A match that went down in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2019 will take place again, now under bare-knuckle rules.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship announced on Thursday that its July 23 event titled BKFC 19 has gained an interesting women’s rematch. Paige VanZant (8-5 MMA, 0-1 BK) will take on Rachael Ostovich (4-6 MMA, 0-0 BK) for a second time, this time in the striking-only league. The two first toed the line at UFC Fight Night 143 in early 2019, and VanZant recorded the win by tapping the Hawaiian with an armbar. It is yet unclear if this bout will headline the event.
VanZant’s bare-knuckle debut did not go in her favor, as Britain Hart upset her by unanimous verdict and delivered a post-fight interview for the ages. As a pro in MMA, “12 Gauge” never earned a standing finish from her fists, with a technical knockout of Kailin Curran in 2014 coming from ground strikes, and a knockout of Bec Rawlings in 2016 ending via head kick. This will be the second fight of her multi-fight deal with BKFC.
Ostovich, who was released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship after a trio of stoppage losses to Montana De La Rosa, VanZant and Gina Mazany in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, makes her way to the striking-only organization after word of her signing months ago. VanZant was previously speculated as her opponent, and BKFC has confirmed this bout. As a pro, Ostovich never recorded a win due to strikes, while half of her career setbacks came due to knockout – although all three are the result of kicks or knees, which will not be allowed under this ruleset.
BKFC 19 does not yet have any other fights booked for it, nor does it have a destination on the books, but it will likely have fans in the building wherever it takes place. It will follow an event in BKFC 18 on June 4 that will feature a record four championship bouts.
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