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The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK - Episode Four Recap

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – The preliminaries are done, the teams for the United States and United Kingdom are set for this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Now it’s time to get down to business and start the bouts that will eventually whittle the field of 16 to two Ultimate Fighters.
By Thomas Gerbasi

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – The preliminaries are done, the teams for the United States and United Kingdom are set for this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Now it’s time to get down to business and start the bouts that will eventually whittle the field of 16 to two Ultimate Fighters.

Team UK has impressed coach Michael Bisping thus far with their efforts in the gym. “They’re not a team of wannabes,” said Bisping, happy that all his fighters are looking to bring it in their bouts against Team US.

To aid in his team’s development, Bisping has brought in UFC vet Mario “Sucata” Neto for wrestling and submissions and Dave Jackson for Thai Boxing.

“They’re not training harder than us,” insists ‘The Count’

Bisping’s talking has gotten under the skin of the US team’s Damarques Johnson, but coach Dan Henderson takes it all in stride.

“I know I’ll have my chance to shut his mouth with my fist,” said Henderson, who has enlisted Heath Sims, Cyril Diabate, Ricardo Feliciano, and Gustavo as his coaching staff for this season.

As the first fight approaches, Team US has the opportunity to pick the fight, but Henderson is concerned because the UK team has had a two week break from their elimination bouts, while some members of the US squad are just coming off fights. But after checking with his team, both for weight and fight readiness, Henderson decides that the opening bout will pit Mark Miller against the UK’s Nick Osipczak.

Bisping’s happy with the matchup, and as Miller shakes hands with Osipczak and wishes him luck, the UK coach smiles as he says “We make our own luck.”

Before the fight, the UK coaching staff breaks down tape of Miller. “He seems quite one-dimensional,” says Bisping, and when Osipczak says that he will switch from a southpaw to orthodox stance for the fight to throw Miller off, the UK squad gets even more confident.

Back in the house (and in the gym), Johnson and his teammates begin this season’s pranks by innocently writing on their rivals’ shirts and wrestling shoes. But when Ross Pearson finds out that it’s his shoes that have been written on, he’s not too happy.

“I was playing nice before,” said Pearson, but Bisping insists that his team stay focused on the task at hand.

“Try to ignore it and rise above it,” he said.

Osipczak took those words to heart in his hotly-contested bout with Miller, one that saw the two fighters engage in a back and forth battle both standing and on the mat. In the first round, it appeared that Miller tapped out to a guillotine choke, but the bout continued as he eventually fought his way loose. Osipczak would have the last word though, when a single right kick to the head knocked Miller out in the second stanza and eliminated him from the competition.

With Osipczak’s win, Team UK takes a 1-0 lead; here’s how the teams look…

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

LIGHTWEIGHTS
Richie Whitson
Santino DeFranco
Cameron Dollar
Jason Dent

TEAM UK
WELTERWEIGHTS
David Faulkner
Dean Amasinger
Nick Osipczak 1-0
James Wilks

LIGHTWEIGHTS
Ross Pearson
Martin Stapleton
Jeff Lawson
Andre Winner

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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