Rachel Ostovich avenges UFC loss to Paige VanZant with decisive BKFC 19 win
Rachel Ostovich waited two and a half years to avenge her loss to Paige VanZant in the UFC.
But the rematch was devoid of gloves and they traded an octagon for a ring as Ostovich defeated VanZant by unanimous decision in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 19 main event at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Fla. On Friday. .
It was a crazy night for BKFC, one that saw social media influencers put on boxing gloves, rapper get attacked by a fan after beating a TikTokker and a carnival of the absurd. But you couldn’t say it wasn’t entertaining. And that included a main event between two UFC veterans that was highly anticipated and lived up to expectations.
VanZant and Ostovich first met in 2019, with VanZant submitting his opponent in the second round with an armband. VanZant signed with BKFC after fighting his contract and lost his first fight earlier this year. As for Ostovich, she was released from the UFC after a three-game losing streak. Rather than making a deal with another MMA promotion, Ostovich followed VanZant to BKFC and signed to be VanZant’s second opponent.
While the two women don’t want to call it a rematch, as the BKFC rules are completely different, it was impossible to ignore given their history. And Ostovich may well have a future at BKFC with an outstanding performance against his nemesis.
It might have been Ostovich’s first unarmed fight, but she was clearly up to the task and VanZant could reconsider her unarmed fighter career now that she suffered a second straight loss.
It was clear from the first seconds that Ostovich was the more powerful of the two fighters as she uncorked a hard right hand to start. VanZant sought to close the distance and the two engaged in internal fights, but Ostovich had the advantage whenever there was a split as his right hand landed almost at will.
The second round was played from a distance. VanZant resumed activity but still struggled to avoid Ostovich’s right hand. As the fight progressed, Ostovich found solace in countering VanZant’s advances and at times pressed action to allow VanZant to find no solace.
Round three was relatively tight until Ostovich landed a hard two-hit combination as she stepped inside. VanZant’s activity likely gave him the ride, however. It turned out that VanZant was picking up the pace with her jab and bloodying Ostovich’s nose with a stiff punch in the fourth, but again Ostovich took VanZant off with a right counterhand and injured her. It was clear that VanZant was shaken up and doing her best to drop out, but Ostovich wouldn’t be denied.
After the final round was about the same, the final bell rang and Ostovich raised her hands as she knew she had avenged her loss. The scores were 49-46 48-47 and 48-47. She could now have a second career as an unarmed fighter.
VanZant was not happy with the decision and rushed out of the ring. Where it will end up next is a guess.