Flyweights Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich faced off tonight (Saturday, January 19th, 2019) inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., live on ESPN+ (free trial here). VanZant was returning from a long layoff after an armbreak and botched surgery, while VanZant had undergone a horrific domestic violence incident only a few months prior.
Piage opened with a head kick, then Ostovich clinched and tripped her to the mat. Ostovich attempted to pass guard, pinning VanZant’s face into the mat with her shoulder. VanZant recovered full guard. They just hugged each other with Ostovich postured in VanZant’s guard until the referee stood them up. Ostovich immediately landed a right hand and took VanZant down again, getting side control for a moment. VanZant caught one of her legs, and Rachael spent a long time trying to pass guard to get a mounted guillotine. She let it go. VanZant rolled for a heel hook, Ostovich countered, and she tried for a kneebar before Ostovich kicked out and escaped. Ostovich immediately landed another throw, VanZant tried to whizzer out of it and Ostovich scrambled and floated her way impressively into mount just as the round ended. Strange, but impressive first round from the Hawaiian.
VanZant threw a leg kick to open the second, Ostovich countered her. Ostovich repeated the feat a moment later after VanZant tried a superman punch. Ostovich landed another takedown, VanZant counted, and took Ostovich’s back! VanZant began pounding away on the top as Ostovich tried to survive. Ostovich tried to escape out the back door, but VanZant snagged a tight armbar and Ostovich was forced the tap! Amazing turnaround and submission from a returning Paige VanZant!
VanZant thanked Rachael for taking the fight and said that she felt the arm popped, but hopes it wasn’t serious and said that just as she came back, she is sure Rachael will come back stronger. She thanked her team and said that she would love to be on the first big ESPN card in February.
Official result: Paige VanZant def. Rachael Ostovich via submission (armbar) at 1:50 of Round 2
For complete UFC Fight Night 143 results, including play-by-play, click here