Rachael Ostovich on sharing card with Greg Hardy: 'I believe in second chances'

Ostovich on Greg Hardy: 'I believe in second chances' (2:03)

MMA fighter Rachael Ostovich, who suffered significant injuries during an alleged assault by her husband, professional MMA fighter Arnold Berdon, reacts to being on the same UFC card as Greg Hardy. (2:03)

UFC flyweight Rachael Ostovich, who fights on Jan. 19 in Brooklyn, New York, told ESPN on Monday that she is comfortable with Greg Hardy competing on the same card.

"Nobody's story is the same, nobody's situation is the same," Ostovich said on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show. "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, 27, suffered a fractured orbital bone during an alleged assault by her husband, professional MMA fighter Arnold Berdon, in November. He was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. Ostovich's management initially announced she would not fight Paige VanZant on Jan. 19 because of her injuries, but she later was cleared to do so.

Hardy, a former NFL defensive lineman, was arrested and found guilty of assaulting a woman in 2014 by a judge in a bench trial. His conviction eventually was expunged.

Ostovich said the UFC asked her about Hardy's inclusion on the card after the promotion decided to put him on it. UFC president Dana White told TSN last month that he had spoken to Ostovich before booking Hardy.

Ostovich also said the UFC initially did not want her competing on the card but later came around to the idea after she pushed for it.

"[White] was very caring and nice about it," Ostovich said. "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."

The Honolulu native is 4-4 professionally. She is coming off a third-round submission loss to Montana De La Rosa in July.

VanZant has been part of the UFC since 2014. She has dropped three of her past four bouts, most recently a unanimous decision to Jessica-Rose Clark in January 2018.

Ostovich called the VanZant matchup "the biggest fight of my career" and said there was no way she was backing out of it.

"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."