BKFC President: Paige VanZant in a must-win situation in her next fight

Last year, BKFC made waves in the combat sports world when they signed Paige VanZant (0-2). VanZant was a decent fighter in the UFC, but she was a star on social media and even competed on Dancing With The Stars.

PVZ had a decent run in the UFC, but when her contract ran out last year, she was one of the hottest free agents on the market. Bellator was seen as the early favorite, but BKFC came out of no where with a massive offer.

The offer supposedly pays VanZant more than 10 times what she was making in the UFC. VanZant signed the deal with BKFC and it took everyone by surprise. From a business standpoint, it was a great move by BKFC.

The promotion is still seeking mainstream appeal and they saw VanZant as the ticket to that mainstream appeal. However, PVZ was going to have to do her part by winning. The promotion was hoping to make her the face of the promotion.

PVZ’s Rocky BKFC Start

Things have not gone according to plan for PVZ or BKFC. VanZant made her debut back in February when she faced off against Britain Hart. She lost that fight and it was pretty one-sided on the scorecards. 

She then took on Rachael Ostovich at BKFC 19. The two ladies had fought in the UFC with VanZant picking up the win. However, Ostovich was able to defeat VanZant at BKFC 19 handing PVZ her second straight loss.

After the loss, VanZant stormed out of the ring and didn’t attend the post-fight press conference. This didn’t sit well with Dave Feldman who is the president of BKFC.

He sat down with MMA Fighting this week and made it clear that VanZant is in a must-win situation. In addition to voicing some frustration in her not attending the press conference, Feldman said, “I can’t keep saying ‘she fought really good, now let’s see what happens next time.’ She has to come out with a victory.”

It’s clear that VanZant’s next fight with BKFC is going to be a do-or-die situation. If she loses her third straight in Bare Knuckle, the promotion will likely close the chapter on PVZ in BKFC.

Paige VanZant releases statement after second straight BKFC loss: ‘I’m still smiling’

This past weekend at BKFC 19, Paige VanZant (0-2) made her second appearance with the promotion. VanZant was taking on Rachael Ostovich (1-0) who was making her BKFC debut.

These two ladies had previously met back in 2019 when they were both in the UFC. That night, VanZant controlled the fight and ended up submitting Ostovich. However, Friday night’s fight didn’t go according to that same script.

Almost as soon as the opening bell sounded, Ostovich landed a huge power right hand that got VanZant’s attention. Throughout the entire evening, Ostovich would have big moments where she landed with her power at BKFC 19.

VanZant attempted to use her athleticism and stay on the outside, but she couldn’t get away from the power of Ostovich. When VanZant would have good rounds going, Ostovich’s big power shots would sway the judges.

At the end of the day at BKFC 19, Ostovich just landed the more impactful shots all night. Ultimately, all three judges gave the fight to Ostovich including one judge who gave it to her four rounds to one.

VanZant after BKFC 19 – ‘I’m still smiling’

Last year, Paige VanZant’s time in the UFC came to an end after she completed her contract. Immediately she was a hot commodity on the open market. Bellator really pushed to try to get a deal done.

However, BKFC ultimately threw out the largest bid and won the services of VanZant. It was slightly a puzzling decision at the time, but VanZant got a million-dollar plus deal from BKFC after earning $40,000/40,000 with the UFC.

BKFC threw out that deal in part to become more main stream. VanZant has a huge social media presence and the thought was that she could become the new mainstream star for the promotion.

However, things have not gone according to plan. Back in February, VanZant lost to Britain Hart by decision. Then, she lost last Friday night which has dropped her to 0-2 in the promotion.

While things haven’t gone her way, VanZant is still smiling after all of this. She took to Instagram to post a message to her followers and her haters after her loss last Friday night.

Rachael Ostovich defeats Paige VanZant in a war at BKFC 19

Tonight Bare Knuckle Boxing was back with the BKFC 19. The main event of the evening featured a rematch between two former UFC fighters. The popular Paige VanZant was making her second BKFC appearance as she was taking on the debuting Rachael Ostovich.

When these two fought in the UFC back in 2019, it was VanZant that picked up the submission win. That loss is something that Ostovich has wanted to get back and she had her opportunity to do it tonight at BKFC.

BKFC 19 Recap

While VanZant was the betting favorite, Ostovich made it clear from the very beginning that she was there to fight. In the first round, Ostovich blasted VanZant with brutal right hands and power shots. VanZant looked to stay on the outside during this one.

In the second round, VanZant found her rhythm at BKFC 19. VanZant used her jab and distance to even up the fight in my opinion. However, Ostovich got the timing back in round three and started blasting VanZant. Ostovich did some serious damage with brutal hooks and in my opinion, she won the third round.

In the fourth round, VanZant started out well as she worked her jab. However, VanZant was rocked badly by big shots from Ostovich halfway through the round. Ostovich put on the pressure as VanZant was on wobbly legs.

VanZant was able to survive to the end, but in my opinion, it was 3-1 Ostovich heading into the final round. In the final round. VanZant started the final round at BKFC 19 with some urgency. You could tell she was feeling the pressure.

VanZant opened with some lead left hooks as Ostovich remained patient. However, Ostovich would explode into power shots that backed up VanZant. VanZant looked calculated in the final round and landed some really nice shots.

However, late in the round, Ostovich appeared to rock her again. The final round was extremely close, but in my opinion, it was a clear win for Rachael Ostovich at BKFC 19.

Rachael Ostovich def. Paige VanZant by Decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)

BKFC 19: VanZant vs. Ostovich special PPV features Chuck Liddell’s commentary

The BKFC 19: VANZANT vs. OSTOVICH Friday night in Tampa, Florida will have a special pay-per-view edition featuring UFC Hall of Famer “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell’s commentary.

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship President David Feldman, Daniel Hollaway & Ross Patterson, co-founders of the Drinkin’ Bros Network, and Michael Weber, COO of FITE, announced Thursday the ground-breaking PPV edition of the broadcast, which will be exclusively on FITE.

“I’m excited to work with FITE and The Drinkin’ Bros to provide this unprecedented live viewing option for fight fans,” said Feldman. “Chuck Liddell is an icon in combat sports, and The Drinkin’ Bros is one of the most outrageous networks ever – we are always up to break boundaries and do things our way – so we feel this a perfect fit for BKFC and we appreciate
FITE for stepping up to make this happen.”

Joining Liddell in the special PPV booth are Holloway and Patterson.

The BKFC 19 main event features the return of the ultra-popular striker Paige VanZant in an epic ‘rematch’ with Rachael Ostovich. The pair last fought in UFC, with VanZant winning via second-round submission. The co-main event sees a heavyweight title fight between current BKFC Champion Arnold Adams and Thai Boxer and knockout artist Michael Terrill.

The BKFC 19: VANZANT VS OSTOVICH starts at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT and is available for only $39.99. The “Drinkin’ Bros” featuring Chuck Liddell special edition of BKFC can be purchased on FITE at: https://www.jdoqocy.com/click-100451846-14696144

“This weekend, veterans don’t have to drink alone or watch fights alone,” said Hollaway. “We are honored to have this opportunity to present the Drinkin’ Bros edition of BKFC 19 to our fans and followers, and we are beyond excited for the fights. We’ve been big fans of BKFC since the start.”

This special collaboration is made possible by Jen Wenk, APR, STAR Public Relations, and Adam Roorda, principal, MMA Power Hour, who all served as concept originators and developers.

“FITE prides itself on its streaming technology, media, marketing, and partnerships,” said Kim Hurwitz, FITE’s Chief Marketing Officer. “When this opportunity arose, it seemed like something our FITE fans would enjoy, because we’re fight fans too.”

Also part of the live PPV card is Britain Hart in her first fight back since defeating VanZant in her much-hyped debut to bare knuckle fighting. Hart takes on Jenny “Savage” Clausius, who fans may remember from Dana White’s “Lookin’ for a Fight” web series. In a special attraction, famed rapper and former D2 college quarterback, Blueface (Tiktok: @bluefacebleedem) will make his bare knuckle premiere against the comedian and TikTok badboy, Kane Trujillio (@kane).

Tampa favorite Geane Herrera enters the BKFC squared circle once again to take on “The Nightmare” Abdiel Velasquez in a 125 lb. bout, followed by the 125 lb. female matchup Taylor “Killa Bee” Starling vs. Cassie “The Hulk” Robb, who is making her BKFC debut.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Christine Ferea returns to headline BKFC in September

While Paige VanZant and Britain Hart headline a stacked women’s card in the BKFC 19, Christine “Misfit” Ferea‘s time is coming soon.

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship President David Feldman bared that Ferea will headline a BKFC event in September in Florida.

“She’ll face an undefeated professional boxer. We’re gonna announce that [Thursday]. She has a good test in front of her,” Feldman told Empire Sports Media ahead of the BKFC 19 this Friday.

“[Christine] is certainly in the mix for that 125 lb belt. She’s been here for a long time. She has always fought very well and dominated a lot of her opponents.”

Ferea hadn’t fought since September 11 last year, when she won over Callie Cutler via TKO in the second round. Ferea has a 3-1 record in the BKFC, with her only loss coming at the hands of former women’s champion Helen Peralta.

Feldman said that a BKFC women’s championship is in the works down the line. If Ferea makes a successful comeback, she will be a strong contender to take the belt.

“We have a lot of different girls that could really compete in that little tournament for a championship. We’re gonna go over that next week. We want to see the results first of the Paige VanZant-Rachael Ostovich and the Britain Hart-Jenny Paige fights,” Feldman said.

Ferea beat Hart in BKFC in 2019, while she defeated Ostovich at Invicta back in 2017.

Meanwhile, VanZant hopes for a knockout win against Ostovich Friday to redeem herself from a disappointing BKFC debut loss to Hart. A VanZant and Hart win at BKFC 19 will make the women’s division more interesting, with Ferea returning to the picture. A Ferea-Hart or Ferea-Ostovich rematch is also an intriguing possibility.

The BKFC 19 will air on FITE.TV (8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT) in addition to the BKTV APP for existing subscribers.

Advance tickets starting at $65 are now on sale through BKFC.com. The Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 US-301, Tampa, FL 33610. Doors will open on the night of the event at 7:00 p.m. ET, with the first bell at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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Paige VanZant out for redemption in BKFC 19 as Pedro Diaz beefs up her camp

With the addition of a world-renowned boxing trainer to her camp, Paige VanZant goes for a knockout in her second fight in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

VanZant is out to prove that her debut loss to Britain Hart was just a fluke when she fights Rachael Ostovich on Friday at the main event of the BKFC 19 at the Florida State Fairground in Tampa.

Vanzant has enlisted the services of Pedro Diaz, who has trained seven world boxing champions, including Miguel Cotto and Guillermo Rigondeaux. She’s splitting time with Diaz and at the American Top Team.

“I had an amazing training camp in Miami, Florida. Pedro Diaz will be in my corner. It’s been a great experience, and I’m really confident going into this one,” VanZant told Empire Sports Media on Wednesday.

VanZant is familiar with her second BKFC opponent. She has previously beaten Ostovich in the UFC two years ago via submission. While she has the mental edge and the BKFC experience, VanZant isn’t leaving anything to chance.

“Of course, I’m going to go for a knockout. But the most important thing is really for me to fight smart. That’s gonna get me the win,” VanZant said.

VanZant is coming to this fight with the momentum of her solid showing in the final two rounds against Hart, where she started to look comfortable with the new combat sport.

“I think it was just getting the experience of knowing what to expect, knowing how the fight is going to feel. There were a lot of changes coming from MMA, especially in terms of the style of fighting,” Vanzant said. “Hopefully, you’ll see a better boxer. That’s the plan.”

BKFC President David Feldman expects an explosive fight between the two women who are out to prove that this sport is for them. 

“People say it’s a rematch but it’s not really a rematch since it’s a different sport,” Feldman told Empire Sports Media. There’s a lot of storylines in this fight. And a lot of curiosity here.”

The VanZant-Ostrovich fight headlines a stacked BKFC 19 card that also includes Hart vs. Jenny Savage grudge match and the heavyweight fight between former BKFC heavyweight champion Arnold Adams (4-1) and the undefeated Michael Terrill (4-0), where the winner could have a shot at reigning champion Joey Beltran.

The BKFC 19 will air on FITE.TV (8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT) in addition to the BKTV APP for existing subscribers.

Advance tickets starting at $65 are now on sale through BKFC.com. The Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 US-301, Tampa, FL 33610. Doors will open on the night of the event at 7:00 p.m. ET, with the first bell at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

 

Paige VanZant and Rachel Ostovich to rematch at BKFC 19

Paige VanZant (8-5 MMA, 0-1 Bare Knuckle) will be making her second appearance for BKFC in July. Bare Knuckle announced that VanZant would be taking on BKFC newcomer Rachel Ostovich (4-6 MMA).

The matchup will be a part of a big card at BKFC 19 which takes place on July 23rd. For Ostovich, this is going to be her first Bare Knuckle Boxing matchup. BKFC signed the former UFC fighter earlier this year after the UFC let her go.

Ostovich made her octagon debut on The Ultimate Fighter and won her first UFC matchup at The Ultimate Finale. However, after that lone victory, Ostovich lost her next three fights inside the octagon. All three of those losses came via stoppage.

After those losses, the UFC let her go. However, she didn’t remain on the market long as BKFC swooped right in and signed her to a deal. Like VanZant, Ostovich is known more for her social media presence opposed to her actual fighting.

Nevertheless, it takes guts to get in there and compete especially in BKFC. This fight is actually a rematch from January 2019. That night, Ostovich lost to Paige VanZant by second round armbar.

PVZ – BKFC Take 2

When Paige VanZant signed with BKFC, it was massive news. Bare Knuckle was looking for a way to get into the main stream and they saw PVZ as their ticket with how popular she is.

Despite going just 1-3 in her previous four matchups in the UFC, BKFC signed VanZant to a lucrative multi-fight deal. PVZ made her BKFC debut against Britain Hart back on February 5th.

Much to the disappointment of the promoters, VanZant came up short against Hart. Hart looked much more fluid in there and was beating PVZ to the punch all night. Frankly, she just looked like the better boxer.

In her first fight against Ostovich, VanZant really showed off her skills on the ground. Of course, at BKFC 19, she’s not going to be able to use her ground skills. It’s not a die-hard fight fans dream, but you have to imagine there will be a lot of viewers on July 23rd.

BKFC: Hart eyes Savage grudge match but also wants to serve Ferea a ‘humble pie’

Just three weeks after her sensational win against former UFC star Paige VanZant in the main event of the BKFC KnuckleMania, Britain Hart is already back in training.

She’s hoping that her next fight would be for the title after her heart-stopping win against VanZant.

“I’m still on Cloud 9 obviously. I’m more motivated than ever that’s why I’m out here in Puerto Rico training. That [win] has changed my life,” Hart told Empire Sports Media via zoom call.

 While she hopes her next fight would be for the title, she’s also setting her sights on Jenny Savage, who made a scene during Hart’s KnuckleMania post-fight interview.

“After I won over [Randine] Eckholm in BKFC 14, I called Paige out and Paige took it the liberty to come to the ring with me, so I really think that anyone who has the guts and the courage to come to the ring and challenge me in the ring when I’m on my fight night deserves to lose to me,” Hart said.

“Jenny Savage came in and was pretty disrespectful coming to the ring on my main event moment. So honestly, I wanna say Jenny Savage is next. I gotta show her the same thing I had to show Paige. You don’t come to the ring with me on my fight night.”

The brewing rivalry between the two bare-knuckle boxers apparently started after Hart got the Paige VanZant fight which Savage also wanted.

It picked up steam when Savage made her BKFC debut last December with Hart as a guest fight commentator.

Hart said she went to Savage to congratulate her on her second-round stoppage of Sheena Starr at BKFC 15. She was complimentary of the Tennesee Gangster’s “really good overhand.” But Savage instead took offense and answered back: “That’s not my best punch. You haven’t seen my best punch yet.”

Hart-Ferea word war

BKFC President and CEO David Feldman earlier told Empire Sports Media that he’s also looking at a potential Hart-Christine Ferea rematch.

Ferea recently dismissed a Hart rematch.

“I just want whoever is next. I can’t say anybody specifically because I don’t know. Do I want Britain Hart? No, because I beat her. I know I’ll beat her again. I know she’s made some improvements. But she’s made improvements against people that are nothing close to my level. So I feel like she needs a little bit more time in order to catch up, to be able to have some chance in a fight with me,” Ferea told mymmanews.com recently.

Hart was visibly pissed upon learning Ferea’s comments and blew her top.

“It’s a ridiculous statement. Anybody could look at that Paige VanZant [fight]. Christine, I’m sorry to hate on you, like mad respect to you. The fact that I beat a UFC veteran, a UFC athlete who trains in the American Top Team, again on what level are you putting yourself on? Misfit isn’t undefeated in the BKFC. She’s beatable. Helen [Peralta] did it. The fact that she’s already saying she’s a level above fighters that come from the UFC and Bellator and other things like that, just shows where her mind is and her mind is not in the right place,” Hart said.

Hart said that she’s tired of Ferea’s flip-flopping statements and added that Ferea’s win against her isn’t convincing enough not to warrant a rematch.

“She’s flip-floppy. ‘One minute, I’m retiring from BKFC, and then the next minute, oh give me someone next. Britain Hart is the same fighter, Britain Hart has made improvements.’ I’m tired of her back-and-forth, wish-washy stuff. The rematch? Yeah for sure. Again, she didn’t knock me down. I never hit the canvass with her. I got a doctor’s stoppage with that cut under my eye. The fact that she even wants to say that’s a glorious knockout is just ridiculous. You don’t have to like me as a fighter and like her as a fighter,” Hart said.

Ferea holds a 3-1 record in the BKFC and was the first woman to win the Police Gazette title. Her lone loss came at the hands of Peralta in 2019 in what is considered to be one of the best BKFC fights of the year.

Ferea last saw action in September last year when she stopped Callie Cutler via second-round TKO. She stunned everyone when she announced on her Instagram last January that she’s retiring from BKFC.

But she was quick to come out of retirement and announced that she’d be fighting in May.

“I guess she’s just salty that she’s not the center of the attention and the limelight is not on her. So she’s gonna come up with any story she wants. She knows she does not want to fight me. Of course, she doesn’t want to fight me because I’m getting better. I just beat Paige VanZant. I don’t know what she’s on. She lost mad respect from me. I can’t respect someone who changes their statements. Be real. Be yourself. All her entitlement. If you want that humble pie and a wake-up call, then you got me. If you don’t want it, then we all know why,” Hart said.

Both are intriguing matches. But whichever BKFC decides to hold next, Hart is ready for it.

“We have big plans out here [in my training camp]. And when I get back to the US, I’ll train every day because I’m coming for that title. I’m coming for my redemption. I’m coming for anyone who steps in the ring and challenges me,” Hart boldly declared.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

BKFC mulls Britain Hart-Christine Ferea rematch

Britain Hart’s smashing win over former UFC star Paige VanZant in the BKFC KnuckleMania two weeks ago could line her up for a potential title fight — a rematch against Christine Ferea.

Hart’s first title shot ended in a split decision against Bec Rawlings in 2019. After scoring two straight victories, Hart believes she’s ready for another title shot.

No less than BKFC President and CEO David Feldman is intrigued by that potential rematch for the vacant featherweight title.

“[Britain] is calling for a title fight. She’s lost to Christine Ferea in the past. I think it will be a great rematch because she’s learned a lot about the sport more,” Feldman told Empire Sports Media. [Britain] is gritty. She’s tough and I think that could be a tough fight. It’s definitely something that we’re looking at right now.”

Hart lost to Ferea in both fighters’ second fight in the promotion back in 2019. A nasty cut in Hart’s left eye following a barrage of punches from Ferea forced a doctor’s stoppage in the second round.

Hart is eager to avenge that loss. But Ferea, who announced that she’d fight in May, isn’t keen on a rematch with Hart.

“I just want whoever is next. I can’t say anybody specifically because I don’t know. Do I want Britain Hart? No, because I beat her. I know I’ll beat her again. I know she’s made some improvements. But she’s made improvements against people that are nothing close to my level. So I feel like she needs a little bit more time in order to catch up, to be able to have some chance in a fight with me,” Ferea told mymmanews.com recently.

Another option for Hart is an immediate rematch with VanZant or a non-title fight against Jenny Savage, who called her out after her KnuckleMania win.

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Hart, Rawlings or somebody else? Feldman weighs in on Paige VanZant’s next BKFC fight

Paige VanZant isn’t going anywhere.

After a disappointing Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut, where she lost to Britain Hart via unanimous decision, VanZant isn’t backing down from the challenge of the new sport.

“Immediately after the fight, she said I want to do this again. That says a lot about her as a fighter. So we’re not looking to cut ties with the Paige VanZant brand at any time in the near future,” BKFC President and CEO David Feldman told Empire Sports Media.

The former UFC star looked tentative at the start of the fight, with Hart taking the action to her. But Feldman saw promising signs in the latter rounds that made him convinced VanZant has what it takes to become successful in the BKFC.

“She kinda came alive in the fourth and fifth round. And that was encouraging for me. She showed a lot of grit and determination, so we’ll probably bring her back in the summertime, early to mid-summer,” Feldman said. “She’s very interested in coming back.”

VanZant told Sirius XM show Knuckle Up Radio that she wants to get back into the BKFC ring in April.

Feldman, however, has yet to determine who will be her next opponent.

“We’ll have to sit down to talk about who’s next for her and who makes sense. She didn’t get fed any easy win her on her first fight. And it showed as she came out with a loss. It’s gonna be the same way moving forward. That’s how we’re building the sport,” Feldman said.

A rematch with Hart is on the table, but it depends on some variables, according to Feldman.

“It could be an option [Britain Hart rematch]. We’ll see if people will be intrigued by that. We’ll see what happens,” he said.

Another intriguing matchup could be against former BKFC champion Bec Rawlings who is now with Bellator. Rawlings, who lost to VanZant in UFC before, said back in December that she’s open for a rematch. In the same interview, she also added that VanZant would have a tougher time in BKFC than in UFC. And it showed in VanZant’s loss to one of Rawlings’ earlier victims in BKFC.

“That’s also an option (Bec Rawlings) as well as a couple of ladies. With Bec, she left on good terms. We have a good relationship, and there’s a strong possibility that she could be back, and that could be against Page,” Feldman said.

VanZant, however, isn’t too keen on a Rawlings rematch prior to her BKFC debut.

“Of course, she wants to fight me again. I knocked her out with a head kick the last time we fought. [I’m] really interested in fighting people who I haven’t fight yet or haven’t beaten. So if she wants to come back to BKFC, that’s totally fine, and if the matchup makes sense, but I’m in Bare Knuckle Boxing working my way in the division for a title. And I just don’t want to fight people because they want to call me out,” VanZant told Empire Sports Media ahead of her fight against Hart.

But after losing to Hart, VanZant could have a change of heart.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo