Rachael Ostovich on fighting on same card as Greg Hardy: I believe in 2nd chances
27-year-old UFC flyweight Rachael Ostovich suffered a fractured orbital bone on 11/18/2018, allegedly at the hands of her husband, fighter Arnold Berdon III. Ostovich was granted a temporary restraining order, and has since filed for divorce. She was withdrawn from a fight vs. against Paige VanZant at UFC on ESPN+ 1 on 1/19, but ultimately decided to fight on, explaining to KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello that, "I felt that it was extremely important to me to follow through with it and not only for me but for my daughter and other people that might be going through similar situations. I want to take a stand against domestic violence and show others that it's okay to come out and speak about it and not be quieted."
Then the UFC announced that former Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Hardy would make his league debut on the same card.
Hardy missed most of the 2014 season due to an alleged assault incident involving a former girlfriend and a bed covered with firearms. The woman said he told her all the weapons were loaded, and that he “threatened to shoot me if I went to the media or reported his assaults to anyone.” She estimated between 25 and 30 guns, including “AK-47s, automatic-looking weapons, shotguns, rifles, and pistols.”
Hardy was found guilty by a North Carolina judge, but following procedure in that state asked for a jury trial. The case was dismissed when the alleged victim did not appear.
There was widespread outcry when Hardy, a man found guilty of domestic violence, only to see it overturned on a quirky law, was put on the same card as a victim of domestic violence. However, after saying she wished the media would drop further coverage of her attack, Ostovich appeared recently on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, and said she learned about the booking on the social network, and what she eventually felt.
“I remember waking up to all kinds of stuff on Twitter wondering, ‘What is this, what in the world?’ I really didn’t look into it too much because I was busy dealing with my own thing, my daughter and life goes on," she said, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. I started getting calls and people reached out to me."
"This has nothing to do with me. I am focused on my fight, on my ... nobody’s story is the same and no one’s situation is the same. I have nothing to do with Greg Hardy and I am just grateful to be fighting again.”
“I believe in second chances. I am glad he’s making a turnaround and I hope the same can happen for my husband and anybody else who has made a wrong choice. I’ve made wrong choices and I was able to come back from those kinds of things. We’ve all been, you know, not on our best behavior. For some people, they get caught or whatever may be. I don’t know his situation, I only know mine so I can’t speak on it.”
Ostovich also referred to UFC president Dana White as a compassionate "uncle" who sought out her input on fighting on the same card as Hardy, and generally commended White for his handling of the situation.