Rachael Ostovich was allegedly attacked by her husband recently in a domestic violence incident and it nearly cost her a spot on the UFC’s first event to air as part of its new blockbuster media deal with ESPN.
Ostovich had been scheduled to fight Paige VanZant at UFC on ESPN+ 1: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw on Jan. 19 in Brooklyn, but after she was rushed to the hospital following a domestic incident with her husband, the bout was temporarily derailed.
Doctors eventually cleared her to fight and it was something that she wanted more than anything, but then when it came to light that heavyweight Greg Hardy, who has a sordid past when it comes to domestic violence, was going to be on the same fight card, the critics came out hard and heavy against the UFC making such a move.
UFC president Dana White, when fielding questions about his company’s inconsideration in booking the two on the same fight card, insisted that he had addressed the matter with Ostovich and that she had wanted to fight on the card and didn’t care that Hardy would also be fighting at the same event.
“I called Rachael Ostovich and talked to her and walked her through this situation,” White said in an interview with TSN. “Her take on it was ‘his story isn’t my story, everybody’s story is different, and I believe in second chances, I have no problem fighting on the same card as this guy.’ He didn’t do anything to Rachael Ostovich.”
Ostovich on Monday backed White’s statements.
“I feel like (Dana) was some kind of uncle or something because he was very caring and nice about it,” Ostovich said on ESPN on Monday, insisting White was checking on her to make sure she was okay. “I saw an interview with another news reporter and everything he said was what I said. I know he gets a lot of heat about whatever, but there was no fishiness surrounding that thing. He was very concerned with my situation from the very beginning as well.
“I think he didn’t even wanted me to fight, actually. I actually convinced him and begged him to fight. I feel like he really genuinely cares.”
Ostovich reiterated that Hardy being on the fight card doesn’t really mean much to her.
“This had nothing to do with me and I’m focused on my fight. Nobody’s story is the same; nobody’s situation is the same. I have nothing to do with Greg Hardy. I’m just grateful to be fighting again and I believe in second chances,” said Ostovich.
“I’m glad he’s making a turnaround. I hope the same can happen for my husband and anybody else who has made a wrong choice.”