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Before switching to bareknuckle boxing, Rachael Ostovich was ‘almost going broke fighting in MMA’

Add Ostovich to the growing list of fighters making more money outside UFC than they ever did inside the Octagon.

UFC Fight Night: Mazany v Ostovich Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

After defeating Paige VanZant at Bare Knuckle FC 19 back in July, Rachael Ostovich is at a combat sports crossroads.

On one hand, Ostovich says bareknuckle boxing payed her more than she ever made in mixed martial arts (MMA), more than even UFC. On the other, the sport is brutal and punishing and still largely relegated to backwaters in Florida and Mississippi. But, with promotions like Bellator and PFC and other upstarts looking to add familiar names to their rosters, maybe the time is right for her to glove up and jump back in the cage?

“I would return to MMA, just right now BKFC is really hot right now and they pay me really good so that’s where I’ll be,” Ostovich said during an interview with MMA Junkie Radio. “MMA is a lot and I felt like I was almost going broke fighting in MMA, so BKFC is where I’m at for right now and hopefully we can get on the same page (for a contract).”

“I had some injuries after the fight, it’s definitely different from MMA,” she said. “I’ve had some offers, but I’m kinda waiting on the negotiations between my manager and the promotions, so bare-knuckle is of interest. But, it’s if the numbers match then yeah.

“I’m still down for MMA and there have been offers from MMA, but at this point, I’m kinda just waiting to see what makes the most money here so that’s where I’m at,” she continued. “They both have their pros and cons, so it really is just money talks for me right now.”

It’s a good position to be in, given Ostovich was 4-5 in MMA coming into her bareknuckle bout with VanZant. That was a runback of a UFC fight between the two in 2019 that VanZant won by armbar, part of a poor 1-3 performance in the promotion. But, Ostovich has clearly managed to market her way into relevance in the combat sports scene, and her scrappy decision win over VanZant has potentially given her new life.