UFC star Rachael Ostovich follows Paige VanZant into BKFC after axe from UFC

UFC star Rachael Ostovich has followed in the footsteps of Paige VanZant and joined the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

BKFC announced the news on Wednesday after Ostovich's release from UFC in December following a three-fight skid.

The American has penned a multi-fight contract with BKFC, and there are rumours her first bout could be against VanZant.

A delighted Ostovich said: “I am so excited to fight in the fastest growing sport in the world. I'm looking forward to my debut in July.

"I have seen and heard great things about BKFC, and am very happy to be a part of the team. Can't wait to announce the opponent!”

BKFC President David Feldman added: "We always are looking to sign fighters that can move the needle and fight, and that is exactly what Rachael brings to the table.

"I am looking forward to her debut in July. I know she is training hard and working on her boxing every day and we expect very big things from Rachael.”

Ostovich’s BKFC debut in July could set her on a collision course with VanZant, who revealed on Wednesday that her next bout is scheduled for the summer.

Speaking during an Instagram Q&A, VanZant was asked when her next fight would be.

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  • She said: “It is in July. I thought it was in June but we were waiting on a few things so it’s July.

    “I’m very excited and we should be able to announce the opponent extremely soon.”

    VanZant and Ostovich have clashed once before, with VanZant claiming a submission victory in the second round of their UFC fight in 2019.

    Ostovich returned to the octagon 22 months later – a break partly enforced by an eight-month USADA suspension – but was unable to avoid a third straight defeat.

    She suffered a third-round TKO loss to Gina Mazany which ultimately brought her time in UFC to an end, prompting her switch to BKFC.

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