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).
Fans hoping to see UFC flyweight Paige VanZant (7-4-0) return to action in the near future will have to wait a little longer after the popular flyweight confirmed that she won’t be making an appearance in the octagon any time soon.
VanZant took to Instagram last night to share the disappointing news that her surgery to repair the break in her right arm had not been successful and that further surgical intervention is required.
“Arm Update – I unfortunately and sadly have to inform all of my fans who have been standing by my side that my arm surgery has failed. For whatever reason my bone is still totally broken in my arm and shows no sign of healing or progression. All that we can guess is that I went back to training too quickly and didn’t give my arm the proper time to heal without any motion. This is the downfall of athletes, pushing through pain when they should not. I will be going in for another more serious surgery next month where they will take bone fragments from my hip to fill the break and put another bigger plate in. I will take the time off to heal this go around. I will be back in the UFC and I will fight many more fights in the future. Send some prayers up for me for my recovery. Thank you.”
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❗️Arm Update❗️ I unfortunately and sadly have to inform all of my fans who have been standing by my side that my arm surgery has failed. For whatever reason my bone still is totally broken in my arm and shows no sign of healing or progression. All that we can guess is that I went back to training too quickly and didn’t give my arm the proper time to heal without any motion. This is the downfall of athletes, pushing through pain when they should not. I will be going in for another more serious surgery next month where they will take bone fragments from my hip to fill the break and put another bigger plate in. I will take the time off to heal this go around. I will be back to the UFC and I will fight many more fights in the future. Send some prayers up for me for recovery. Thank you.
VanZant picked up the injury against Jessica-Rose Clarke at UFC St Louis in January. Speaking on her Instagram account after the fight, the 24-year-old confirmed that she suffered a broken arm when throwing a spinning back fist during the first round. VanZant went on to lose the contest by unanimous decision but received praise from the majority of the MMA community for the heart she showed in fighting for more than two full rounds with a broken arm.
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Well… I broke my arm in the first! I was able to finish the fight but as you can see, had a hard time recovering and throwing my right. Thank you to the @ufc and to my opponent. Thank you to my coaches and most importantly my head coach’s @therealburkecamp and @fabianoscherner . I’ll be back better and stronger than ever! 💪🏼🦁 it’s all apart of the fight game. God had other plans for me. 🙏🏼 darn spinning back fist.
The loss to Clarke leaves VanZant with just one win in her last four appearances, after a promising start which saw the former strawweight begin her UFC career with three consecutive victories.
A controversial weigh in attempt unfortunately overshadowed a near picture perfect trip to Rio de Janeiro for grappling ace Mackenzie Dern at UFC 224. She secured her second UFC victory and remained undefeated in her professional career after submitting Amanda Cooper in the opening round of their catchweight contest.
Initially, both women were slated to compete in a three round strawweight clash until Friday morning, with decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Dern, stepping onto the scales weighing an astonishing 7lbs higher than the strawweight limit at 123lbs. Arizona born Dern subsequently gave up 30% of her fight purse to Cooper and the contest was allowed to go ahead.
Mackenzie showed an obvious striking improvement from her flat footed, stiff and rudimentary display against Ashley Yoder. Part way through the contest, Dern ducked under a shot from Cooper throwing a big overhand right, setting up the eventual submission victory. Diving straight into mount, Mackenzie began raining down ground and pound, forcing “ABC” to her back, where she secured both hooks and locked up a vice like rear-naked choke. After some resistance, Cooper relinquished her pride and tapped in a timely fashion. So, what’s next for the BJJ player? Here are some legitimate options below.
Move to flyweight: Regardless of her next opponent Mackenzie Dern, in my opinion, should seriously consider a return to her former home of flyweight. Dern originally competed at 125lbs against Mandy Polk during her time in Legacy Fighting Alliance, argueably looking her most impressive and comfortable to date in her early MMA career.
According to the 25 year-old, her diet for this fight against Cooper led to her overall weight-cut mishap, and a combination of missed flights and careless nutrition resulted in a 7lbs discrepancy. Realistically, unless Dern hires a reputable nutritionist, a move to flyweight is a realistic possibility. Three failed weight cuts only furthers her need for a move in weight division.
A fight with Paige VanZant: As above, a move to flyweight is more than likely on the horizon for Dern, especially under a UFC demand due to her potential future in the sport and her marketing prospects. A meeting with the recently struggling, but still game Paige ’12 Gauge’ VanZant is truly a prospect versus prospect match up, something hugely marketable for the promotional side of the UFC. Paige is already a notable figure due to her appearance on Dancing With The Stars and her enormous social media following – pairing her alongside the talented Dern furthers both of their pedigrees.
VanZant is a legitimate striker, evident from her stoppages of Kailin Curran and Bec Rawlings. A meeting with Dern represents an opportunity to snap a two fight slide which includes decision defeats to Aussie Jessica Rose-Clark, and a rear-naked choke defeat to Michelle Waterson. A potential victory over VanZant gives Mackenzie a legitimate big name win, the biggest of her naive run to date.
A fight with Angela Hill: If Dern decides to bring a reputable nutritionist into her team come fight camp time, a stay at strawweight should be met with an opportunity to crack the top 15. A former champion, Angela Hill would be a great shout for all parties involved. The former Invicta FC best is a dangerous Muay Thai practitioner, so she obviously give’s grappling ace Dern her toughest test to date in terms of striking exchanges. The classic striker versus grappler bout also allows Hill to build on her unanimous decision win over Maryna Moroz and halt the progression of a promising up rise.
Whatever arises next for Dern, the UFC’s marketing machine must be careful not to throw a hugely promising, bilingual star away in search of a quick buck (unfortunately something that has become somewhat of a norm in this era of mixed-martial arts).