by Dean Amasinger, Special to MMAWeekly.com
Mark Miller vs. Nick Osipczak
Episode four started with showing a U.K. training session.
As I mentioned before, the training was second to none and we were all happy
with the way training was going.
One of the main things that we were happy about was the
structure of the training. Not only during the actual sessions but also the
schedule over the week made sure we covered everything equally.
Some of the U.S. team on the other hand were not so happy
with their training. They didn’t know what they were doing over the week and
the structure within a session was apparently a bit haphazard.
The Demarques vs. Bisping feud has continued to get worse.
Mike really took a disliking to Demarques and the feeling was mutual. I think
they got off to the wrong foot and they had a personality clash.
When Mike got annoyed at something Demarques had said it was
a case of crossed wires. Demarques was actually talking to Wilks about his
basketball shot or ‘Jumper’ and Mike thought he was talking to him and further
exacerbated the rift between them.
The first fight announcement was tense. On the almost
30-minute van ride to the gym, it was clear that it was on everyone’s mind. It
was an almost silent journey and because the pick was in the U.S. team’s hand
any one of us could be fighting. It reminded me of that first day at the
Wolfslair… the nervous anticipation of the unknown, but the excitement at the
Two members of the team were injured and we were hoping that
they wouldn’t be picked. Dave had cellulitus on his shin from a wayward
sledgehammer on a conditioning circuit and Jeff had a chest infection. We didn’t
talk about it with the U.S. team, so we weren’t aware whether they knew about
it and would capitalize.
The fight was to be Miller vs. Osipczak. We knew that it
would be a good match-up for Nick and when we discussed options that had been a
probable match up. I was slightly disappointed though because Mark and I had
already discussed fighting in a battle of the beards event, with the loser
shaving his off!
The stupid games that the U.S. team started really didn’t
bother us. We had already spoken as a team about it and decided not to
retaliate to their pranks because it only ends up in escalation and could get
out of hand. We were here to win the show, not to play pranks on each other.
The wrestling shoes incident was slightly different. For
starters, they had broken the rules that they had laid out and they chose the
wrong person to do it to. Ross Pearson is best described as a pit bull and is not
the sort of guy you want to piss off.
When we got back to the house, Ross confronted the U.S. team
and Demarques owned up to it and apologized. I was surprised that it didn’t
make it to the show. I think they are making Demarques out to be worse than he
was. He meant the prank as a joke and when he knew that Ross was annoyed, he
manned up and apologized.
The fight was exciting with both fighters rising above
expectations. Mark showed he had better grappling than first thought and Nick
showed he had more power than he was given credit for.
The fight showed how well rounded both fighters were with
all aspects of MMA on display. I’m still not sure about the ‘did he, didn’t he
tap’ issue. I have watched it over and over, but it’s hard to tell.
The first round was close, but the telling sign of who won
was the corner’s reaction. Nick’s corner said, “your round,” while Mark’s
corner said, “that was a close round”… corner man code for “you lost that round”.
The pace of the fight was fast and both fighters tested
their cardio. I think Nick’s was just that bit better and he was able to stay
busy even while on the bottom. We later found out that Mark broke his nose from
an elbow whilst in Nick’s guard.
With a minute to go in the second round, Nick showed he still
had his head about him and to use his words did “the oldest trick in the book,
look low kick high.” It was a beautiful kick and Mark was out before he hit
It was so important to get that first win. Not only to boost
our confidence, but because it was the U.S. team’s choice, so they would have
anticipated a win.
Morale was high in the camp and you can be sure that the
mood stays with the team into the next fight…
out more info on Dean Amasinger check out www.deanamasinger.com