Episode ten of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 gets underway and Dana calls in Coach Dan Henderson and Coach Michael Bisping to pick the semifinal match ups and both coaches seem to be on the same page regarding the pairings. When the fighters get called in for their say on the matter, they also share a common voice.
Unfortunately Dana is considering a teammate vs. teammate approach to try and guarantee that the June 20 finale keeps with the US vs. UK theme -- the same theme he called "stupid" prior to the start of the season.
Not surprisingly it doesn't fly with Bisping and Hendo and Dana comes to his senses and goes forward with opposing teams in the semis, which broken down looks like this:
Nick Osipczak vs. Damarques Johnson
Andre Winner vs. Cameron Dollar
Ross Pearson vs. Jason Dent
James Wilks vs. Frank Lester
Lester gets a shout out for being the only guy to get called back and actually win a fight.
Back at the house, Richie ambushes Pierce in the kitchen and calls him out for sleeping with the enemy. Apparently Richie doesn't like that Pierce refuses to fight but has no problem hanging out with Team UK.
Pierce threatens to smash Richie's eyeballs then gets his revenge by giving Team UK all of the training tips for the US guys who made the semis.
In the gym, Damarques self-promotes and calls himself the best of the bunch. We get a short training montage and Hendo concurs that Damarques will likely win the show.
Hendo asks Pierce if he's selling secrets and Pierce vehemently denies it -- though "Hollywood" doesn't seem overly convinced.
Brief Nerdgasm as a Transformers commercial reveals a closer look at The Constructicons.
Over at the Team UK training session, Nick confirms Pierce's betrayal and prepares accordingly. Bisping pushes the UK team to the brink of exhaustion for the simple reason that he wants them to be at their best -- and likely as punishment for the failure of Dave Faulkner on episode nine.
Welterweight semifinal fight #1: Damarques Johnson (13-6) vs. Nick Osipczak (3-0)
Round 1: Stiff jab by Johnson answered by a hard low kick from Osipczak. Nice one-two punch by Johnson. Osipczak with a looping right and a leg kick. They clinch and Johnson lands an awkward takedown that puts them both on their heads. They stand and trade evenly. Johnson with a stinging right then a body shot. Nice jab by Johnson. Then another. Osipczak goes on the inside and Johnson drags him down. Johnson in half-guard. Osipczak's long limbs make it difficult to posture. Osipczak busy from the bottom. Johnson backs up and Osipczak dives in and stands. Johnson gets rocked with a devastating uppercut. Osipczak smells blood and starts unloading and Johnson hits the cage getting blasted. Only heart keeps him standing. He fires back and stuns Osipczak and buys himself a few seconds. Now both are trading and landing in one of the greatest endings to a round in TUF history.
Round 2: Osipczak eats a right. They clinch and Osipczak is tagged with a huge knee. Johnson to the body. Osipczak lazily shoots and gets nothing. Johnson falls on top of him and rolls into side control. Works for position and transitions to half guard where Osipczak tangles him up in legs. Johnson back to side control and trying for the kimura. Osipczak stymies him and goes back to guard. Osipczak looks winded. Herb Dean fires off a few warnings to stay busy. Osipczak squirms and Johnson gets full mount. He tees off and Osipczak rolls. Osipczak getting fired upon and eats a few to the back of the head. Johnson just pounds away until the bell sounds with Osipczak trapped in a reverse turtle. Osipczak very slow to rise.
Round 3: Johnson works the jab. Osipczak with a big body shot. Johnson lunging but connects. Osipczak gets rocked with a knee and a combo. Osipczak gassed. Johnson tees off. Osipczak can't even stand. Marshmallow leg kick lands for Osipczak but Johnson just shoves him to the floor and into half-guard. Johnson with some elbows from the top. Osipczak rolls and Johnson takes his back but whoops Osipczak rolls him over and takes the top. Unfortunately he's too gassed to capitalize. Bisping yells a very Mortal Kombat-esque "FINISH HIM" from the sidelines.
Damarques Johnson defeats Nick Osipczak via unanimous decision
Stay tuned next week as the four remaining lightweights face off to see who will join Damarques Johnson in the June 20 finale.
See you in seven!