Jessica-Rose Clark Bests Paige VanZant In St. Louis

Jessica-Rose Clark Bests Paige VanZant In St. Louis

VanZant, who is well known outside the octagon for being on the American version of Dancing with the Stars, isn't focusing on Clark. VanZant's bid for a strawweight title shot had stalled with losses in two out of three showings, and she hoped jumping into a new division would provide a fresh start.

Jessica-Rose Clark overcame a traumatic week to defeat Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night 124 on Sunday night in St. Louis. Dealing with a robbery and killing of her cat by those behind the crime, "Jessy Jess" would have to shake off distractions outside the cage.

It occurred after the 30-year-old Queenslander had left for St Louis, where she will contest just her second UFC bout. She then followed up with a jump kick, then a spinning elbow. Clark took a more traditional approach, getting her hands going. The pair clashed, with Clark landing a counter right. As quickly as VanZant escaped, Clark grabbed hold of her legs and brought her back to the canvas, this time taking top position in VanZant's half guard and again looking for the head-and-arm choke.

Clark, who improved her UFC record to 2-0, dominated the first two rounds with her grappling against VanZant.

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"Maybe it's because I'm young in my career, but I need my coaches to focus on me to see where I'm growing, to see what works for me and to see what I'm improving on and I feel like I didn't have that". However that scramble led to another takedown. Paige initially sat down in it, but unleashed some punches to the head of Clark, surviving the round but down on the scorecards.

After telling her corner she broke her right arm in the first round, VanZant gamely returned to the centre of the cage for the third round that occurred nearly exclusively on the feet. Another high kick landed shortly after.

VanZant, however, was able to struggle out and put Jessica on her back, but unfortunately, she ended up in Clark's triangle. A failed judo throw lands Clark on top of VanZant on the ground.

Clark kept the hold on, although she was on the wrong side of VanZant's body to effectively finish the fight.