Friday, August 12, 2022

Rachael Ostovich Forges Bond With Greg Hardy

Tomorrow at UFC’s first ESPN event, UFC Brooklyn, Rachael Ostovich will be making her Octagon return and hope to turn the page on what was a harrowing 2018 when she squares off against Paige VanZant on the event’s main card. But there is another fighter who has been attached to this fight in terms of public rumblings, and that is Greg Hardy, who will be making his UFC debut against Allen Crowder.

In 2014, Greg Hardy was found guilty for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, and Rachael Ostovich was recently involved in a domestic violence incident with her husband Arnold Berdon this past November. And while Rachel Ostovich’s insistence on moving forward with her life only two months after the alleged assault is inspirational, many believed the placement could have been handled better by the UFC, with the optics of Ostovich and Hardy being on the same card giving room for pause. For Rachael Ostovich, however, she never saw what the big deal was.

“From the day my incident occurred until now, every day it’s been a new thing,” Ostovich told MMA Fighting at the UFC on ESPN+ media day Thursday. “But the Greg Hardy one was a big one. I was like, why is this blowing up? What is going on in the world? It was so weird.

“I was trying to do my research via Twitter — probably not the best — but I was like, OK, I have no control over this. This is not my card. Bottom line is I’m happy to be here, happy to be on the card. It doesn’t bother me at all, because I have my own situation. My own problems that I’m dealing with.”

The scrutiny the UFC received for placing Rachael Ostovich and Greg Hardy on the same card for the promotion’s ESPN debut has had its effects on Ostovich, and it led to a friendly first encounter between the two athletes ahead of Saturday’s event.

“I approached him because it had been weighing on my heart ever since it got brought up in the news,” Ostovich said. “I kept thinking, we’re fighting on the same card. I’m going to see him eventually. I’m not the type that wants things to be awkward, I wanted to get it out of the way. So I seen him and I was like, I have to go say hi to him, I knew I had to.

“I said, ‘Hi, I’m Rachael, it’s nice to meet you. I just want you to know that there’s no negative feelings between me and you, that the media can say this and that and blow it out of proportion.’

“I told him, hey, let’s use this and work together. Let’s turn these negative issues into positives on both ends. And I feel like that’s the best thing we can do. If more people focused on that, it would be a lot better. He was very genuine, very gracious. I felt like he was grateful that I came up to him, and I felt like the relief was off of both of our shoulders.”

Do you believe that the controversy of Greg Hardy and Rachael Ostovich sharing the same card has been blown out of proportion?

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