The UFC decision-makers have made a few strange calls in the past, but the news that Greg Hardy would be competing on the same card as Rachael Ostovich really angered the MMA community.
Ostovich has been in the headlines a lot over the past number of weeks. The UFC flyweight was allegedly attacked by her husband, Arnold Berdon, an attack that left her with a broken orbital bone and coughing up blood.
The Hawaii based fighter was subsequently pulled from her January 19 fight with Paige VanZant, however, after seeking a second opinion she was deemed medically fit to compete on the ESPN debut card.
Ostovich won the hearts of MMA fans around the world last week when she publicly stated that she chose to fight on the card for all those women out there who have suffered at the hands of domestic abuse.
“Although this is a very difficult time for me and my family, I felt that this fight in January was important,” Ostovich told KHON.
“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.”
It is an extremely positive way to approach, what is a horrible situation, so it made no sense whatsoever when news broke that the UFC would be handing an official debut to Greg Hardy, the man who was alleged to have beaten his ex-girlfriend and was subsequently thrown out of the NFL.
“Yeah, absolutely. He’s going to be tied to that for the rest of his career, the rest of his life. This is a guy who has spent the last five years rehabilitating himself from drugs, alcohol, anger management, you name it. Rebuilding his life when it hit rock bottom.” White TSN Sports.
“He lost his job and he’s building a family now, he has a son and a daughter. He’s trying to put that behind him.
“First of all, I called Rachael Ostovich and talked to her and walked her through this situation, and her take on it was, ‘His story isn’t my story, everybody’s story is different and I believe in second chances, I’ve no problem fighting on the same card as this guy. He didn’t do anything to Rachael Ostovich’, so, she was totally cool with it.”
Whether Ostovich was ‘cool’ with it or not, it is still a strange decision to make given the circumstances and one that left a lot of fans bemused.
Dana White discusses the decision to have Greg Hardy compete on January 19th, the same card as Rachael Ostovich, a recent victim of domestic violence.
White has spoken to Rachael since Hardy was added to hear her feelings on it. Hardy will remain on the card despite the backlash pic.twitter.com/6EHMIXS9lm
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 6, 2018