NEW YORK — When Rachael Ostovich enters the Octagon for her flyweight combat towards Paige VanZant at UFC Brooklyn on Saturday evening, she is aware of the bout might be larger than her.

After surviving a home violence incident by the hands of her husband, Arnold Berdon, in November, Ostovich is dedicating the combat to anybody who has skilled home violence in any type.

“After I combat, I am going to consider what I went by way of and what different folks around the globe have went by way of — related conditions or completely different,” Ostovich advised Sporting Information throughout the UFC Brooklyn media day within the monetary ballroom of the New York Marriott Downtown on Thursday. “Lots of people have been reaching out to me and sharing their tales with me, and, for me, that was, like, so touching and it’s therapeutic as properly. It makes me really feel like, ‘OK, I am not the one one going by way of these items.'”

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Ostovich made it a degree to drag Greg Hardy apart Wednesday for a fast dialog. The previous NFL player-turned MMA fighter, who was arrested in a infamous home violence assault towards his ex-girlfriend in Could 2014, is on the identical UFC Brooklyn card as Ostovich. Many criticized the UFC, calling it poor judgment, for placing Hardy on the identical card as Ostovich solely two months after she was assaulted. That mentioned, Ostovich needed to clear the air with him.

“I seen him within the foyer and we simply so occurred to cross paths,” Ostovich advised Sporting Information about her encounter with Hardy. “I already knew that I used to be going to stumble upon him. I figured, I see him proper now, let’s simply do it. Let’s simply join. I reached out to him like, ‘Hello, I’m Rachael. I simply needed to let you realize that there’s no, like, dangerous emotions or something destructive. No matter your story is, that’s your story.’ I mainly simply advised him that, ‘Perhaps we will use this to assist folks out of your finish and on my finish. Let’s work collectively on this.’ He was very gracious and really real. He was very grateful for me reaching out and simply squashing it proper there. As a substitute of letting it wait, simply getting it out earlier than the combat.”

Hardy spoke in regards to the assembly with Ostovich to a pool of reporters.

“We talked. She’s a beautiful individual. It simply was an expertise. I obtained to speak to an incredible fighter,” mentioned Hardy, who’s dealing with Allen Crowder in a heavyweight match. “I am glad I may very well be a part of this journey and eventually take away from the distraction, add to the gloriousness of this combat and her alternative as a result of I understand how laborious it’s to be right here.”

Friday marks precisely two months since Ostovich claims Berdon attacked her throughout a dispute at their Hawaii house. In Ostovich’s petition for a restraining order, which was obtained by TMZ Sports activities, the 27-year-old fighter said: “After an evening out with household, [Berdon] punched me repeatedly on the pinnacle, face, ribs, making me fall to the bottom.” She added that she suffered a “cracked orbital [bone]” because of the assault. In the identical petition, which was granted by the courtroom, Ostovich claimed that Berdon had bodily assaulted her up to now, citing a Could 2018 incident, as reported by TMZ Sports activities. Berdon was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.

In a separate recording taken Nov. 27 by a witness and obtained in December by Hawaii Information Now, Berdon allegedly yelled to Ostovich, “I will homicide you. I’m going to f—ing homicide you.”

Since bravely going public in regards to the state of affairs, Ostovich says she has acquired a deluge of messages from folks who’ve additionally skilled home violence.

“Somebody reached out to me and mentioned, ‘Thanks for being the voice. Thanks for utilizing your platform,'” Ostovich mentioned.

She added: “Those that actually pull at my coronary heart are those that say, ‘Hey, I am actually caught on this relationship, I can’t go away. I’ve a son, I’ve nobody to run to. I’ve no household.’ These are those that actually … simply eager about it makes me actually unhappy as a result of I actually really feel that, like, I get it. We obtained to search out that braveness and energy to drag ourselves out of these locations.”

Having gone by way of this making an attempt expertise, Ostovich says she feels an urgency to shed extra mild on home violence, not solely to symbolize fellow victims and survivors but in addition to empower them to maneuver on of their lives.

“I really feel prefer it’s virtually my accountability to convey consciousness to this. For those who’re nonetheless caught in one in every of these sort of relationships and also you wish to get out, ensure you have the fitting help system round you,” she mentioned along with her father simply a few toes from her facet. “Be robust — it’s laborious, however it may get so a lot better a 12 months from now, a few months from now. Simply pray about it. You’re going to get by way of it.”

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“I may say it’s very empowering [representing people who have experienced DV],” she continued. “I undoubtedly really feel like I solely know my story and what I’ve been by way of. I’d love to make use of a destructive state of affairs and switch it right into a optimistic one.”

Ostovich (4-4) fought in two separate “The Final Fighter” finales the previous two years — incomes a submission win over Karine Gevorgyan in December 2017 earlier than struggling a submission loss to Montana De La Rosa in July 2018 — to achieve this level of preventing on UFC’s debut on ESPN+.

Having endured what she has, Ostovich realizes how emotional a win over VanZant (7-4) could be.

“Profession-wise, it’s apparent what a win would do. Personally, oh, my goodness — I’m an enormous crybaby — I’ve quite a lot of emotions. However I feel I’d simply, oh, my goodness, I solely can think about successful, truthfully,” she mentioned. “I really feel like being right here, I’ve already gained. The enjoyment that brings me and the energy, I really feel resilient proper now. I can solely thank the Lord up above and the household I’ve round me to assist me get so far.

“A win, after all I am engaged on some self-healing right here …” she continued. “I am certain {that a} win will assist with that.” {
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