'We were both very relieved': Rachael Ostovich reveals hotel chat with Greg Hardy at UFC Brooklyn
Domestic violence victim and UFC fighter Rachael Ostovich looked to clear the air with fellow fighter - and alleged domestic abuser - Greg Hardy ahead of their bouts at UFC Brooklyn this Saturday.
The inclusion of Ostovich and Hardy on the same card, given their recent histories with alleged domestic violence offenses, led to criticism of the UFC from some quarters, who believed it was insensitive to include Ostovich, who suffered an alleged domestic abuse attack from her husband Arnold Berdon in November last year.
But, speaking to ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Ostovich revealed she actually pursued a meeting with Hardy at the fighter hotel in Brooklyn to clear the air with Hardy, a former NFL star who was thrown out of the Dallas Cowboys after being found guilty of assaulting an ex-girlfriend in 2014, but had his charges dropped after she failed to appear in court for the appeal.
"When the whole Greg Hardy incident popped up and flooded my phone and my life, it was weighing heavy on my heart that I've gotta reach out to this guy," she explained.
"I knew I was gonna see him, I knew I was gonna bump into him. This hotel is only so big and we're on the same card.
"I felt it was important for me to reach out to him and let him know that... I basically told him like: 'Hey, I have no negative feeling towards you. I hope that we can use both our situations - you on your side and me on my side - and work together and show anybody that you can come back and make a negative situation and turn it around for a positive one.'"
Ostovich explained that Hardy's reaction was "very genuine and gracious" ad that she "could just see the relief coming off of both of us."
Both Hardy and Ostovich have huge fights for their respective careers in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
Hardy faces Allen Crowder in the night's co-main event in his full UFC debut following a pair of devastating knockout wins on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Despite those wins, the UFC opted instead to sign him to a developmental deal and placed him in a tune-up fight outside of the organization to get him ready for the big show. And now he is ready to step up and fight in the octagon for the first time.
Ostovich, meanwhile, returns to action against Paige VanZant in what looks set to be a crowd-pleasing women's flyweight contest. And Ostovich said both fighters were happy and relieved to have had their impromptu meeting in the hotel to put any lingering awkwardness aside so they could both focus on their respective fights.
"He was very, very grateful," she said.
"I can't say, word-for-word, but we were both very relieved to speak to each other, face to face, and finally move forward."
And the Hawaiian, who joined the UFC after a stint on The Ultimate Fighter last year, said that while she's become a reluctant role model, she's happy to use her platform - and her situation - to help others.
"I'm hoping that through my life, through my struggles, that people can see that I'm just like them, and we can all relate to each other and help each other," she said.
"I have to use this platform. I'd be ignorant not to, to share my story and help anybody that's watching."Also on rt.com Who’ll hit the big time in The Big Apple? Four reasons to watch UFC Brooklyn