Bantamweight Ode Osbourne won his way into the UFC on the Contender Series last year, and made his debut at UFC 246 in January. The fight didn’t go his way, but Osbourne recognizes that MMA is a cycle — and his time will come back around soon.
“There was one I think in Canada that they were trying to get, but I think that fell through,” Osbourne said of his current fight status. “But we’re working on it, we’re working on it. That’s how it is. Sometimes, you’re going to fight somebody, and the next, we’ve got a pandemic.”
That’s the reality today, of course. The coronavirus has turned the world on its head. And everyone has been forced to adapt. Ode Osbourne is no exception.
Outside the octagon, Osbourne is a teacher, working with fifth and sixth graders. Classes, as they have for many students around the globe, have moved online. “We have Zoom meetings. We have Monday morning circles, and Friday morning circles,” Osbourne explained. “A circle is what we do at our school to bring our kids together. A time for them to share anything, to let out anything they want. And it’s a safe place for them.”
Monday morning at 9AM, Osbourne and his fellow teachers give out the week’s work, utilizing Google Classroom. “It works pretty well. They’re all in a video. Zoom is like a video chat. Everyone is muted. When they want to talk, they unmute themselves. They’re handling it pretty well. So far, so good. It’s crazy man, I would think that we’ve done that before.”
It should be no surprise, what with platforms like Youtube, TikTok, Twitch, Snapchat and the like. Kids are tech savvy from an early age these days. “They’re ridiculously savvy, they’re more savvy than a lot of us,” Osbourne exclaimed. “They’re showing their parents how to do stuff.”
On a personal level, Osbourne is staying positive. And appreciative of the simple things. “The one thing I can say that I’ve acquired the most of is an appreciation for things,” he said. “Appreciation for little thing like just going outside, and being able to go out and socialize with a friend, or say ‘I want to check that place out’ and go there and look at it. Just stuff like that.”
“It can be stressful at times, when you do need something that you can’t have,” he adimtted. “And you’re like ‘I took that for granted.'”
Training has became a challenge. With bans on public gatherings shrinking by the day to halt the spread of the virus, most gyms are temporarily closed. “My friend has a thing in his basement. We went twice last week and once this week [to train].” Travel time, and admittedly a bit of laziness, have prevented Osbourne from doing more than that so far. “I’m trying to set something up where I can get little workouts in here, at my house. That would be ideal. I want to be ahead of the game when it starts, when we come back. I want to be one of the ones that can take a fight right away.”
In the meantime, Osbourne is passing the time as many are: catching up on some TV shows. Netflix series Ozark and Tiger King primary among them.
Tiger King has taken the world by storm, a rather surprising hit about a rogue’s gallery of big cat owners. Drugs, polygamy, feuding, murder, and conspiracies ensue.
“It’s interesting, man. My thoughts on Tiger King, it’s an interesting show. This is a whole other breed of species out there, that I had no idea they even existed,” Osbourne observed. “And it’s interesting. It’s like ‘what?!?’ This sh*t is amazing.”
More tellingly, the bantamweight described Tiger King as an addiction. “If you could watch crack and get addicted, I feel like that’s what it would be like for me. That’s what it’s like. It’s like I’m watching crack. ‘Is this crack, is this what crack is like?’ Oh snap, I think I’m getting addicted. I think I’m in. It’s got me!”
“That’s some Alice in Wonderland type sh*t, where Alice fell down the rabbit hole, and wound up with three husbands,” he joked.
Asked about one of the shows great mysteries, whether or not Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin killed her husband, Osbourne was quick to reply “True. Killed him. Clean up. Clean up. There’s no way she didn’t.”
“Where’s he at then? Huh?” Osbourne questioned. “Come on now, missing, really? Missing?”
Watch our full interview with Ode Osbourne below!