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Ode' Osbourne of Jamaica poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
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Ode' Osbourne Is Getting Back To His Roots

Flyweight Ode' Osbourne Believes Everything Is In Place For Him To Kickstart A Run Toward The Top

When a fighter is born in Jamaica, raised in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, and now living in Las Vegas, weather is usually the first order of conversational business.

And that fighter, Ode’ Osbourne, makes it clear that he doesn’t miss those midwest winters.

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“When you're in the desert for a long time, you become a camel,” laughs Osbourne. And while “The Jamaican Sensation” isn’t fishing for a new nickname, what he does want established is that the fight capital of the world is his home now.

“Vegas is home for fighting,” he said. “I will be here for a long time until my career is over. You can't get much better than this. Everyone is here, literally. Everybody's here.”

Ode' Osbourne of Jamaica punches Charles Johnson in a catchweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Ode Osbourne of Jamaica punches Charles Johnson in a catchweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

It’s what the flyweight prospect needed. Sure, Milwaukee made him as a fighter and got him to the big show, but as the stakes got higher, with every trip to the Octagon more and more important, he needed the training environment only Vegas can provide, where it’s fighting 24/7.

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“It's a good thing,” he said. “There are times in the past when I had to fly somewhere, and as soon as I get there, I get either excited or anxious because of all the fighters I've never seen before, all the production I've never seen before. I get overly excited because everything I'm seeing is new. But I'm so used to it now from being around it so much that when it's time to fight, I'm just like, okay, this is just another day at the office.”

This week’s office is the UFC APEX, where Osbourne will face Jafel Filho in a bout that isn’t expected to see 15 minutes. And while both have shown flashes of their potential to move to the next level, the home field advantage is clearly with Osbourne, who is 4-2 in his adopted hometown and 4-0 with three finishes in the APEX.

Ode Osbourne of Jamaica kicks Tyson Nam in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Pechanga Arena on August 13, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Ode Osbourne of Jamaica kicks Tyson Nam in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Pechanga Arena on August 13, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

So this is second nature at this point?

 

“Yes, it is.”

It’s good timing for the 32-year-old, who may be in or approaching his physical prime. But, as we all know, the mental game is just as important, if not more so, than the physical game. That includes having the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re doing all you can to excel at this level. So Osbourne has been embracing the grind and even getting work in with a local high school wrestling team. 

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“I got a new wrestling coach (Chase Pami) who’s a collegiate wrestler, and he teaches high school wrestling,” said Osbourne. “And so I've been going to his high school practices and there's nothing better than wrestling with high schoolers because they go forever. (Laughs) They just don't get tired. They're going like the Energizer Bunny and they just keep coming at you. I'm going back to my roots and it's not like I'm learning a new trait, but I'm greasing the wheels. I grew up wrestling. I was a wrestler by trade, but I haven't wrestled in years. So, as the saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it. And that's what was happening to me.”

Ode Osbourne of Jamaica reacts after his victory over Charles Johnson in a catchweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Ode Osbourne of Jamaica reacts after his victory over Charles Johnson in a catchweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Having the kind of striking power that was on display against Jerome Rivera and Zarrukh Adashev, as well as some slick submissions, can make someone forget their wrestling, but with Osbourne now with eight UFC fights under his belt, he’s got to start putting everything together. He knows it, but the way he sees it, the inconsistency of the past comes down to one aspect of the fighter’s journey:

“Weight cutting and dieting, that is the main factor,” he said. “And I finally have a handle on my weight cutting and my nutrition. After the last fight, I was like, that's it. I'm not doing this anymore. I'm going to make sure that I am doing things right and I'm going to make sure that my nutrition is right because man, whenever I just feel weak in there, I can't be myself. But whenever I fight at home here at the APEX, I've never lost at the APEX because everything is here. The nutrition team is here, the saunas, everything. My routine is here, everything is here for me, but moving forward, if I have to fight outside of Vegas, I'm going to win because I've gotten a pretty good handle on my nutrition. That's been the major thing, because if you have a Ferrari and there's no gas in the Ferrari, you can't really go anywhere. That's been me when I had to travel outside for fighting.”

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If that was the missing piece of the Ode’ Osbourne puzzle, maybe 2024 will be his year. And if it is, will he ever play the “what if” game, wondering where he’d be if he figured it all out a few years ago?

 

“It's hard not to, but I try not to because I'm a huge believer in my faith in God, and I believe that I have to be humble,” he said. “God has a way of keeping you humble. So it's just a humbling experience.”

 

UFC Fight Night: Tuivasa vs Tybura took place live from UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 16, 2024. See the final Prelims and Main Card Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass