That evening in Singapore, “The Witness” submitted Iranian grappler Mehdi Barghi with a straight arm lock at the 2:22 mark of the second round.
Known for his wrestling ability, Delaney has been actively developing his stand-up arsenal in order to become a more complete MMA fighter. He was thrilled to be able to showcase some of those skills briefly against Barghi.
Delaney told ONE Championship in his post-fight interview:
“It felt awesome. Honestly, I felt really good. It feels so amazing to work really hard at something and then get to let that bear fruit in the fight. This time, I got to experiment with what it felt like to be up there [and strike with him], and I felt great. Honestly, I didn’t have any anxiety, I felt like I was in control of the striking exchanges. But I definitely have things to work on.”
After finding success on the feet, however, the NCAA Division I All-American turned to his bread-and-butter and proceeded to grapple with the Iranian. On the mat, “The Witness” was unstoppable.
Barghi, an Iranian Wrestling Champion himself, had no answer for Delaney’s overwhelming top game. And the American believes his opponent simply gave up.
“After I got on top and he felt my pressure, I don’t think he’s ever felt pressure like that. I don’t think many guys get to feel pressure like that. And I can tell that was the beginning of the end after I started hitting some hard shots to the body and then to the head. I could feel him kind of losing spirit. I don’t think he wanted to be there anymore.”
Could Odie Delaney Be On A Collision Course With Buchecha?
While it may be early in his career, Odie Delaney is already dreaming of winning the ONE Heavyweight World Title. And he wants his friend, 17-time BJJ World Champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, to share the Circle with him when the time comes.
Delaney built a solid relationship with the Brazilian legend while the two trained together for a brief period at American Top Team in Florida.
“The Witness” said:
“We haven’t really directly spoken about it. But I think it’s kind of understood between us that we both want to get to the top. We trained together for two years straight down at Coconut Creek. We know a lot of each other’s tricks, so I think that we have an opportunity to build this fight up and get the whole world watching.”
“Buchecha” transitioned to mixed martial arts in September 2021, and he has since earned three first-round victories inside the Circle. In fact, the Brazilian just achieved his fastest win yet – defeating Simon Carson via TKO at the 2:24 mark of round one – also at ONE 158.
Delaney ran into Almeida backstage and the two exchanged pleasantries.
The American said:
“I love seeing him. We share a lot of the same values. I consider him a friend. But yeah, one day, that’s going to be the biggest fight ever. It’s going to be amazing.
“I wish nothing but the best for ‘Buchecha.’ Eventually, he and I are going to fight, but I want it to be for a belt because I want to see him rise to the top and I know I’m going to rise to the top. It’s a long buildup, but it will be the biggest fight in ONE history, I think when it does happen.”