Waianae’s Rachael Ostovich is speaking publicly for the first time since being hospitalized just under two weeks ago.
In this KHON2 exclusive report, the UFC flyweight provided an update on her current condition and her motivation for a quick return to competition.
The 27-year-old suffered a fractured orbital bone on Nov. 18, allegedly at the hands of her husband, mixed martial artist Arnold Berdon III.
Following the incident, Ostovich filed a petition for a temporary restraining order, and has since filed for divorce.
According to her management team, the injuries initially forced her out of a match that was scheduled for Jan. 19, 2019, against Paige VanZant.
However on Tuesday, her manager confirmed the once-canceled bout was back on after Ostovich received medical clearance that her injuries would heal in time for what is considered the most high-profile fight of her career.
An open investigation restricts her from speaking about the incident, but on Thursday, Ostovich explained to KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello her motivation as to why she intends to compete despite the injury.
“Although this is a very difficult time for me and my family, I felt that this fight in January was important. I felt that it was extremely important to me to follow through with it and not only for me but for my daughter and other people that might be going through similar situations,” she said. “I want to take a stand against domestic violence and show others that it’s okay to come out and speak about it and not be quieted.
“I’m extremely grateful and blessed for my support system. My family, who has done so much for me and has kept me together and kept me strong,” she added. “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.”
Ostovich, who has quickly become a fan favorite in the UFC, is 1-1 in her career and 4-4 overall.
She is currently limited in her training, but will move closer to full training camp in the coming days.
Her bout is part of the UFC on ESPN+1 card in Brooklyn, New York.
Meanwhile, Berdon has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree assault, and remains free after posting $75,000 bail.
He’s scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 18.