UFC Fight Night 207 will include a great match-up between two flyweight prospects. Former GLORY kickboxer and Bellator MMA fighter, Zarrukh Adashev will be making his fourth UFC appearance. In his debut and second fight, matched up with Tyson Nam and Su Mudaerji the Uzbekistani found himself on the losing side of both. First, being caught clean and knocked out early, and the second outworked by another flourishing young fighter who has since risen through the ranks himself. Most recently Adashev showed the world why he is so highly touted though when he put on a low-kick clinic against Ryan Benoit en route to a unanimous decision. However, Adashev maintains he has some of the most polished striking skills in the promotion and he will look to showcase his talents to the fullest degree this weekend.
Standing across from him, Ode Osbourne the Jamaican Born New Yorker, is ready for anything. A high school wrestler turned MMA fighter who has called the UFC his home since 2020, Osbourne has caught the attention of fans with his dynamic style. Matched up with some of the best in Brian Kelleher and Manel Kape already has left Osbourne also with a couple of losses on his UFC record but wins over Jerome Rivera and CJ Vergara have shown that Osbourne’s potential is something to watch for.
Osbourne will enter UFC Fight Night 207 as the betting favorite with odds of -180 at BetUS. Adashev is listed as a +150 underdog at the time of writing.
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Zarrukh Adashev is definitely a specialist with his extensive background in kickboxing actually outweighing his MMA experience. He is laser fast and switches stance so that everything comes from either side and he is tricky to read as he explodes in on you. He can be both the aggressor and the counter striker depending on the opponent, but the same can be said about Osbourne so in the moment we will see what roles they settle into predominantly. Regardless, Adashev tends to break down his opponents with brutal leg kicks and fast combinations, the first of which set up the high kicks later in the fight. His superman punch is also usually a means to success although he does not go to it often.
Osbourne is also a great striker in his own right, he is as athletic as they come, rangy and sharp. Whereas Adashev is a textbook striker, meaning he utilizes the fundamentals to an expert level, high guard, and a very tight game, Osbourne takes some risks for big rewards. His strikes come from a very loose and low guard and often his lead hand will already be semi-extended out shortening his jab but also cracking it to his opponent twice as quick. Although his punches come from the hip often, and this does leave openings in exchanges, they do carry a lot of power behind them, and from his southpaw stance, his left straight is dynamite. Ode Osbourne shares two qualities with the last man to beat Adashev, he has a big reach advantage and he’s a southpaw. Mudaerji found a lot of success floating away with the check right hook because of these attributes so watch for Osbourne to have learned from that and to make the best use of it.
One of the more intriguing questions this fight may answer is about wrestling. Osbourne comes from a wrestling base, as a three-time state finalist on the New York high school wrestling circuit. He also reached nationals in University, and while he has also honed his wrestling skills as an MMA fighter we are yet to see him really test those skills out in the octagon. Adashev, obviously coming from such a long-term striking background would naturally be submitted to questions regarding his grappling. In Bellator he demonstrated that he was transitioning well, he has good judo throw counters to takedowns, and a basic but active and technical guard, however, these fights were against far less experienced and capable competition. On paper Osbourne should be on another level than the wrestlers Adashev has had to face, especially considering he is yet to be really put on his back for any significant time in the UFC.
Wrestling becomes a big question in this matchup as it really is a mystery somewhat for both men. On paper, Osbourne should have the advantage but we really haven’t seen the improvements that Adashev has made over the past few years. In terms of striking and we very well could also have a sole stand-up affair, they are both dangerous but Adashev is just a little bit tighter and crisper in general. That, coupled with his crippling low kicks is an extremely difficult problem for Osbourne to solve who depends so much on his movement.
Prediction: Zarrukh Adashev to win (+150 underdog at BetUS)