“I have nothing to do with Greg Hardy,” Ostovich told ESPN. “I’m just grateful to be fighting again. I believe in second chances.”
UFC fighter Rachael Ostovich, who was allegedly attacked by her husband in an act of domestic voilence, said she is comfortable with Greg Hardy being on the same card for the UFC Fight Night 143 on Jan. 19.
Hardy, who spent six seasons in the NFL as a defensive lineman, was arrested in 2014 and found guily of assaulting a woman. His convinction was eventually expunged, but many have questioned how Ostovich feels about being on the same card nonetheless.
Ostovich was allegedly assaulted by her husband, professional MMA fighter Arnold Berdon, in November. The attack fractured the 27-year-old flyweight’s orbital bone and was initially followed by an announcement that she would not be able to participate in her Jan. 19 fight against Paige VanZant because of her injuries.
Berdon was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, but Ostovich told ESPN that she doesn’t believe her situation has anything to do with Hardy.
“Nobody’s story is the same, nobody’s situation is the same,” Ostovich said. “I have nothing to do with Greg Hardy. I’m just grateful to be fighting again. I believe in second chances. I’m glad he’s making a turnaround. I hope the same can happen to my husband and anyone else who has made a wrong choice.”
Ostovich was later cleared to participate in the upcoming fight in Brooklyn. She added that, especially after the attack, she felt like she had to fight.
“I had every reason to drop out, but this fight was so much bigger than just me and my problems,” Ostovich said. “I want to be able to inspire and motivate others. Show people that you can do whatever you set your mindset to. We all go through problems. Everyone goes through struggles like me, and maybe even worse. You can do whatever you set your mind to.”
UFC did ask Ostovich about Hardy’s inclusion on the card once she was cleared to fight, she added.
“[UFC president Dana White] was very caring and nice about it,” Ostovich told ESPN. “I know he gets a lot of heat, but there’s no fishiness surrounding that thing. He was very concerned with my situation from the very beginning. He didn’t even want me to fight, actually. I had to convince and beg him to let me fight.”
Ostovich enters the fight at 4–4 after a third-round submission to Montana De La Rosa in July.