Las Vegas, NV — In the end, featherweight David Onama was thrilled just to have a fight at UFC Vegas 58 — and was extremely thankful to opponent Garrett Armfield.
Armfield stepped up on short notice to replace Austin Lingo in the fight, salvaging Onama’s spot on the card. It was Onama (10-1) coming away with the submission win, choking out Armfield with an arm-triangle choke, but he gave plenty of credit to his opponent post-fight.
“Shout out to Garrett for accepting this fight on four day’s notice, saving the card, putting me back on the card,” he told Cageside Press and other media outlets backstage at the UFC Apex. “Big shout out to Garrett Armfield and his team.”
Lingo pulling out, “it is what it is. I did my job, I did everything I was asked to do,” said Onama. “The guy pulled out, I just did my thing. Did my job right, they didn’t do their job right. Like I said, I’m really happy to be back on the card. I’m really happy for Garrett Armfield making his UFC debut against me. Again, shout out to him man. Without him, this wouldn’t be possible. So thanks to Garrett Armfield.”
When word of Lingo’s withdrawal hit, Onama was simply desperate to stay on the card.
“Told my head coach James Krause like ‘man look, we gotta find somebody. I still want to fight on the card, I’m ready, I’m in good shape. Please, just find somebody, get me on that card.'” Onama had friends and family eager to see him compete at the event. Armfield at least came through.
As for Lingo, “I wanted that fight really bad. I wanted that Austin Lingo fight,” Onama admitted. “It was a full camp for me, me and my coaches literally worked on everything that we needed to work on for him. And then him pulling out on a week’s notice, that really brought me down, it just brought me down a little bit.”
But as bad as he wanted the fight and as prepared as he was for his would-be opponent, Onama doesn’t believe the match-up will ever happen. “He’s not gonna take that fight man. It is what it is. On to the next. He’s not gonna take that fight again.”
When it comes to his showing against Armfield on Saturday, “it wasn’t my best performance. I feel like I didn’t really go out there and do me,” espoused Onama. “It is what it is, you win some. You come in here, you learn, and you just keep going. So I’ve got to just go home, watch film, and work on the things I’ve got to work on.”
Onama and Armfield had met previously, which made the match-up an interesting one. They first competed years earlier, in an amateur contest, which Onama also won.
“I knew he got better, and he knew I got better too,” noted Onama. “So it was just kind of, just fight and see where things go from there.”
One positive takeaway from the fight: David Onama kept his 100% finish rate. Something that had him beaming.
“It’s mandatory, I gotta get it done, I gotta do it. I’m happy man, I’m happy we got the finish. 100% finish rate, we’re still just gonna keep doing this. We’re only getting better from here.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 58 post-fight press appearance from David Onama above. More coverage from the event can be found below.