When it comes to his 2019, and for most of his career overall, bantamweight Ode Osbourne doesn’t have a whole bunch of complaints.
Coming off a win over Kelly Offield at HD MMA 15 in January, Osbourne earned his way into the UFC with a first round submission of Armando Villarreal at Dana White’s Contender Series in July.
“With the win over Kelly I got that fight on two weeks’ notice, and I think that’s the fight that paved the way to the Contender Series fight,” Osbourne told MMAWeekly.com.
“For me, that (Contender Series) fight was like another day in the office. I try not to let the pressure get to me. When I fight I try to make it as fun for me and the least pressure as possible.”
While he can be his own worst critic, Osbourne feels like he did as about as well as he could in his two wins 2019.
“I can be pretty critical on some of the mistakes I make, but for the most part I’m pretty satisfied coming off a win,” said Osbourne. “In the win versus Kelly there wasn’t too much I could be critical about; I ended the fight in the first round.
“With Armando, the fight played out exactly how I thought it would, and I just went in and did what I had to do. I would say the majority of my fights have ended in the first round or early in the second, so I don’t have much to be critical about.”
On January 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Osbourne (8-2) will make his proper promotional debut when he faces Brian Kelleher (19-10) in a preliminary 135-pound bout at UFC 246.
“I don’t really see Brian posing a threat anywhere at all,” Osbourne said. “I’ve just got to go in there and do me and terrorize him. I’ve got to go in there and put the pressure on him.
“Usually people can prepare for me and the way I fight, but it’s a whole other monster when I get in the cage with you. It’s a different animal once you’re faced with it; the pressure is a whole other thing. I’m going to go in there and terrorize him for like three or four minutes.”
While working his way up the UFC ranks is important to Osbourne, for him, his life outside of fighting as a teacher and what influence he can have on the kids he works with is just as important in 2020.
“I always say it brings balance to my life,” said Osbourne. “The school stuff is what makes me a better fighter.
“Looking at those kids and seeing the stuff they struggle with is the same stuff I struggled with as well. I think in most cases they can look at me and see what I’m doing and use that as inspiration. If you look at me I came from the background as them (and what I’ve accomplished), I give them no excuse to set themselves up for failure.”