The war for the UFC contract begins as nations collide. Finally Team UK and Team USA battle it out following the elimination fights to decide the final members of Dan Henderson’s Team USA. As episode 4 begins Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping arrives at The Ultimate Fighter training facility in Las Vegas where he introduces us to his two assistant coaches for the series. Mario Sukata specialising in wrestling and submission along with Dave Jackson for Muay Thai training. In fact they are the duo that keep Bisping in top cage condition back at the wolfslair near Liverpool. We get our first opportunity to see Team UK in training. Bisping takes his new recruits through their paces and he is not easy on them. Already the programme is portraying Bisping as the villain of the series as they highlight all his banter with Henderson and his team when they meet.
As you will recall from episode 3 Hendo has the pick of the first fight thanks to the toss of the TUF 9 coin. And so it is decided, the first pairing between the welterweights is Mark Miller of Team USA, taking on Nick Osipczak representing the United Kingdom.
Due to Bisping arriving late in the US due to Visa issues he takes the opportunity to review Mark Miller’s previous fight on tape to plan a strategy with Sukata and Jackson. Their main strategy is for their man to take the action to the deck, which will be unexpected.
Discovering a Team UK t-shirt Team USA decide it is fair game holding the garment for ransom. Yes the game of silly buggers has commenced! The t-shirt is scrawled on claiming 1-0 to Team USA. We discover the shirt belongs to Dave Faulkner who doesn’t appear terribly bothered. But it doesn’t end there, next Ross Pearson’s wrestling shoes are found discarded and they too are defaced with similar sentiments. Ross Pearson does not take it so well, he is not a happy chappy but you can’t blame him eh? Bisping’s responds by telling his squad to keep a level head about it all and rise above it.
Pre fight both Mark Miller and Nick Osipczak sound confident for their forthcoming confrontation inside the cage.
Fight time! Nick utilises the strategy as planned by his coaching team, swooping in for a takedown on the American fighter. On the ground a grappling battle ensues. During the round Miller appears to tap whilst held tight by Nick’s guillotine choke but he breaks free to drop some bombs on the British mixed martial artist. First round to Nick Osipczak.
As the round progresses Miller cinches in a deep guillotine hold on the Brit appearing momentarily like it is all over for the Londoner but fortunately the canny combatant sneaks out. It is a struggle of wills on the ground as the second round progresses until both fighters are upright. Out of nowhere Nick knocks Miller clean out with an awesome kick sending the American crashing to the canvas.
One nil to Team UK! A phenomenal start for Bisping’s Team UK, bagging the first victory.
Make sure you tune into Virgin 1 every Sunday at 11pm in the UK on
Freeview TV, Sky or Virgin Media. Setanta Sports subscribers can catch The Ultimate Fighter the second showing every Wednesday. Over in the States the programme is aired on Spike TV.
MMA blog by Dynamite Duane