Paige VanZant is hoping to turn the page on her lackluster Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) debut and produce fireworks later tonight (Fri., July 23, 2021) at BKFC 19 live on FITE TV PPV from inside Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida, when she takes on Rachael Ostovich in the main event.
VanZant, who signed a lucrative deal with BKFC one year ago, made her bare knuckle boxing debut back in February at “KnuckleMania” and ended up losing a decision to veteran fighter Britain Hart. It wasn’t the greatest of debuts, especially for a high-profile star like VanZant coming over from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Luckily, VanZant believes her five-round fight with Hart has helped her prepare for Ostovich later tonight at BKFC 19. That’s because “12 Gauge” will know what to expect in her second bare knuckle fight. There will be no feeling out process to see how bare knuckle boxing differs from MMA. Ostovich will not be awarded this advantage as she is making her debut.
“I know that going into this fight there isn’t that question for me like what is it gonna feel like,” VanZant told MMA Junkie. “Am I gonna break my hands? Am I gonna cut open right away? There’s those questions of kinda like what’s it gonna feel like, one, emotionally, and two, physically. Now I don’t have those questions.
“I know exactly what it’s gonna feel like fight night. I know what I’m gonna go through, and I’m gonna know the whole plan the entire night. Whereas those are questions she might have, just wondering how this is all gonna go down in your first fight ever. It’s trying something brand new for their first time. It’s always a little scary.”
VanZant, who is still just 27 years of age, is hoping to capitalize on her second BKFC appearance and prove why she deserved the $1 million deal that she signed last year. Ostovich is going to come out guns blazing to impress in her own debut, but “12 Gauge” believes she will make the proper adjustments to showcase her true bare knuckle potential.
“I took a lot of lessons from that,” VanZant said of her loss to Hart. “You really need experience in bare-knuckle boxing to be successful. Now that I have the experience, I have one fight under my belt, I continue to grow with this sport, with the division and with the organization. It’s unfortunate for Rachael. I feel like I made the moves after that last fight. I took a lot of lessons from it. I switched to Mundo Boxing with Pedro Diaz. I got one of the best boxing coaches in the world in my corner, and I haven’t stopped working since that fight. This is definitely a brand new fighter that you’re gonna see.”