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Paige VanZant put on notice after ‘mentally strong’ Rachael Ostovich brushed off ‘extreme trauma’ to fight on ESPN

UFC Fight Night: Herrig v VanZant
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Paige VanZant celebrates defeating Felice Herrig in their women’s strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight, Rachael Ostovich, was hospitalized last month with “major injuries” after her husband, pro mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Arnold Berdon, allegedly assaulted her in their Honolulu home.

But her injuries were not enough to stop her from accepting a Paige VanZant fight at the upcoming ESPN+ card in Brooklyn. So, if “extreme trauma” couldn't break the Hawaiian, don't expect something like a cage fight to do the trick, either.

A fact not lost on her opponent.

“Of course, I don’t know all the details of what happened, I just knew a little bit,” VanZant told MMA Fighting. “But I know that when she did come back and say, ‘I want to fight anyway,’ it gave me an alert, like ‘Hey, this girl is really tough.’ So I know I’m fighting somebody that’s very strong and very mentally strong, because she’s gonna go in there and fight after going through some extreme trauma like this. It just tells me that I’ve gotta be ready for the fight and be ready for somebody to come out there and have a lot to fight for.”

VanZant knows a thing or two about overcoming extreme trauma.

Despite coming up short on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 26, Ostovich (4-4) was able to fight her way into the promotion with a submission win over Karine Gevorgyan in last December’s live finale. Unfortunately, her momentum was halted by Montana De La Rosa her next time out.

As for VanZant (7-4), this is clearly a must-win situation. After failing to get something going in the strawweight division, “12 Gauge” jumped up to flyweight where she was promptly turned away by Jessica-Rose Clark earlier this year.

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