If you wanted further proof that the UFC's taste is confined solely to its mouth: the UFC Fight Night card on January 19th will feature a woman-beater and a victim of a brutal assault by her husband.
Speaking to ESPN, Dana White has today confirmed that former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy will make his debut at the UFC Fight Night card on January 19th in New York. In 2014, Hardy was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, and was sentenced to 18 months probation. He was also given a ten-game suspension by the NFL. The charges were later dropped on appeal after the victim failed to appear in court to testify. She is believed to have reached a civil settlement with Hardy.
After a brief return to football with the Dallas Cowboys, Hardy decided to throw his lot in with MMA, and pursued a professional career with the UFC. Now 3-0 after completing a 'development deal' with the UFC, White has confirmed that Hardy will make his full debut against Allen Crowder on January 19th. The contract has yet to be signed, White told ESPN, but is close to being finalised.
If it goes ahead, Hardy will appear on the same promotion as Rachael Ostovich, whose November 19th fight with Paige VanZant was postponed by two months to allow Ostovich to recover from injuries suffered in a brutal domestic assault.
Ostovich claims that her husband, Arnold Berdon, assaulted her at home on November 18th, leaving her with a broken orbital bone (eye socket) and a number of facial injuries. Her husband was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. He has pled not guilty and will return to court on December 18th.
Ostovich applied for a restraining order from Berdon, which has reportedly been granted by a judge and will be in effect for 20 years.
Ostovich has been cleared to fight VanZant at UFC Fight Night on January 19th, and has addressed why she believes it is important for her to return.
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.
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 quietened.
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.
In the UFC, it appears that domestic assault does not come between the dreams and careers of its perpetrators, either.