The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 10
As Dana White and the coaches try to figure out the semi-final match-ups, controversy arrives as Michael Bisping is adamantly against fighting with each team. Henderson is not as against it as Bisping, but still doesn’t like the idea of anyone fighting his strongest fighter, who he believes is Demarques Johnson.
Dana eventually decides the fights as follows:
Demarques Johnson vs. Nick Osipczak
Andre Winner vs. Cameron Dollar
Ross Pearson vs. James Dent
James Wilks vs. Frank Lester
James Wilks vs. Frank Lester is a rematch from the quarterfinals, where Wilks dominated Lester, knocking out his front teeth. While both Wilks and Johnson wanted to fight each other, Dana White apparently thought a rematch would be more exciting.
Back at the house, many of the remaining fighters come together for a barbeque. Jason Pierce remains Jason Pierce, however, hanging out with David Faulkner in the corner. Richie Whitson especially takes offense to Pierce’s actions, angry at how Pierce refused to fight against Faulkner.
Pierce goes so far as to tell Team UK about how to beat his own teammates. With Pierce alienating himself from his own team, it is clear where his allegiances lie.
Dan Henderson has faith in his fighter, Demarques Johnson. Henderson really likes his talent, and even goes so far as to say he believes Demarques will win the show. Demarques believes he’s improved all around, saying he went from a fighter who was simply strong on his feet to a fighter who’s “scary in the clinch, and scary on the ground.”
Though Pierce denies telling Team UK any information on USA’s fighters, it is confirmed by Nick Osipczak that he did. This definitely gives Osipczak an advantage, having knowledge of Johnson’s training styles and tendencies.
Bisping puts Osipczak through tough training, sending fighter after fighter to try to take him down. Osipczak is confident in his abilities to win, although he recognizes that Johnson may be Team USA’s strongest fighter.
Demarques Johnson vs. Nick Osipczak
As this first semifinal fight begins between the two welterweights, Demarques Johnson is able to take Nick down to the ground, Osipczak eventually gets up, however, and both trade strikes and kicks with each other.
Nick is slightly taller than Demarques, and Johnson has a hard time getting in range for his strikes.
His strength, however, is taking Osipczak down, which he does around 2:30 in the fight. Stuck in Osipczak’s half-guard, he is quickly forced into full guard after a failed mount attempt.
While on top, Demarques Johnson does not throw many punches, but instead tries repeatedly to move into better position. Osipczak continually throws punches and elbows to the top of Johnson’s head, however, Johnson’s not in any immediate danger.
Osipczak eventually gets out from under the bottom and onto his feet. As the two rise, both connect with hard punches, with Osipczak temporarily getting the better of the exchange. Johnson almost looked out on his feet, but the referee never stopped the fight. He eventually regains his bearings and at the sound of the bell, connects with some strong punches of his own.
The second round starts where the first left off: Johnson comes out aggressively punching Osipczak, although Nick doesn’t take too much damage. Demarques looks considerably more winded than Nick, and is able to take him down with ease. He lands in side control, but is unable to advance any further.
Once again, Demarques Johnson doesn’t throw too many strikes from on top, but continues to work for position. A failed kimura attempt finds him back in Osipczak’s half-guard.
Though Osipczak is calm on the bottom, he’s not working enough to win the round. There is no way he’s going to win it from his back, so his strategy is questionable.
Johnson continues to work to break Osipczak’s will to fight. He maneuvers quickly into the mount and Nick gives up his back as a result. Osipczak covers up with his face to the mat, and Johnson tries desperately not to hit the back of Nick’s head.
The second round ends with Johnson on top and Osipczak stumbling to his feet. The fight is clearly in Johnson’s favor.
In between the second and third rounds, Nick Osipczak looks absolutely demoralized. However, a brief talking-to by Bisping lifts his spirits and he gets to his feet for the third round.
Surprisingly, Nick still looks to have more wind than Demarques does. While Johnson staggers around and breathes heavily, Osipczak calmly moves back and forward.
At around the 4:00 mark, Johnson connects with a strong combination that has Osipczak wobbling on his feet. Nick desperately tries to stay in the fight, but the light is quickly getting dim.
Johnson continues to be the aggressor, and Osipczak continues to absorb punches until he’s finally taken down once again. Basically, all Johnson needs to do at this point is lie on top of Osipczak until time runs out. However, at the referee’s urgings, he continues to work.
With a little over a minute left in the 3rd round, Demarques once again takes mount, however, this time Osipczak is able to sweep him and get on top. Johnson tries to cover Osipczak’s head, preventing him from posturing up.
Nick is beyond tired. As he throws weak punches from the top, its clear he doesn’t have enough left in the tank to finish the fight. The bell soon sounds, and the fighters separate for the decision.
Winner: Demarques Johnson (Unanimous Decision)
Johnson definitely looked like the superior fighter, however, Nick’s never-die attitude has to be commended. Even when he was at his lowest point, Osipczak pulled life out of thin air to continue to try to win.
Both fighters gutted it out from almost immediate defeat and made the fight go a full three rounds. Henderson, Bisping, and Dana White are all impressed with the two fighters’ heart and drive to win.