Rising up: An appreciation of Rachael Ostovich’s resilience

Harry Kettle Harry Kettle

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to our screens this weekend, as they broadcast the very first event of the ESPN era. It’s going to be a pretty monumental occasion for the company and fans of the brand from around the world, and there’s something to be said for that. Of course, the event itself isn’t the only major storyline heading into proceedings.

One of the match ups on the card will pit Paige VanZant against Rachael Ostovich, in a fight that’s pretty intriguing. From a stylistic and rankings point of view both of these women are obviously going to benefit greatly from what will be seen as a very winnable fight. Of course, many of you reading this will be well aware of the fact that the masses are talking about something very different.

They’re talking about the fact that Rachael was recently a victim of domestic abuse, which as you can imagine, is an exceptionally delicate subject not just for her but for many members of the media and the fans. We aren’t here to talk about the placement of the fight on this card or even who we think is going to win, because there’s more to it than that. Rachael Ostovich has been able to showcase the kind of resiliency and strength over the course of the last few weeks that many of us could never dream of possessing.

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It’s a testament to her character, it’s a testament to her will power, and most importantly it’s a testament to the kind of person she is. The fact that she was even permitted to fight is a miracle in itself for a lot of fans, and that’s not just some off the cuff remark that we’re writing for the sake of it. That’s real life.

Which, in itself, is kind of the point. We all like to think of these fighters that we admire as modern day superheroes, and that’s because they are – but not just for the reasons you may think. Sure, they have incredible abilities and can do some truly remarkable things on any given night, but they’re also human. They suffer from the same kind of issues that we do every single day, and there’s a powerful kind of energy in that.

Nobody is here trying to tell Rachael Ostovich how to handle what’s happened to her, because none of us have the right. All we can do, logically speaking, is sit back and admire her fortitude, because a lot of us wouldn’t have been able to bounce back quite so quickly.

There are a lot of reasons to feel a bit down about the current state of mixed martial arts, but in a direct contrast to that there are plenty of reasons to feel positive, too. Life is about dealing with adversity and moving forward as best as you can, and that’s easier said than done.

So while you watch Rachael Ostovich compete against Paige VanZant this weekend in what should be a very entertaining fight, remember that she’s already won.

(Photo credits: UFC)