Paige VanZant: Unlike Rachael Ostovich, ‘I know exactly what it’s gonna feel like fight night’

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TAMPA, Fla. – Having already competed once in bare-knuckle boxing, Paige VanZant thinks she’ll be a lot more acquainted than Rachael Ostovich.

VanZant meets Ostovich in the main event of Bare Knuckle FC 19 on Friday, a rematch of their January 2019 MMA bout that VanZant won by armbar submission. Although her BKFC debut didn’t go according to plan, VanZant says she now knows what to expect going into the fight, as opposed to Ostovich, who will be making her bare-knuckle boxing 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.”

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After losing to Britain Hart in her promotional debut, VanZant made a lot of changes. She started working with renowned boxing trainer Pedro Diaz to sharpen her hands and is riding plenty of confidence heading into fight night.

“I took a lot of lessons from that,” VanZant said. “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.”