Episode four of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 gets underway and right out of the gate we get a Team UK training session. Coach Michael Bisping is pleased with his new recruits and puts them through the rigors of preparing for caged combat.
Joining him are his coaches (as interim assistant coaches) Mario Sukata for wrestling/submission and Dave Jackson for Thai Boxing.
Team USA arrives at the gym and tries to talk smack. Unfortunately they fail miserably.
Coach Dan Henderson, joined by assistant coaches Ricardo "Poncho" Feliciano and Cyrille "Snake" Diabate, stands around grimacing for a few minutes before referencing the standard knuckle-sandwich routine.
Henderson broods like one of the Gashouse Gorillas from "Baseball Bugs."
There's some initial concern from Hendo that the US guys have to fight so soon after qualifying while the Brits have enjoyed two weeks off. His confident fighters don't share his concern.
Welterweight Fight announcement: Mark Miller vs. Nick Osipczak. Hendo likes Miller's conditioning while Osipczak thinks his reach advantage will be the difference.
Bisping missed the US eliminations because of Visa issues so he is forced to review tape of the fights to get his scouting report. Not surprisingly, he is unimpressed with any of the Yanks and thinks Osipczak is a lock.
Osipczak admits to dumping his kung fu career after getting his ass handed to him and embraced the more dynamic sport of MMA. Bisping works him over in the cage to get him ready for war.
Back at the TUF house, Damarques Johnson gets his hands on a UK TUF shirt and defaces it with a bleach pen. Now the team wants to hold the shirt ransom and reminds them that USA is now up 1-0 in the pranks.
At the official weigh-ins, both Miller and Osipczak hit their mark without incident.
Dana says Osipczak beat a leprechaun (Tommy Maguire) to get into the house and favors Miller in this affair. Bisping says the Brits may be underdogs but without question are there to "Win the goddamn show."
During the commercial break, I see a commercial for the new Star Trek movie that looks so good I feverishly load my Torrent client -- only to close it in disgust when I then see Jamie Foxx aiming for another Oscar win as Rain Man with a violin.
TUF 9 resumes and the UK boys come home to find their shirt being held hostage. They are overwhelmed by the gayness of the prank. (Note to GLAAD -- don't shoot the messenger).
Miller, who resembles a 170-pound Snitsky, informs us during training that his nickname is the "Meat Missile." I wonder aloud if that's the kind of thing you want to tell 15 other men who share the same house.
Damarques Johnson discovers a pair of UK wrestling shoes so Team USA defiles them with a blue Sharpie. The score is now 2-0 in favor of USA for those of you keeping score at home. Assuming there is anyone left awake after this ho-hum segment.
Ross Pearson finds his shoes painted like a subway in Beat Street and promises a violent retribution upon returning to the house.
Apparently our definitions of violence greatly differ since the best Pearson can do is mutilate the word "wrote" and bounce around the gym shadowboxing.
Bisping tells his team not to retaliate because the focus should be on fights, not funny business. "The Count" gives Osipczak a quick pep talk and we get our first slow piano solo of the season. Mark Miller steals Percy Crawford's tag line and exclaims "A fight is a fight!"
Miller also breathes a sigh of relief that he won't be arrested during the fight.
Welterweight elimination fight #1: Mark Miller (10-4) vs. Nick Osipczak (3-0)
Round 1: They immediately clinch and Osipczak takes him down. From guard, Miller works for a kimura. Osipczak rolls out of it and Miller takes mount. Osipczak's long legs make a pass difficult and he's able to stand up and escape. Miller nails him with a knee and then tees off. They hit the canvas and Miller ends up on his back. They stand and swing for the fences, rocking each other repeatedly. Osipczak shoots and takes him down. Insane action. Bisping is screaming incoherently. Osipczak works the ribs. Miller kicks him off and dives in for a takedown but gets trapped in a guillotine. Accusations of a tap come flying from Team UK. Referee Herb Dean way out of position. Phantom tap currently in effect. Miller escapes, takes mount and drops some bombs. Someone at cageside is yelling "Yeah!" repeatedly like one of the those retarded puppets from Crank Yankers. Osipczak gets up and takes Miller down with two seconds left in the round.
Round 2: Miller's mouth is wide open. Osipczak charges and gets trapped in a guillotine but transitions to side control and breaks free. He lands a few elbows and conveniently sticks his head back into the guillotine. Again he wiggles free and Herb Dean calls for some action. Third straight guillotine with no results so Miller rolls him over and takes mount. Osipczak elbows from bottom and Miller postures and throws an airball. Herb Dean again warns for inactivity. Miller postures and gets trapped in a triangle but survives and gets loose. Back in mount, he eats a few elbows and Herb Dean has seen enough and stands them up. They size each other up and a head kick from Osipczak puts Miller to sleep.
Nick Osipczak defeats Mark Miller via KO (head kick).
Afterward, Hendo says Miller didn't stick to the gameplan and that Osipczak was tougher than he looked in his first fight. Bisping gives Team USA a verbal thrashing to try and rattle the cage and break them before they fight -- even if it makes him "Look like a dick."
Stay tuned next week as Team USA starts to unravel while Team UK continues to bond. The announcer suggests the Americans are posers and we get a special, two-fight episode.
See you in seven!