Paige VanZant and ex-UFC rival Rachael Ostovich face off ahead of brutal bare-knuckle boxing clash

PAIGE VANZANT and Rachael Ostovich took part in a tense face-off ahead of their Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship clash.

The former UFC stars will throw down with one another early on Saturday morning in the main event of BKFC 19 in Tampa, Florida.

Paige VanZant face off at the final BKFC pre-fight press conference
The former opponents had a brief laugh before facing off

VanZant and Ostovich’s rematch will headline BKFC 19 in Tampa, Florida

VanZant and Ostovich, 27 and 30 respectively, faced off with one another at the final pre-fight press conference in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The former opponents were cordial to begin with but quickly proceeded to give each other icy-cool stares.

BKFC 19’s main event will be a rematch of VanZant and Ostovich’s clash at UFC Fight Night 143 in January 2019.

PVZ got the better of Ostovich that night, submitting the Hawaain with a second-round armbar.

In an interview with MMA Fighting, Ostovich said of their first clash: “I did feel like I was the better striker in our last fight.

“I went into that fight, I had a broken orbital going into that fight so I wasn’t trying to stand with her, so I kept taking her down.

“There was a lot of grappling there.

“When I looked back at my fight with her, I wish I could have stood up more. I am excited for this boxing match because it is just stand up.”

Ostovich, who was released from the UFC last December, inked a lucrative deal with BKFC in April but has yet to compete for the promotion.

The idea of bare-knuckle boxing didn’t initially appeal to the Ultimate Fighter season 26 star, who admitted: “Honestly, I wasn’t really interested in it,

“I was like, not for me. But I’m down. I’m actually excited to learn anything new.

“We’re not wearing gloves, that is pretty crazy, but how much worse could it be? We’re fighting with four-ounce gloves already [in MMA].

“I feel like as fighters, I don’t really focus on it. More just technique and training hard for this fight and coming out on top.”

Ostovich never envisaged competing under the BKFC banner, saying: “It kind of just happened.

“I never thought I would be part of the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship promotion.


How Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich stack up ahead of their BKFC rematch

“I really didn’t think I would ever do that, but they gave me Paige and I’ve been wanting that rematch, so I’ll take it however I can get it.

She added: “I’m here for the journey and this is part of my journey.

“I learned best on the job. I don’t regret anything. Everything happens for a reason and it makes me stronger.”

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