who had done a bit of boxing as a child but had no formal training - decided to enroll. She started out focused primarily on boxing, but eventually moved into the broader world of mixed martial arts. From there, she took on her first fights, and the rest is history.


Scott Fried is a Slammy Award-winning* writer living and working in New York City. He has been following/writing about professional wrestling for many years and is a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy. Follow him on Twitter at *Best Crowd of the Year, 2013