Ode “The Jamaican Sensation” Osbourne is a 30-year-old flyweight with an 11-4 professional record. Osbourne is yet another Dana White’s Contender series product, winning via armbar in 2019. Since joining the big show, Osbourne has showcased his creative striking en route to two knockout wins and one decision victory. Both of his losses have come by finish, one submission, and one knockout. Whenever he fights, despite being in a division with fewer finishes, Osbourne does his best to avoid the judges.
Across from Osbourne will be the 38-year-old power-puncher, Tyson Nam. Fighting with a similar aversion for the judges’ scorecards, Nam has finished 12 of his 20 wins by knockout. He has also been knocked out in 3 of his 12 losses.
Osbourne opened at slightly more than a 2:1 favorite. The line has steadily grown wider throughout the week.
Osbourne is an intriguing fighter for the division. He is a southpaw with solid power, very fast hands, and is able to throw a variety of combinations that often end with a laser of a straight left. He’s large for the division and uses his length well to keep opponents at the end of his range, and lands his punches at the maximum impact point as well. While Osbourne does have snapping low kicks, most of his striking game is centered around a speed-driving boxing game. He keeps his hands low, moves his head often to avoid counters and tends to strike with rhythm and fluidity.
Offensively, “The Jamaican Sensation” is an exciting striker who can piece an opponent up or get a flash knockout. As exciting as his offensive striking is, his overall defense and decision-making can be equally as worrisome. Because Osbourne carries his hands low and tends to exit, as many tall fighters do, with a high chin on the centerline, if Osbourne is countered, he is unable to block the strike and is at a higher risk of being stunned or dropped. His head movement, size advantage, and natural athleticism make it difficult, but not impossible, for fighters to find his chin with counters.
Furthermore, Osbourne sometimes makes questionable choices in the octagon. Despite having a length, speed, and technical striking advantage over many in the division, Osborne will, at times, forego his range advantage in favor of a pocket brawl. While this fighting style is exciting, he is playing right into the game plan of smaller and/or slower fighters. Lastly, Osbourne is a decent offensive wrestler who likes to shoot takedowns late in the round to win key moments and secure a round victory. That is an intelligent way to fight. However, at times, while Osbourne shoots, he can overcommit and leave his neck exposed. He’s been finished by guillotine once in the octagon and has been caught in dangerous positions a few other times. Ultimately, offensively, Osbourne is talented and exciting, so long as his defense and fight IQ continues to grow, so should he continue to climb.
When Nam first joined the UFC, he was a well-rounded striker with a savvy counter game and legit fight-stopping power. He was, and still is, stout and strong; he keeps a wide and low base to maximize his power shots. When younger, Nam would typically stalk forward with that wide base, jab or feint his way into range, eat a shot from his opponent, and return with his own fire. Nam’s take one to give two style required him to have a reliable chin and the ability to land with more impact than his opponent. Both were true, his only three knockout losses came outside the UFC.
However, recently, likely due to age, Nam’s style has altered a bit. He still stalks forward and looks for a big one or two-punch shot, but the subtleties of his game have changed. Nam, now, rarely feints his way into range or uses his jab; instead, he just walks through combinations. Then, once in range, he no longer is getting the better of the exchanges each time. His hand speed has slowed, and his power shots, while still heavy, are more telegraphed. What typically happens is Nam fights like a lower-level heavyweight, looking for an opening to land a big right hand without creating the opening himself. Meanwhile, as Nam looks for the one-hitter-quitter, he is getting hit a lot. A power-punching counter-striking style requires fighters to get the better of the 50/50 exchanges and create openings for possible fight-ending shots. Nam has not done either recently or consistently.
Nam has shown issues handling speed, combinations, and range strikers who won’t allow him to engage in 50/50 exchanges. Osbourne has excellent hand speed, combinations, and range striking. This is Osbourne’s fight to lose, but with his poor habit of carrying his hands low and a chin high, a right hand from Nam could land flush and ruin Osbourne’s night. Even with that possibility, I like Osbourne to win and win handily. His speed and striking acumen should be too much for the one-note power puncher that is Nam.
Pick: Osbourne to win via decision
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.