Fresh off a big win on the Contender Series, flyweight CJ Vergara was riding high, booked onto the biggest card of the year, UFC 268 in New York City.
Then, he missed weight for his promotional debut against Ode Osbourne.
Having been fined for the blunder, Vergara’s fight moved forward, with he and Osbourne opening up the event on Saturday.
A Contender Series winner in 2019, Osbourne had posted a 1-2 record to date in the promotion and was coming off a loss in his flyweight debut against Manel Kape. After 15 minutes inside Madison Square Garden, however, Osbourne walked away with exactly the result he needed.
Both men took the center of the octagon after a glove touch. Osbourne landed a jab to start, followed by a 1-2. Osbourne threw a flying knee, but Vergara blocked it. Vergara threw a low kick but ate a hard left hand. With just under three minutes left in the first round, Vergara landed a check left hook. Osbourne kept touching Vergara with punches. With 90 seconds or so left, Osbourne threw another flying knee, but nothing came of it; he followed that up with a takedown attempt that Vergara defended. Vergara landed a jab with 30 seconds left. Vergara threw a high kick that partially landed on Osbourne to end the round.
Round two started with both fighters taking the center of the octagon quickly again. Vergara rushed Osbourne with a punch and a trip takedown attempt but not much came of that. Vergara landed a punch that got Osbourne’s attention shortly after. Osbourne threw a teep kick. Vergara threw a leaping hook that missed and ate a counter punch. With just over two minutes left in the round, Osbourne landed a takedown, but Vergara got right back up to his feet. Less than a minute left, and both fighters exchanged combos. Vergara threw another high kick that partially landed, but Osbourne caught it and took his back to end the round.
Vergara’s face really showed damage by the end of the second. He needed to turn things around in the third — and early on especially, he did.
Round three started with a jab by Osbourne and a body kick by Vergara. Vergara ate a heavy left hand and then landed a punch of his own, followed by several knees. Osbourne shot for two takedowns, but Vergara stuffed both of them. Vergara clinched Osbourne with just over three minutes left and landed a knee. Vergara landed another knee up the middle with time ticking away, and then took Osbourne down a few seconds later. Short ground and pound from Vergara landed, but nothing substantial. Under a minute left and Vergara landed a heavy elbow that hurt Osbourne. Vergara ended the fight landing ground and pound with Osbourne against the fence.
The action is picking up early in the third 👀
— UFC (@ufc) November 6, 2021
On the scorecards, it was Ode Osbourne claiming two rounds from all three judges. With the win, Osbourne pulls even in his UFC career, 2-2 overall inside the octagon.
Official Result: Ode Osbourne def. CJ Vergara by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)