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LAS VEGAS – It’s been an emotional ride for Rachael Ostovich.
Ostovich (4-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) needed only 100 seconds to tap fellow “The Ultimate Fighter 26” castmate Karine Gevorgyan (3-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at Friday’s TUF 26 Finale. The weight of such a remarkable UFC debut was certainly not lost on the flyweight, who broke down in tears almost immediately after locking in the fight-ending armbar.
Backstage, the elated Ostovich elaborated on just what it meant to get her hand raised at Las Vegas’ Park Theater.
“Right when I saw her tapping – it’s just the realisation,” Ostovich told reporters after the women’s flyweight bout. “Everything just falling into place. All the hard work. All those tears of joy were just, basically – you’re going to make me cry again.
“I was just really happy to come out on the good side of things. After the craziness that went on in my personal life. It was just a really good feeling.”
Speaking to Daniel Cormier in the octagon immediately after the preliminary card bout, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass, Ostovich talked about the “fight before the fight.” And what does that mean, exactly? Well, Ostovich explains, a number of things.
“It can take a toll on you, being a wife, being a mom, being a fighter,” Ostovich said. “Sometimes it just gets really overwhelming – life, obviously.”
In fact, Ostovich’s emotional rollercoaster kept on going until pretty much the last minute. The night before the bout, at the TUF Finale 26 official weigh-ins, her opponent came in way over the flyweight limit. The miss was big enough that, at first, Ostovich had her concerns as to whether the bout could go on.
“At one point there was – something about the commission in Nevada, there’s a rule that you can’t be five and a half (pounds) over,” Ostovich said. “That was in the air, and I was really really upset because I had a big crew that flew in here for me.
“My family are all very very supportive, I’m so grateful. And that was what was laid on the table. I’m grateful we were able to work something out. She lost that extra (half-pound) and the fight was on.”
The bout, as we know, went on. And Ostovich, who got 30 percent of Gevorgyan’s purse, says she would have taken it regardless. Which is not to say she’s totally OK with her opponent’s slip-up.
“For me, weight is something that I take very seriously,” Ostovich said. “Because I have struggled with it in the past. So, when it’s time to make weight, we’re in the UFC. We should be professional. We should all be coming in at weight. Or under. I take this very serious. I don’t think there’s any excuse to being five pounds, five and a half over in your first UFC fight. It kind of just made me a little insulted.
“This is my dream. So that’s how I felt. Her being overweight – I’m not worried about her being heavy. I would fight her if she was 150, I really don’t care. But just in that aspect, I felt it was kind of disrespectful.”
To hear from Ostovich, check out the video above.