Rachael Ostovich is a fighter at heart.
That’s why the former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ competitor refused to bow out of her upcoming fight on Jan. 19 against Paige VanZant despite suffering through an assault that left her with a broken orbital bone and other injuries.
Ostovich was hospitalized and later released after she was allegedly attacked by her husband Arnold Berdon, who was arrested and charged with second degree felony assault.
Originally, Ostovich was forced out of her fight in January but she sought a second opinion to gain clearance so she could still compete in her next scheduled UFC matchup.
On Thursday, Ostovich spoke for the first time since the assault and explained why it was important for her to remain in the fight against VanZant despite what she’s going through in her personal life.
“Although this is a very difficult time for me and my family, I felt that this fight in January was important. 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,” Ostovich said when speaking to KHON2 in Hawaii. “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.
“I’m extremely grateful and blessed for my support system. My family, who has done so much for me and has kept me together and kept me strong. I feel like I have to do this. This is something that can’t be taken away from me. I want to use this big worldwide UFC platform to show people that don’t let anyone or anything come between you and your dreams and your career.”
Following the assault, Ostovich was granted a temporary restraining order that prevents Berdon from coming within 100-feet of his wife or their daughter.
Ostovich, who currently holds a 1-1 record in the UFC, will face VanZant in a flyweight matchup on the first ever UFC card on ESPN in January from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
VanZant was excited about their fight still being scheduled but also threw her support behind Ostovich as she deals with the domestic violence situation at home.
As for Berdon, he pled not guilty to the assault charges after posting $75,000 bail to be released from custody. He’s due back in court on Dec. 18.