When Alexa Grasso broke that scale at the UFC 246 weigh in and her bout against Claudia Gadelha was canceled as a result (details), Bantamweight brawlers Brian Kelleher and Ode Osbourne were the beneficiaries, getting promoted to the pay-per-view (PPV) main card literally overnight.
There were no divisional implications — Kelleher was looking to steer out of a two-fight losing skid, while Osbourne was looking to impress in his Octagon debut after his winning performance on “Contender Series.” Nevertheless, it was an exciting scrap while it lasted, which wasn’t very long.
Ode came out on fire, nailing Kelleher with a hard Superman punch that sent a serious message early. Ode was flying all over the cage, but Kelleher was able to get his arms wrapped around him, taking him down to the canvas to slow down the furious pace. Kelleher worked some solid ground-and-pound from top position, while Ode responded from the bottom with a few hard elbows of his own, while also angling for submissions. Ode tried to get back to his feet with his back pressed up against the cage, but Kelleher trapped him with a guillotine choke. Ode was basically stuck, so he pushed forward, but Kelleher stayed locked in, rolling back and locking the choke in even tighter. Ode’s hands were trapped, along with his neck, giving him no choice but to tap feverishly with his foot before going out.
With the win, Kelleher more than likely survives to fight another day inside the Octagon. It was a must-win and he delivered when it mattered, weathering the early storm and hectic pace to finish like a true veteran.
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