Rachael Ostovich has broken her silence. And it seems like she will continue to speak up about what she’s currently going through.
The UFC flyweight told KHON in Hawaii that she wants to use her popularity in MMA to be a voice for those who might be going through the same thing as her. Ostovich was allegedly attacked by her husband Arnold Berdon, also an MMA fighter, earlier this month. Berdon is currently facing a charge of second-degree assault, a felony in their native Hawaii.
Ostovich, 27, said she wanted to remain in her scheduled fight with Paige VanZant at the UFC’s inaugural show on ESPN+, set for Jan. 19 in Brooklyn, because she believes it will be significant for others and not just her.
“Although this is a very difficult time for me and my family, I felt that this fight in January was important,” Ostovich told the television station. “I felt that it was extremely important to me to follow through with it — not only for me, but first 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 OK to come out and speak about it and not be quieted.
“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.”
Berdon, 27, pleaded not guilty earlier this week at his arraignment in Honolulu District Court. He is due back in front of a judge for a preliminary hearing Dec. 18.
Ostovich is accusing him of punching her repeatedly — in the head, face and ribs, causing her to cough up blood and fall to the ground following an argument at their home, per a TMZ report. Ostovich was taken to the hospital after the incident, which happened in the early morning hours of Nov 18, and treated for a broken orbital bone, per the Honolulu Police Department.
Ostovich filed for and was granted a temporary restraining order against Berdon last week. He cannot be within 100 feet of Ostovich or her daughter until the order expires May 18, 2019. Ostovich wrote in the petition, per TMZ, that Berdon had abused her in the past.
Initially, Ostovich’s SuckerPunch Entertainment management team announced that she would be out of the fight with VanZant in the immediate aftermath of the alleged attack. But Tuesday, her manager Brian Butler-Au said the bout was back on after Ostovich was cleared in a follow-up doctor appointment.
“Rachael went for a follow up [Tuesday] and due to the position of the injury and how it’s healing, the doctors have cleared her and she will be more than healed up in time for this fight,” Butler-Au said in a statement. “She had her eyes and heart set on this fight and never wanted to pull out of it.”
Berdon’s family told TMZ that he has claimed that he was defending himself in the incident. A request for comment to Berdon’s attorney David Hayakawa was not returned.