Rachael Ostovich showed little signs of debut jitters in her unanimous decision win over Paige VanZant at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 19 on Friday, July 23.
Ostovich continued to come forward and land the more significant punches during the five-round affair at the Expo Center in Tampa, Florida. After being cut by the UFC following three-straight defeats in the span of three years, Ostovich is off to successful starts with BKFC.
“I really was having a damn good time in there,” Ostovich said.
“I was enjoying every moment of it, I was present, I wanted to work on everything I was working in camp and I did, everything went as planned.”
It took little time for Ostovich to get situated on Friday evening.
Both women threw hands early on and Ostovich forced VanZant to back up after one exchange. Ostovich looked to set the tone early to show VanZant she can hang.
“I wanted to get that respect real quick, I wanted to let her know that I ain’t playing around,” Ostovich said. “You ain’t just going to come in here and boss me around. I don’t care if it’s my first fight here.”
— Bare Knuckle FC (@bareknucklefc) July 24, 2021
Rachael Ostovich and her BKFC career
The 30-year-old first met VanZant back at UFC on ESPN+ 1 in January 2019, losing by a second-round submission. The defeat is one of the reasons why Ostovich signed with BKFC in the first place.
BKFC president David Feldman told the media about his conversation with Ostovich’s manager, Brian Butler, before she joined the promotion.
“We talked about getting her a fight and she didn’t really want to fight bare knuckle ,” Feldman said. “Then when Paige was brought up, she was like I’m all in, I want Paige.”
Feldman also announced he is eying a women’s flyweight tournament to crown the promotion’s inaugural champion. Taylor Starling and Britain Hart, both who also won on the card, were mentioned as possible contenders.
Ostovich is a possibility as well after earning her debut victory. She knew she needed to start somewhere and the rest is to be decided.
“I came to do what I came to do and that was win,” Ostovich said. “It’s definitely up to my manager, I can say, ‘Yeah’ all I want up here, but when it comes down to it, it has to be on paper.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.