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Paige VanZant expects to knock out Rachael Ostovich in BKFC fight: 'I don't see any other way'

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Paige VanZant holds a submission win in MMA over Rachael Ostovich, but does that mean anything heading into their bare-knuckle boxing match?

“I think so,” VanZant told MMA Junkie. “When you beat somebody, you have a mental edge over them. You just do. Beyond that, having the experience in bare-knuckle, especially in BKFC … I think my experience, I won’t have that hesitation going into this next one, and I’ll know exactly what to do, and I’ll be more comfortable.”

VanZant will make her second Bare Knuckle FC appearance on July 23 when she welcomes Ostovich to the promotion. It will be a rematch of their January 2019 fight at UFC Fight Night 143, which VanZant won with an armbar.

VanZant is looking to rebound after coming up short in her promotional debut, losing a unanimous decision to Britain Hart this past February. Although it wasn’t the first impression she wanted to make in a new combat sport, VanZant was able to rally late and win the final round on the judges’ scorecards.

That gave VanZant added motivation to improve moving forward. She still trains at American Top Team, working on her all-around fighting skills, but she also enlisted the help of renowned boxing trainer Pedro Diaz and splits her time between ATT and working with him in Miami. Training with Diaz has been a “life-changing event,” according to VanZant.

VanZant, who signed a four-fight contract with BKFC last year after leaving the UFC, believes her experience, as well as her focus on boxing, gives her the advantage she needs heading into her fight with Ostovich.

“Going into that first (BKFC fight), there are certain elements of bare-knuckle boxing that you can’t prepare for unless you actually have experience fighting,” VanZant said. “You can’t do bare-knuckle boxing on your teammates. There’s a few elements that I needed to adjust to. I feel my experience going into it is definitely going to give me the upper hand.”

She continued, “I’m coming for the knockout for sure. I don’t see any other way, especially with the coaches I have in my corner for this camp and how hard I’m training. I’ve sacrificed absolutely everything for this, so I’m coming for the knockout.”

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