[CW: This story includes details regarding a domestic assault]
Arnold Berdon, 28, was sentenced to four years probation by a Honolulu court yesterday in response to his no contest plea to charges that he assaulted his wife, UFC flyweight Rachael Ostovich.
According to Associated Press Deputy Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rawson had asked the court to sentence Berdon — who is also a professional mixed martial artist — to five years in prison.
Judge Trish Morikawa gave Berdon credit for the two days he spent in jail and told the court that Berdon doesn’t need further incarceration in order to be motivated to change his behaviour. At the hearing Berdon told the Morikawa, “I do have the power to move forward, walking in forgiveness and I have.”
Berdon was arrested in November, 2018 on suspicion of attempted murder after Ostovich suffered an assault that resulted in a cracked orbital bone. To escape that assault Ostovich jumped off a balcony and ran to a family member’s home.
In a temporary restraining order filing Ostovich said that Berdon punched her in the head, face, and ribs. She also claimed that the assault caused her to cough up blood and vomit several times.
A bystander recorded video footage outside of Berdon and Ostovich’s home while the assault was taking place. In the recording Ostovich can be heard pleading with Berdon to stop. Also in the recording Berdon can be heard repeatedly stating he was “going to murder” Ostovich.
Berdon’s charge of attempted murder was downgraded to felony second-degree assault in the weeks after his arrest. He initially plead not guilty to those charges, claiming self-defense. In March Berdon entered a new plea of no contest to the charges, which lead to a conviction without an admission of guilt.
A divorce decree between Ostovich and Berdon was filed on Wednesday. It states that custody of the couple’s 6-year-old daughter belongs to Ostovich and that Berdon will have supervised visits. Berdon’s lawyer, Myles Breiner, said that his client will ask for custody to be re-evaluated after he completes anger management and domestic violence intervention classes.
After fighting for Invicta FC, Ostovich was signed by the UFC to compete on The Ultimate Fighter in 2017. Since then she has fought three times for the promotion. Her most recent contest was against Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw on January 19th.