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The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK - Episode Five Recap

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Team UK has gotten off to a 1-0 lead on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK. Can the United States squad, led by Dan Henderson, even the score against Michael Bisping’s cohesive and confident team?
By Thomas Gerbasi

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Team UK has gotten off to a 1-0 lead on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK. Can the United States squad, led by Dan Henderson, even the score against Michael Bisping’s cohesive and confident team?

“Get used to this feeling,” said Bisping to his crew after Nick Osipczak’s opening KO win over Mark Miller last week, and the members of Team US are starting to realize that they’re going to be in for a fight this season, and that it’s going to be a losing one if they don’t start acting like a team.

Jason Dent, a UFC veteran, implores his team to be respectful and humble back at the house after Miller’s loss, but Cameron Dollar doesn’t necessarily agree; just another sign that Team US are not on the same page.

“Everybody’s here for their own selfish reasons,” said Damarques Johnson. “We’re definitely not a team.”

Back at the house, the gulf between the younger members of the US team and the older fighters seems to be widening, with Jason Pierce opting to hang out with the UK team.

“They seem to be a little more mature for my tastes,” he said.

For the next fight in the competition, Bisping decides to pit Andre Winner against Santino DeFranco in a lightweight bout. DeFranco was actually being considered for season two of the reality show before doctors found a brain aneurysm. Eventually cleared by a neurologist to fight again, DeFranco’s making it to the show was a triumph in itself, but he was looking to make it all the way to the TUF finals. Unfortunately, Winner had other plans, and after a series of unanswered ground strikes late in the first round, referee Steve Mazzagatti halted the bout in his favor, giving the UK a 2-0 lead.

“Start getting mean,” said Henderson to his team after the bout, and he immediately began making plans for a bout that would get the US on the board. “I need to make sure the next pick is definitely something that is gonna go our way.”

There is still dissension in the ranks though, with Dent getting into it verbally with Dollar and Johnson, and Pierce drawing puzzled looks from Henderson and Dollar for questioning a proposed matchup with his friend from the UK team, David Faulkner. Eventually, Henderson gets involved and lectures his team on unity. Whether it will take or not remains to be seen, but what is certain is that ‘Hendo’ believes his team will get their first win when Johnson is pitted against Dean Amasinger in a welterweight bout.

And Johnson doesn’t disappoint his team, as he submits Amasinger with a triangle choke in the first round. What is surprising though is that UK coach Bisping wasn’t present at the match, with no one knowing his whereabouts.

So where is ‘The Count’? We’ll presumably find out next week.

Until then, Team UK is up 2-1 after this week’s bouts; here’s how the teams look…

TEAM USA
WELTERWEIGHTS
Mark Miller – eliminated on episode four by Nick Osipczak
Jason Pierce
Damarques Johnson 1-0
Frank Lester

LIGHTWEIGHTS
Richie Whitson
Santino DeFranco– eliminated on episode five by Andre Winner
Cameron Dollar
Jason Dent

TEAM UK
WELTERWEIGHTS
David Faulkner
Dean Amasinger – eliminated on episode five by Damarques Johnson
Nick Osipczak 1-0
James Wilks

LIGHTWEIGHTS
Ross Pearson
Martin Stapleton
Jeff Lawson
Andre Winner 1-0

For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles and a blog from UK coach Michael Bisping, stay tuned to UFC.com.

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