MMA fighter pleads not guilty to beating UFC fighter wife

  • A photo provided by the Honolulu Police Department shows Arnold Berdon III. Honolulu police arrested Berdon, a mixed martial arts fighter, on charges of attempted murder Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018 after he allegedly punched his wife and fellow fighter, Rachael Ostovich-Berdon, in the head, face and ribs, fracturing her eye socket. (Honolulu Police Department via AP)

HONOLULU — A mixed martial arts fighter accused of punching his wife and fellow fighter has pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault on Oahu.

Arnold Berdon, 27, appeared Monday in Honolulu District Court for the first time following his arrest last week.

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His wife, Rachael Ostovich Berdon, filed for a temporary restraining order last week, alleging he punched her in the head, face and ribs, fracturing her eye socket, after a night out with family. The 27-year-old said she fell to the ground, gasped for air and escaped through a balcony. She coughed up blood and threw up several times afterward, she said.

Because of her injuries, Ostovich Berdon withdrew from her UFC fight against Paige VanZant scheduled for Jan. 19.

Arnold Berdon’s attorney David Hayakawa declined to comment.

He also repeatedly punched her thighs, causing bruises in May, Ostovich Berdon said in the petition.

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A judge granted the restraining order, prohibiting Berdon from approaching his wife and the couple’s young daughter.

Berdon remains free after posting $75,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 18.