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UFC Fight Night 124 results: Jessica-Rose Clark battles through distraction to defeat Paige VanZant

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Sydney-Rawlings vs Clark Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports

Paige VanZant made her move to featherweight to face promising Aussie Jessica-Rose Clark tonight (Sun., Jan. 14, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 124 from Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, live on FOX Sports 1.

Paige VanZant immediately came out looking for that switchkick she knocked Bec Rawlings out with, and Jessica-Rose stayed tight and countered with punches. She hit a switchkick to the body. They clinched, Paige went for a throw, and Jessica-Rose rode it out and got on top. Paige scrambled back to her feet, but Clark was working on a standing arm-triangle choke. Paige dropped to her back, and Clark kept tight control from half-guard, still looking for that arm-triangle choke on the opposite side. The crowd began to boo the relatively static grappling situation, with Clark staying patient with tight control from top half-guard. With ten seconds left to go, Jessica-Rose finally let go with a couple punches to close out the round.

VanZant kept attempting side-kicks and that jumping switchkick, but did connect on a spinning backfist. She moved in aggressively and they clinched, getting to the cage. Clark pulled guard, looking for a leg entanglement, then using the space to scramble back up and grab a double-leg, taking VanZant down. She controlled Paige tightly, the crowd actively booing the position that took up most of the first round. Mario Yamasaki finally warned Clark that she had to do something, or he would stand them up. Clark tried to take Paige’s back, but Paige reversed her. Clark immediately locked up a triangle attempt, and it got pretty tight, Paige keeping her posture down, trying to wait out the submission and counter with punches from her free hand. Clark fired off some elbows from the bottom, but Paige rode out the triangle until the bell sounded.

VanZant came out kicking to open the third round; apparently she told her corner she broke her arm in the first round. VanZant attempted a flying knee and then connected on that jumping switchkick. She hooked with her lead arm. Clark blocked another kick, countered with a one-two. Paige connected on a solid sidekick. Clark finally came forward and landed a three-punch combination. VanZant landed another flying knee to Clark’s body, and Jessica landed another combination with her tight hooks. VanZant landed a knee and a lead hook. Clark landed a knee to the body. As soon as the fight ended, VanZant gripped her forearm in pain.

In the post-fight interview, Jessica-Rose Clark reminded the crowd someone broke into her house, stole $30,000 and killed her cat. She said she stayed focused and got done what she needed to.

Official result: Jessica-Rose Clark def. Paige VanZant via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28x2)

For complete Fight Night 124 results, including play-by-play, click here