MMA fighter gets no jail time for assault that prosecutors called ‘sustained and brutal’

MMA fighter gets no jail time for assault that prosecutors called ‘sustained and brutal’

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii mixed martial arts fighter who pleaded no contest to assaulting his wife, also an MMA fighter, was sentenced Thursday to four years’ probation.

But the judge also gave Arnold Berdon a stern warning: Fly right or you could face jail time.

Honolulu police arrested Berdon in November on charges of attempted murder in connection with the assault of his wife, UFC fighter Rachael Ostovich Berdon

Prosecutors later charged Berdon with assault, and he pleaded no contest in March.

The two are also seeking a divorce.

At the sentencing hearing Thursday, Ostovich Berdon said she wanted to move on with her life.

“Although we are no longer together, we have a daughter together. I know how crucial it is to have her father present in her life,” she said. “I hope he gets the help he needs to become a better father.”

Ostovich Berdon is the higher profile fighter after appearing on a handful of UFC fight cards. She filed for a protective order after the assault, alleging her husband punched her repeatedly.

She also initially canceled a January UFC Fight Night match against Paige VanZant but later decided to go through with it, saying she was healing.

Prosecutors wanted Berdon to serve five years behind bars, saying the assault “wasn’t a single punch.”

“This wasn’t a single act," said Robert Rawson, deputy prosecuting attorney. “This was a sustained and brutal assault. An assault that we know occurred for at least nine minutes and 30 seconds.”

But Berdon’s attorney noted that the fighter “took responsibility from the get-go" and is taking anger management classes.

In court, Berdon also apologized for the assault.

“And I’m just taking full responsibility of everything and just trying to be a better person, not just for myself but for my daughter," he said. "That’s just my main goal ― to recognize what went wrong and fix the problem. Just be a better person from it.”

This story will be updated.

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