Dana White has addressed the booking of Greg Hardy on the same card as recent domestic violence victim Rachael Ostovich.
While it turned plenty of heads among MMA fans, UFC President Dana White has come to the defense of the promotion’s booking blunder at UFC Brooklyn. That, of course, would be the placement of Greg Hardy — once convicted on two counts of domestic violence, later overturned on appeal when the victim failed to testify — on the same card as Rachael Ostovich, a recent victim of domestic violence, allegedly at the hands of her husband.
Reporters at the UFC 231 press conference in Toronto this week were reportedly asked to focus only on the weekend’s card, quite likely in an attempt at damage control. That led to the Mixed Martial Arts Journalists Association releasing a statement Wednesday night protesting what amounted to censorship of the press (disclaimer: several writers with this outlet are members of the MMAJA).
On Thursday, White spoke to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, giving his side of the story.
“I called Rachael Ostovich and talked to her and walked her through this situation,” White told Bronsteter. “And her take on it was, ‘his story isn’t my story. Everybody’s story is different, and I believe in second chances. I have no problem fighting on the same card as this guy.’”
White would later defend the booking by adding that Hardy “didn’t do anything to Rachael Ostovich. She was totally cool with it. Obviously, having her support was a key factor in making that decision.”
Whether or not Ostovich was informed before or after news of the booking broke is another matter. As is how ESPN is viewing the situation, given the show in question is the UFC’s first on their network.
That said, Ostovich backed up her boss on the subject, in a message later sent to Bronsteter. The TSN personality shared her comments on social media.
A message that I received from @rachaelostovich regarding Dana White's comments from earlier today on her and former NFL player Greg Hardy competing on the same card next month. pic.twitter.com/3THZ50gEpR
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 6, 2018