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Rachael Ostovich exacts revenge with unanimous decision win over Paige VanZant in BKFC 19 main event


Rachael Ostovich was making her bare-knuckle debut on Friday night but she looked like a seasoned veteran while winning a unanimous decision over Paige VanZant in the BKFC 19 main event.

The former Ultimate Fighter veteran was powerful and accurate with her punches including a devastating overhand right that was consistently finding a home on VanZant’s jaw repeatedly over all five rounds.

When the fight was over, the judges scored the fight 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46 with Ostovich earning the victory to cap off BKFC 19 on FITE TV.

While their first meeting came in a mixed martial arts bout in the UFC two years ago, Ostovich was still able to get a little taste of revenge while handing VanZant her second straight loss since signing with BKFC.

As soon as the decision was read, VanZant left the ring dejected as she walked to the back seemingly upset by the scores handed down by the judges while Ostovich celebrated her win.

“Hell yeah [I felt comfortable],” Ostovich said about her debut performance in bare-knuckle fighting. “It’s been a long time. Two and a half years since the last time we’ve been in the cage. A completely different sport but I still fought Paige VanZant. Give her a freaking hand, a round of applause, show some respect.”

Unlike her first fight, there was no slow start from VanZant this time around as she came out firing right away but Ostovich appeared ready to meet her in the middle to exchange punches. VanZant was fast with her combinations but Ostovich showed no fear coming back at her with a powerful overhand right that was consistently landing on target.

In the clinch, both fighters were blasting away with shots to the body and uppercuts to the head with neither one willing to give an inch to the other.

As time ticked away into the second round, VanZant began setting a more consistent pace, tossing out a lead jab and then following with punches behind it. As for Ostovich, she continued to throw that same right hand as she made VanZant pay any time she failed to keep her hands up in an exchange.

Just when it looked like VanZant was settling into a good rhythm, Ostovich began to really sit down on her punches and that helped her connect with more force. After landing a couple of solid shots in an exchange, Ostovich cracked VanZant with a series of stinging punches just before the bell sounded to move the fight into the fourth round.

With her confidence surging, Ostovich unloaded another massive overhand right that blasted VanZant on the jaw and left her on wobbly legs for a moment. While she was quick to recover, VanZant was just struggling to do much damage offensively, which only hurt her when it came to the scorecards.

While Ostovich did have blood leaking out her nose, she was actually handing out far more punishment than she was taking, which was apparent when the scores were tallied after the fight was over.

Prior to Friday night, Ostivich said she never planned on crossing over into bare-knuckle competition until the offer was made for the fight against VanZant but it appears with this win she’ll be sticking around for a little while longer.

As for VanZant, she’s now fallen to 0-2 after inking a lucrative deal to join the BKFC roster following the close of her last contract with the UFC in 2020.

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