UFC criticized for booking disgraced former NFL player Hardy’s debut on Rachael Ostovich card
Hardy, who recently transitioned to mixed martial arts when his NFL career ended in 2015, will make his official UFC debut on the organization’s television debut with ESPN+ on January 19, though some sections of the MMA media have questioned the UFC’s wisdom in booking Hardy to compete on the same card as Rachael Ostovich, who faces Paige VanZant at the same event.
Ostovich was initially pulled from the card last month after she suffered a damaged orbital (eye socket) in an attack by her husband at their Hawaii home, though she has since been reinstated to the card following medical tests.Also on rt.com 'He punched me repeatedly': UFC star Rachael Ostovich details alleged attack by her husband
Hardy, meanwhile, has fought three times as a professional - twice on ‘Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series’ - and is undefeated, with all his wins coming by knockout less than a minute into the contest.
He was signed to the full UFC roster earlier this year, a move which caused a public relations problem for the company following Hardy’s high profile legal incidents, which also includes an arrest for cocaine possession.
The signing of Hardy, along with placing him on this particular card, seems to be in conflict with the UFC’s previous statements regarding domestic violence.
When Nick Diaz was accused of domestic violence this year (for which he was later cleared, incidentally) the UFC released a statement saying that they view matters like this with extreme seriousness.Also on rt.com ‘I’m one of the world’s best athletes’: Controversial MMA fighter Greg Hardy dismisses ‘haters’
“Every athlete is deserving of due process and this situation, as with any official allegations, will be duly reviewed and thoroughly investigated by an independent party.”
The move has been described as short-sighted by several members of the media community.
Oh this is fantastic. @danawhite is going to put a convicted domestic abuser (still on probation for cocaine possession) on a card with Rachael Ostovich, who just had an orbital bone broken when she was punched by her husband.Fucking bang up job there, Captain Dumbass. https://t.co/0JJm9MhvqA— Suzanne Davis (@SoozieCuzie) December 5, 2018
Greg Hardy’s eventual UFC debut was always going to be controversial and met with heavy criticism. However, to debut him on the same card as Rachael Ostovich (on the first ESPN card, no less) is a dubious decision at best and incredibly tone-deaf. https://t.co/lqd8BYW9GA— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 5, 2018
UFC’s ESPN debut is a little over a month away. They are scrambling for big fights. They don’t have a main event yet. They are trying to move things around. I get all that. This wasn’t the move, though, on multiple levels.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 5, 2018
.@bokamotoESPN is reporting that Greg Hardy will make his UFC debut on the same Jan. 19 card that Rachael Ostovich will fight on. That’s incredibly poor judgment by the UFC and so easily avoidable.— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) December 5, 2018
The UFC are putting former NFL player Greg Hardy — who got 18 months probation for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2014 — on the same card as Rachael Ostovich, whose MMA fighter husband recently broke her eye socket. I’d say it’s unbelievable, only it’s not. https://t.co/RL0fRqGbNt— Gavan Casey (@GavanCasey) December 5, 2018
ESPN doesn't deserve a pass on this Hardy-Ostovich situation. UFC are the matchmakers and put together their own cards, fine, but even if the network didn't make their preferences known, now they can. They 'own' this event if it happens like this. If they care, time to speak up.— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 5, 2018