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The Ultimate Fighter 9.10 Recap: Another Test of Skill

TUF 9.10, Osipczak vs. Johnson – Watch more Funny Videos

It’s time to pick TUF 9‘s semi-final matchups, and while this could have been another opportunity for an argument, Bisping and Henderson are pretty much on the same page. They’d like to see Cameron/Ross and Jason/Andre in the lightweight bracket, and James/Demarques and Nick/Frank for the welterweights. The fighters are asked who they want to take on. James wants Damarques and Damarques wants James. ("I want to hurt his feelings.") Nick wants Frankie and Frankie wants Nick. Ross wants Jason, but Jason wants Andre, and Andre is "happy to fight eeva."

Cameron breaks ranks and brings up his teammate Jason Dent as the guy he’d like to fight. He tries to backtrack, but the seed has already been planted in Dana’s head. DW suggests putting teammates against each other in the semis. "Fuck that, no way," Bisping says. Then, echoing the thoughts of every Internet message board conspiracy theorist: "What so you can guarantee one of each in the finals?…I think we have the stronger team and you’re worried that you’ll have an all-UK final."

Finally, Dana decides to keep it U.S. vs. U.K. all the way, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. But perhaps as punishment, he doesn’t give the fighters or coaches the matchups they want, except for Ross (and maybe Andre, I guess). The semi-final matchups will be

1) Nick Osipczak vs. Demarques Johnson (WW)
2) Andre Winner vs. Cameron Dollar (LW)
3) Ross Pearson vs. Jason Dent (LW)
4) James Wilks vs. Frank Lester (WW)

Wilks/Lester is a rematch of the fight where Lester lost his front teeth. On the bright side, Frank is the only guy in TUF history to win a fight after being brought back as an alternate.

Both teams do a little bonding over ribs and Coronas. Afterwards, Jason Pierce compliments Dave Faulkner about how awesome Team U.K. is. Richie overhears and calls him out about it. Pierce says the Americans break dishes, get drunk, and act stupid, and Richie calls him a quitter and says fighting with a fucked-up face like Frank Lester is as American as it gets. Jason says "Jump weight!" a few dozen times and Faulkner has to separate them.

It gets worse. Pierce starts telling Dave about some of Ricardo "Pantcho" Feliciano‘s jiu-jitsu tricks. "He’s not a part of Team USA anymore," Richie says. Then, Richie tells us that Faulkner told Nick that Pierce told him how Demarques trains and his fighting habits. In case you can’t unravel that little grapevine chain, the bottom line is that Pierce is now a spy for team U.K. At practice, Dan Henderson asks Pierce if the turncoat rumors are true. He denies everything, but looks like a guilty sack of shit doing it. Dan tells him he’s still part of the team.

Nick gets taken down and beaten up by everyone on his team in a grueling shark-bait training session. He’s a little nervous to be facing Team U.S.’s best guy, but he thinks he mentally stronger than Damarques and wants to break his spirit.

Damarques thinks he’s the best in the house. He says he came in with good striking and jiu jitsu, and picked up a clinch game and ground-and-pound while in the house. Hendo thinks he’ll go all the way too. Damarques prays: "Dear lord, here I am again, another leap of faith, another test of skill. I don’t pray for victory, I just pray that I perform well."

Damarques Johnson vs. Nick Osipczak. All semi-final matches are scheduled for three rounds.

Round 1: Damarques jabs, and Nick returns a hard leg kick. Damarques sticks the jab. Nick punches to the body, then adds a leg kick. Nick clinches, and Damarques takes him down and gets on top, but Nick escapes with no damage. They trade punches, with Damarques landing his stiff jab almost at will. A kick from nick is returned with a left hook from Damarques. After a sloppy clinch attempt, Nick is on his back again. Nick’s armbar attempt fails. Damarques moves to half-guard and works for the mount but Nick defends. Nick throws a couple elbows from the bottom, and Damarques gives one back from the top. Damarques can’t make much happen from his position, so he stands up, and Nick immediately shoots in, taking a knee to the face. But then Nick pulls out of the clinch and rocks Damarques badly with a flurry of punches. Damarques swings desperately to back Nick off as the round ends.

Round 2: Damarques comes out smiling. Nick throws an overhand right and clinches, taking a big knee. Damarques goes to the body. Nick shoots, Damarques sprawls and gets on top in side control. He moves to full guard after a botched submission attempt, and Nick starts setting up a triangle. Damarques moves back to half-guard and tries for a kimura but loses it and starts slugging from the top, getting in an elbow then two big punches. Nick tries an armbar but Damarques dodges it and moves to mount. Nick rolls to avoid punches, turtling on his side, while Damarques throws down elbows to Nick’s ear. Bisping screams "referee, back of the head!" a few times. Though Nick is turtled for about the last 30 seconds of the fight doing nothing but taking elbows and punches, Herb Dean lets him survive to the bell, and Bisping has to drag his exhausted and dizzy fighter back to the stool.

For a moment, it seems like Nick might pull a Dave Faulkner and quit in the corner, but after a pep talk from Bisping, he shouts "YES!" Bisping says: "Forget that last round, that round didn’t happen."

Round 3: They trade jabs. A right hook and a body kick from Nick. Damarques is gassed, swinging at air. but lands a big right, then a straight left and a left hook. Damarques clinches and tries to end the fight with a flying knee, but Nick stays upright. Damarques changes levels with his punches, landing most of them. Nick stumbles away then tries a weak spinning backfist. Both guys have run out of gas. Damarques lands two more punches then catches a kick from Nick and takes him down. Damarques fires elbows from the top then scores mount. Nick rolls and Damarques takes his back, but nick reverses and gets on top. They swing at each other on the ground until the final horn.

Damarques scores the unanimous decision win and has a golden ticket to the finals. After the match, he tells Bisping that he looks up to him, and Bisping says "congratulations, hell of a fight," so their little beef is pretty much squashed now. Damarques discovers that he bit off a chunk of his own tongue during the fight, and Nick is depressed after his first-ever loss. And we’re just a week away from the lightweight fights, which Team U.K. has a good chance of sweeping…

Cagepotato Comments

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Canadian Chronic- June 5, 2009 at 7:56 am
If I ever see that fuckstick Pierce walking down the street, i'm gonna knock his fuckin head off. What a bitch, selling out your teamamtes like that. i really hope someone fucks him up before they leave the house. One of the best fights I ve seen on TUF, congrats Demarques.
Komodo- June 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm
I was really hoping they would have booted Jason "I'm a lying, traitor-ass douchebag, get me out of here!" Pierce off the show after that bullshit last night. That was fucking disgusting and total grounds for an ass-whoopin'. Seeing the cheating NOT pay off for Nick (who seemed so proud of said cheating) was a fantastic payoff though :)

Props to Demarques for pullin' that shit off, big time.

It's enough to have an entire team against you without having to worry about your own asshole teammate selling you down the river.

Eagerly awaiting the day where Hendo will get to beat a few holes into Bisping's head.
Akilleez- June 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm
I wonder if Jason "Benedict Arnold" Pierce will be fighting in the undercard for the finale.
Fastolph- June 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm
Test of skill? Where? There was no skill to be found anywhere last night.
Webcain- June 4, 2009 at 11:49 am
Clearly all of Dana's talk at the Kimbo press thing about the TUF fights being in the hands of the coach's and not manipulated for ratings was just bullshit.

It fucks me off that Dana blatantly ignored the matchups from the coaches and fighters to try and engineer who'd be in the UK v USA finals.
ReDx- June 4, 2009 at 11:27 am
Dollar showed how much a pussy he is by requesting to fight the worst guy in the semi's.
Dru23- June 4, 2009 at 11:27 am
i totally agree with bare grappler. its ridiculous and i have been thinking the same thing. if i were given such a huge opportunity i may get beat up, but i would train hard and definitely not gas! i mean are they all training for a 1 round fight?
LoneWolf- June 4, 2009 at 11:22 am
Awesome Fight.
Juss- June 4, 2009 at 10:21 am
Didn't Eliot Marshall get brought back as an alternate and win a fight? He lost (but not really) and the guy that beat him was injured so they let him in the house and then he choked the crap out of the next guy he fought. I'm not quite sure how that doesn't qualify.
agentsmith- June 4, 2009 at 9:33 am
Notice that when Pierce was talking to Faulkner, he refers to Team USA as "them" and "they" rather than "us" and "we." Then after Henderson confronts him, he stays sitting off on a weight bench while every one else gathers on the mats for the pep-talk/cheer. He's not even pretending to be part of the team anymore. And what was he doing over on that bench anyway, is he not even bothering to train anymore? What a pathetic loser. He should just go home like Scarola.
Bare Grappler- June 4, 2009 at 9:22 am
Can someone please show up to TUF in shape for Jesus Sakes? I know it's easier said than done, but these guys know they are in the show for more than a couple days before shooting. I'm sick of seeing guys talk about the opportunity of a lifetime and then gassing in the second round.
Kirky- June 4, 2009 at 9:13 am
So Demarques is religious, isnt there anything in the bible like "thou shalt not be a dick all the time"?
Kevin Marshall- June 4, 2009 at 9:04 am
"Jump weight!" Pierson won't cut weight, because that would take effort. Instead, he's such a lazy coward he can't even answer the challenge of someone who's calling him out without making sure that it's the other person who has to go through the effort.

What a joke. Joe Scarola's got nothing on this idiot. Lazy, dishonest, negative, no personality, a snitch, and a coward. This dude has no redeeming qualities.
NateGetsIrate- June 4, 2009 at 8:38 am
Dude... I really hope someone punches Benedict arnold in his traitor-ass mouth already! I would not be suprised if in a couple of months I hear about him eloping with fucknerd to merry ol' london.
My Fight Wiffa Cheeto- June 4, 2009 at 8:10 am
If you thought Dollar was nervous as hell to fight "STAAAPES" just wait until he fights the UK's Best in Winner. He's gonna get KTFO.
common sense- June 4, 2009 at 7:20 am
haha nice comparison pingpong
PingPong- June 4, 2009 at 7:15 am
The Nick/Demarques fight was two skinny scrappy guy going at it, it was great to watch, like Abe Lincoln fighting Abe Lincoln.
landOencagement- June 4, 2009 at 6:48 am
Great fight, can't wait for the finals!