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Report: Ostovich’s husband pleads not guilty to assault charges, claims self defense

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In the latest development of the alleged assault of UFC fighter Rachael Ostovich, by her husband Arnold Berdon, the accused aggressor is claiming that he acted in self defense.

Rachael Ostovich (center) & Arnold Berdon (left) after an Invicta fight.
Esther Lin|MMA Fighting

Earlier this month, UFC strawweight Rachel Ostovich was hospitalized with severe injuries, including a broken orbital bone, following an alleged domestic violence assault at the hands of her husband, Arnold Berdon. Berdon, also an MMA fighter, was arrested shortly afterward and charged with attempted murder, as well as being placed under a restraining order.

“After a night out with family, [Arnold Berdon] punched me repeatedly on the head, face, ribs, making me fall to the ground,” Rachael wrote in her petition for the restraining order, obtained by TMZ Sports.

”I gasped for breath and escaped thru [sic] balcony. I coughed up blood, threw up sev. times. Cracked orbital.”

The resulting injuries forced Ostovich out of a planned January fight against Paige VanZant in Brooklyn, NY. Ostovich claims that this was not the first time Berdon had assaulted her, and cited an incident earlier this year where she alleges that he struck her repeatedly in the legs, resulting in multiple bruises.

However, charges against Berdon have since been reduced to 2nd-degree assault, and he has been released from custody after posting $75,000 bail. Now he’s pleading his innocence.

MMA Fighting reports that Ostovich’s husband has entered a plea of not guilty to the assault charges leveled against him, filed with the Honolulu District Court on Monday. A followup report from MMA Junkie notes that the plea won’t officially be considered “until a judge rules there’s probable cause to continue with the case.”

TMZ Sports added that members of Berdon’s family told the outlet that he is claiming self defense and that Ostovich initiated the violence between them. Berdon is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on December 18th. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates as the story develops.