It looks like the UFC are beginning to load up for their first ever ESPN event. Following reports yesterday that the promotion were plotting to match Robbie Lawler against Stephen Thompson, it now appears they are working to add two popular flyweights to the card with Rachael Ostovich (4-4-0) set to face Paige VanZant (7-4-0).
Earlier today MMAFighting reported the news that the UFC were working on matching up the two flyweights for the promotions debut ESPN show early next year. According to their sources, both fighters have agreed to the contest but the UFC have not yet confirmed the fight, or the event.
27-year-old Hawaii native Ostovich has had mixed fortunes since making her UFC bow following an appearance on season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter. The popular flyweight kicked off her UFC career with a first round submission win over Karine Gevorgyan in her debut on the TUF 26 finale event and following that up with a third round submission loss to Montana De La Rosa at the TUF 27 finale seven months later.
With losses in her last to outings, VanZant finds herself in the midst of the first losing streak of her professional career, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Jessica-Rose Clarke in her debut at 125lbs. The 24-year-old suffered a broken arm during the opening round of her bout with Clarke and recently underwent her second arm surgery in an attempt to get back to full fitness. Surviving and competing for two full rounds with such a serious injury earned VanZant a significant amount of respect from both fans and colleagues alike, despite the decision not going her way.
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I have not lost my fire. I have not lost my drive. It burns brighter and stronger than ever before. I have been dealing with a broken arm and multiple surgeries for eight months now. I don’t post a lot about it and share it because it’s not a happy part of my life. It sucks. I go to the gym every day and have to sit on the side of the mat and watch. I leave every practice in tears because of anger and jealousy. The lord is teaching me patience now more then ever. I am going to fight again. I am going to win again. PVZ will return. Dont mistake my silence for weakness, no one plans a murder out loud.