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After such a big weekend for the state, Rachael Ostovich hopes the MMA world is no longer sleeping on the talent that Hawaii has produced.
Take this past weekend, for example. Although Hawaii has produced some notable names – former two-division UFC champ B.J. Penn is the most obvious one – the recent UFC doubleheader featured some fresh faces.
This past Saturday at UFC 218, for example, Hawaiian and reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) scored a third-round TKO victory over Jose Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC), and in a featured prelim, Hawaiian slugger Yancy Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) scored a stoppage win over lightweight Alex Oliveira (17-5-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC).
And a night prior at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, Invicta FC vet Ostovich (4-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made a successful UFC debut with a quick submission victory over Karine Gevorgyan (3-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who missed weight, in a 130-pound catchweight affair.
“I was lucky enough to share the weekend Yancy Medeiros and Max Holloway, and I feel like people are finally catching on that we’ve got some serious talent out here on the islands,” Ostovich, a quarterfinalist in the “TUF 26” tournament, recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “If they give us some attention, we can put on a show.
“There’s so much more talent out there. It’s really unbelievable how much talent we have just on our little island.”
Ostovich, who may have first come on some fans’ radar with her Wonder Woman-inspired fight gear while fighting for Invicta FC, is married to up-and-coming bantamweight Arnold Berdon (6-1), who headlines Victory FC 59 on Dec. 16.
The fact that so many Hawaiian fighters are hitting their stride at the same time may be no coincidence.
“I feel like we all want to represent our state, and we all want to do good,” said 26-year-old Ostovich, who credited her close-knit team for her TUF 26 Finale victory. “I feel like once we have that momentum going, we all feed off each other, working hard.
“We’re all being inspired by each other, and it shows in our fights.”
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.