TUF 26 Finale winner Rachael Ostovich wants Hawaii to get its MMA props

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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.”

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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.

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Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2577 with Rashad Evans, Rachael Ostovich

Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Rashad Evans and Rachael Ostovich.

Evans, who is on the FS1 desk for UFC Fight Night 123 this weekend, called into the show to break down the card and talk about what’s next for him. Ostovich, who is coming off of a win over Karine Govorgyan at this past weekend’s TUF 26 Finale card, unpacked her experiences from fight night and her time spent on Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Rachael Ostovich on emotional UFC debut win: 'Everything falling into place'

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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.

And for complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale results: Rachael Ostovich ground game too much for Karine Gevorgyan

LAS VEGAS – While Karine Gevorgyan (3-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) looked dangerous on the feet early, Rachael Ostovich (4-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) overwhelmed her on the floor shortly after and scored a first-round submission win.

The women’s flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s TUF 26 Finale event at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FS1.

Gevorgyan was the more aggressive fighter on the feet to start the contest, so Ostovich quickly elected to take the action to the floor. Gevorgyan alertly threatened with an armbar, forcing a scramble that allowed her to return to the feet. However, she quickly discovered she was not out of trouble.

Once standing, Ostovich moved immediately to the back and began looking for a rear-naked choke. Gevorgyan defended well and was able to escape out the back door, briefly holding a dominant position. But Ostovich quickly secured the wrist and attacked with the armbar, earning a quick tap once in position at the 1:40 mark of the round.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 26 Finale results include:

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens by immediately jumping into weigh-ins for the third quarterfinal matchup, which pits #2 Barb Honchak of Team Alvarez against #10 Rachael Ostovich of Team Gaethje.

At the weigh-in, Honchak and Ostovich come in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. A respectful staredown follows, and the first quarterfinal tournament bout is official.

Fight day arrives. Honchak and Ostovich head to the TUF gym for their fight. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs, including head coached Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje, before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

#2 Barb Honchak (10-2) vs. #10 Rachael Ostovich (3-3)

Round 1 – Honchak is tentative with her strikes early on as Ostovich moves around the octagon. Both fighters exchange, but nothing lands clean. Ostovich connects with a counter-left. Honchak is beginning to land with her punches but Ostovich is avoiding her big shots. Honchak initiates a clinch and presses Ostovich against the fence. She works on a trip takedown but Ostovich fends her off and lands a hard right hand on the break. Honchak shoots for a single leg takedown and manages to put Ostovich on the mat. Ostovich gives up her back, stands up and escapes to freedom. Ostovich lands an uppercut, right hand combination and is beginning to gain confidence. Honchak shoots for another single leg takedown, but Ostovich denies the initial entry and keeps her opponent away until the end of the round.

Round 2 – Ostovich lands a right hand to open the round, but Honchak doesn’t appear to be phased. They exchange and Honchak lands a clean punch. Ostovich connects in the midst of a combination but Honchak charges forward with a takedown attempt. She briefly puts the fight on the ground but Ostovich stands right back up. Honchak keeps the pressure on and takes Ostovich down again. Ostovich gives up her back and Honchak begins to work for a rear-naked choke. She gives up on it and throws strikes, but provides enough space that Ostovich can stand up. Honchak forces the fight back to the mat and takes the back once again. Honchak is riding the position and landing more strikes while working for the finish. Honchak continues to dominate the spot until the end of the round.

Barb Honchak def. Rachael Ostovich via unanimous decision

“That title feels attainable,” Honchak says after her victory. “It feels like I’m getting close to what I’m here for.”

Focus immediately shifts to the fourth and final quarterfinal matchup, which pits #6 Montana Stewart against fellow Team Gaethje fighter, #14 Nicco Montano.

At the weigh-in, Stewart and Montano come in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. A respectful staredown follows, and the first quarterfinal tournament bout is official.

Fight day arrives. Stewart and Montano head to the TUF gym for their fight. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

#6 Montana Stewart (7-4) vs. #14 Nicco Montano (3-2)

Round 1 – Both fighters miss big with early shots but begin to settle into proper striking range. Stewart catches a kick from Montano and attempts to get a takedown, but Montano denies her entry. Stewart pushes her opponent against the fence and is working to put the fight on the canvas. Montano reverses the position before breaking free, and matchup returns to striking range. Montano lands a solid leg kick and Montano fires back a hard right hand. Montano is using good movement while mixing in kicks. Stewart is applying pressure and looking to land heavier shots. Both fighters land during a clinch exchange. Montano sticks Stewart with a hard right hand and is now the one controlling the pace. Montano nearly slips on a takedown and Stewart looks to capitalize. Montano springs back to her feet while Stewart attempts to move the fight to the mat again. Montano shows stellar defense, avoiding takedowns form the clinch and landing hard knees to the body and head of her opponent. A massive cut opens on Stewart’s forehead and that only encourages Montano to pour on more strikes from the clinch until the end of the round.

Round 2 – Montano continues to apply the pressure as the round begins, attacking Stewart with punches and kicks to the body. Montano counters with a solid right hand and starts to pressure with her open attacks. Montano shoots for a takedown but Stewart locks on a tight guillotine that has Montano in danger. Montano stays calm and maneuvers into side control. Montano attacks with short shots and Stewart is gushing blood. Montano postures up and is connecting clean from inside the guard against an exhausted Stewart. Stewart is desperately attempting to roll into a better position but Montano is riding her hard from on top and connecting with heavy shots. Stewart attempts to stand up but eats a crushing elbow in response. Stewart attempts to isolate an arm but Montano won’t give up an inch and is completely dominating the action. Stewart is doing everything she can to stand up and finally goes. She eats a pair of knees to the head for her troubles and her face is completely coated with blood. Montano finally breaks free of the clinch, but she has nothing left in the final seconds before time expires.

Nicco Montano def. Montana Stewart via unanimous decision

“I felt awesome,” Montano says after her victory. “I have one more week left here in the TUF house. If I can keep on keeping on until the end, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

With Montano’s victory, the tournament semifinal matchups are now set and will unfold as follows:

Bracket A

  • #1 Roxanne Modafferi (Team Gaethje) vs. #12 Sijara Eubanks (Team Alvarez)

Bracket B

  • #2 Barb Honchak (Team Alvarez) vs. #14 Nicco Montano (Team Gaethje)

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 7 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 7 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with UFC President Dana White making a surprise visit to the TUF house, much to the excitement of the athletes.

White shows his special edition BMW to Lauren Murphy and a few other cast members. He also tours the house and interacts with all the fighters from both teams. He provides some words of encouragement to the fighters as the competition nears its midway point.

Focus shifts to fight preparation for the seventh opening-round tournament bout, which pits No. 7 Melinda Fabian of Team Alvarez and No. 10 Rachael Ostovich of Team Gaethje.

Fabian has been dealing with injury issues to her leg in the lead-up to her fight. She’s attempting to tweak and minimize her training in the final days before she steps in the octagon. Coach Eddie Alvarez attempts to keep Fabian confident and says he views her as the best striker in the competition.

Ostovich is aware her striking is likely a level below that of Fabian, but coach Justin Gaethje believes Ostovich’s background in judo and wrestling will be a huge difference-maker.

At the weigh-in, Fabian and Ostovich come in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. A friendly staredown follows, and the seventh opening-round tournament bout is official.

Fight day arrives. Fabian and Ostovich head to the TUF gym. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

#7 Melinda Fabian (4-3-1) vs. #10 Rachael Ostovich (3-3)

Round 1 – Both fighters show a lot of faints to start the bout. Ostovich lands an inside leg kick followed by a jab. Fabian lands a hard right hand, and Ostovich lands with a counter-hook. Ostovich lands a clean overhand right that backs up Fabian. Ostovich stays patient and connects with a leg kick. Ostovich scores with a another combination. Fabian nearly lands a head kick and begins to apply better pressure. She eats another hard punch, though, and Ostovich evades. Ostovich’s jab is on point and she’s picking Fabian apart. Fabian’s moving forward but is throwing almost nothing. Ostovich shoots for a double-leg takedown and easily puts Fabian on her back. Fabian attempts to scramble free but Ostovich jumps on the back. She gets back mount and has Fabian flattened out. She postures up and lands several hard punches before locking in a rear-naked choke that forces Fabian to tap out.

Rachael Ostovich def. Melinda Fabian via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1

Ostovich is thrilled with the extremely one-sided performance.

“I feel great,” A thrilled Ostovich says. “I’m very, very happy, but it’s nothing that I hadn’t already seen in my head. Everything went as I planned it. … Celebration for a little while, take some time to congratulate myself and the hard work I put in, then on to the next.”

Team Gaethje takes a 4-3 lead in the competition with Ostovich’s victory. Only one opening-round fight remains, and it will see No. 8 Emily Whitmire of Team Gaethje take on No. 9 Christina Marks of Team Alvarez.

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 3 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with fight preparation for Team Gaethje’s Montana Stewart, who fights Team Alvarez’s Ariel Beck in the third tournament bout later in the episode.

No. 6 Stewart is a former standout amateur wrestler who, at 22, is the youngest of the 16 fighters in the tournament. She is a mother to a six-year-old, and despite her age, already has 10 professional bouts on her record.

UFC President Dana White, along with coach Justin Gaethje, call Stewart a dark horse in the tournament and believe she actually has a good chance of winning not only her upcoming fight, but the entire competition.

Team Alvarez has its next training session at the newly opened UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. The UFC PI is a state-of-the-art facility with brand new technology and equipment. One athlete calls it “fighter heaven.”

No. 11 Beck’s preparation begins for her fight with Stewart, which she calls “a nice matchup for me.” Beck has a tough day of training in which her emotions begin to get the best of her. She goes to the locker room and begins to have a “panic attack” due to the intensity of the competition. Fortunately, the coaching staff and numerous teammates are there to lend support.

Coach Eddie Alvarez, in particular, shares some of his most glorious and horrific career moments with Beck and tells her “any feelings you have are not out of the ordinary for any fighter.” Beck gathers herself and eventually returns to the training room.

Later on, No. 8 Emily Whitmire visits the UFC PI to get an update from doctors. She sustained a rib injury during training on the previous episode. One of the physical therapists helps Whitmire recover from the injury, and after having some doubts about her ability to compete right after, Whitmire is very optimistic about her chances.

During a break in training, the Team Gaethje coaching staff decided to take the fighters out for a night of bowling at GameWorks Las Vegas. Coach Gaethje offers the athletes a cash prize for the best results. Stewart receives first prize of $250 for bowling the best game, while No. 10 Rachael Ostovich takes second and gets $150.

The official weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both fighters come in under the 126-pound women’s flyweight limit. A friendly staredown follows.

Fight day arrives, and the third tournament bout is nearly underway. Stewart and Beck finalize preparation with their coaches, and the athletes walk to the cage for their debut contest of the season.

#6 Montana Stewart (6-4) vs. #11 Ariel Beck (4-4)

Round 1 – Stewart comes out throwing combinations while Beck is looking to counter-strike. Stewart lands a nice right hand and begins to back up Beck. Beck is circling the octagon then moves into the clinch. Beck throws some knees to the body and Stewart fires back with some of her own before breaking free. Stewart is throwing combinations and landing with most of her shots. Beck pounds the inside of the leg with a kick, and Stewart closes distance for a body lock. She trips Beck to the mat and lands in half guard. Stewart begins to work from on top as Beck recovers guard position. Stewart postures up and advances into side control. She applies a D’Arce choke, but it’s not fully locked in. She makes some adjustments as Beck fights to get free. Stewart gets it too tight, though, and Beck is forced to tap out.

Montana Stewart def. Ariel Beck via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1

“I felt amazing, but back to work and I’m not just fine with one win,” Stewart says after her victory. “I’m going to finish all the fights and get that belt.”

Team Gaethje takes a 2-1 lead in the competition with Stewart’s victory. Team Alvarez takes control of fight selection, and with his choice, coach Alvarez selects No. 3 Lauren Murphy to go up against No. 14 Nicco Montano of Team Gaethje next.

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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Meet 'The Ultimate Fighter 26' cast: Rachael Ostovich, who draws inspiration from Gina Carano

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LAS VEGAS – “The Ultimate Fighter” returned last week for its 26th season, which will culminate with the crowning of the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion.

MMAjunkie recently sat down with all 16 cast members. Watch the video above to get to know Rachael Ostovich (3-3), who discussed her inspiration to compete in MMA, Gina Carano, being a gym rat thanks to her dad, her run with Invicta FC, and more.

“The Ultimate Fighter 26,” featuring former UFC and Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez and former WSOF champ Justin Gaethje as coaches, airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FS1.

Also see:

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie