If you are a fan of mixed martial arts, there is a good chance you have seen Rachael Ostovich, a 27-year-old flyweight from Hawaii. Ostovich is one of the most marketable women in the UFC‘s 125-pound division and was victorious in her promotional debut in December 2017 when she scored a first-round armbar finish of Karine Gevorgyan.
Ostovich, who began her MMA career in 2010 and went 6-0 as an amateur, made her professional debut in her home state of Hawaii in 2014. Ostovich dropped her pro debut due to TKO, before rebounding with two straight wins and earning a spot on the all-female Invicta FC roster.
Ostovich then appeared on season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter which crowned the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion. Ostovich earned her spot in the house by submitting Melinda Fabian with a rear-naked choke, before dropping a unanimous decision to Barb Honchak in the tournament quarterfinals.
If it wasn’t for fighting, Ostovich could have ended up going a much different route and pursued a career in cheerleading.
“I thought I wanted to be a professional cheerleader,” she said in an interview prior to her appearance on The Ultimate Fighter. “The competitive cheerleading that I was in, it was crazy. I feel like it helped me with MMA. (Laughs) But I wanted to be some type of professional athlete, and I cheered my whole life and that was it. I tried out for college and I ended up not making it, and I was devastated because I swore to my mom that I was gonna have a full ride scholarship. But God has his plans and, after that, I started doing MMA.”
Next up for Ostovich is a meeting with fellow TUF 26 castmate Montana De La Rosa at The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated in Las Vegas on July 6.