Paige VanZant was in as close to a do-or-die spot as a 24-year-old fighter could possible be.
The much-hyped flyweight had lost two straight and three of four going into her UFC Brooklyn main-card bout against Rachael Ostovich.
Then Ostovich went out and convincingly won the opening round.
But VanZant rallied in the second and earned an impressive submission victory. The time of the stoppage due to the armbar tapout was 1:50 of the second round.
“I was scared in the first round, obviously i have a lot to work on,” VanZant said. “I want to thank Rachael for taking the fight.”
Ostovich got the best of things in the opening round, using a pair of takedowns. While she didn’t do much with her top position, it was nonetheless enough to win the round, as VanZant couldn’t do much by ride the round out.
In the second, PVZ, who now trains at Gracie Barra in Portland, got the takedown, and wasted little time going to work. VanZant worked for an armbar, and while Ostovich postured up and nearly escaped, she didn’t quite get there. VanZant landed on Ostovich’s arm and Ostovich tapped soon thereafter.
“I heard the arm pop, I came back and I know she’ll come back strong too.”
Ostovich competed two months after suffering orbital injuries in a domestic violence incident in Hawaii. The UFC was heavily criticized in the leadup to the bout for placing Ostovich on the same card as convicted domestic abuser Greg Hardy. In a show of support, Ostovich was cornered by several family members for the bout rather than her trainers.
VanZant improved to 8-4 with her fifth career stoppage win. Ostovich dropped to 4-5 on her career, 1-2 in the UFC.