Former UFC fighter Paige VanZant looks like she lives a glamorous life on social media but she’s revealed just how hard she can take her losses.
The 27-year-old entered the UFC in 2014 and after three straight wins, battled her way to a headliner against two-time women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas in December 2015.
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But including the defeat to Namajunas, VanZant lost four of her last six fights and said she wanted to explore free agency after her final fight against Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 in July 2020.
By then VanZant was modelling, had more than 2.9 million Instagram followers and had appeared on reality TV shows including Dancing with the Stars.
But in her chest beats the heart of a fighter, despite some dire performances in the cage.
Having left the UFC for the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, VanZant has lost both her fights — to Britain Hart at BKFC: Knucklemania in February and to former UFC starlet Rachael Ostovich at BKFC 19 in July — by unanimous decision.
Her four-fight deal is worth a reported $1m, but money doesn’t solve everything as VanZant revealed how much the loss to Ostovich hurt.
In her video blog series she shares with husband and fellow MMA fighter Austin Vanderford, VanZant broke down in tears talking about the aftermath of the loss.
VanZant said she felt like her online presence gave people a false idea of her life and because of that “everyone expects me to lose and everyone expects me to fail”.
“I just feel like people have this specific perception of who I am and especially online. It’s crazy how much people can hate on a single person. I just don’t get it,” she said.
“I pride myself of being a good person. I think that’s the most important thing for me. I never talk bad about my opponents. I never say a single negative thing about their character. You never know what somebody’s going through. You never know what someone’s on the verge of.”
After admitting she felt like she had won the fight with Ostovich, VanZant’s emotions got the better of her and she found herself outside and in tears.
“When I walked out of the ring, I didn’t just walk to my locker room, I literally walked all the way outside and I just went and cried in the parking lot by myself,” VanZant said. “I said some things to my husband that are pretty terrible about like my mental state.
“I told him I didn’t want to live anymore, that this wasn’t for me anymore. Like life wasn’t for me anymore so I was disappointed, It was hard.”
VanZant also spoke about her husband’s career trajectory in comparison to her own. The 31-year-old Vanderford is 11-0 in his professional MMA career and was announced as the next challenger for Gegard Mousasi’s Bellator middleweight title.
After years of being “Mr VanZant”, the tables have clearly turned.
“It can be hard when Austin and I are married and he keeps winning and I keep losing but honestly him and his success is the only thing that keeps me going,” VanZant said. “Because I do feel like we win together.
“His next fight will be for a title and I know he’s going to win. I just know how good it’s going to feel for him and for me and I’m so happy and I’m so proud of him. His title fight to look forward makes it all worth it and makes me feel a little better.”
VanZant said she was going to take some time off to heal her body then get back in the gym and continue her path.
But she had a message for those who thought they had an idea of who she is from what they’ve seen on social media.
“Anyone out there who looks at me on like Instagram and Twitter and TikTok and those kinds of things, all you do is see a smile. I can promise you that Instagram’s just the pretty side and it’s just as important for people to see the real side too,” she said.
“People like me struggle a lot, everybody does. And mental health is no joke and I think people need to start … I need to really start taking my mental health more seriously and losses suck and going through hard times is not fun but it does get better. You can get through it and life does go on. It’s a good life out there.”
5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android
Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.
You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).
You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.
While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.
We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.
Credit: buffer / app store
Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.
Credit: preview / app store
Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.
Credit: content office / app store
An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.
Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.
Credit: plann / apple store
You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…
Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.
Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters
From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.
It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.
TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.
I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones
More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.
People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.
A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.
Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said: “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.
“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.
“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?
Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.
But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.
It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.
Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.
And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.
Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.
For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews
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