UFC Vegas 48: David Onama’s Wild Ride to UFC Debut

David Onama
David Onama Credit: FAC

Plenty of fighters get the call to come to the UFC with little to no notice. It’s a right of passage for most who get that first contract by just being ready when the UFC needs someone. For David Onama, he was ready – to an extent – thanks to a fight at FAC just fifteen days prior to when the UFC would eventually need him. Onama was not in the gym when he got the call though. Instead, the Glory MMA product was taking a little vacation with friends to celebrate another win on his record.

“When I got the call, I was in Alabama with my friends. My head coach James Krause texted me and it was like four o’clock in the morning – four o’clock in the morning,” Onama recalled. “He texted me ‘hey, you might get a shot in the UFC – let me know what you think.”

Timing aside, Onama was immediately beside himself. It was a lifelong dream for him to go to the UFC and he was now less than a week from the opportunity. However, it was going to throw a wrench in his vacation plans, but he got right to it.

“We literally woke everybody up in the house,” he said. “We got an Uber, bought a plane ticket and went straight to the airport. Then we just flew to Vegas and started doing medicals and stuff like that.”

A fifteen day turnaround is already a lot for any fighter. Throw in the beginning part of a vacation with some friends and little training, and that turnaround is even harder. Onama doesn’t use that as an excuse for failing to pick up the win for the first time in his career though. Instead, he notes that he was in good shape for it.

“I felt good during the fight. Even just on vacation – I wasn’t out there partying hard or anything – I was just eating and having a good time,” Onama shared, noting that the fight being up at lightweight helped with the weight portion. “I fought at FAC fifteen days before and I was still feeling good.”

Now back at his usual weight class for his UFC Vegas 48 bout, Onama is more confident that he’ll get back in the win column. However, he doesn’t look back at his wild ride to the debut fight as a bad thing. In fact, he looks at it quite fondly.

“It was one of the craziest things I’ve experienced in life,” he said. “It was a dream come true.”

He’ll look to realize another part of that dream when he fights Gabriel Benitez as part of the ESPN+ prelims this Saturday.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 32:09.