Nick Osipczak is in Germany, in the process of cutting weight, and hoping to put the disappointments of his last couple of outings in the Octagon behind him – but he faces no easy task in Duane “Bang” Ludwig at UFC 122.
“He has loads of experience, and the fact that he doesn’t have to cut any weight for this fight will mean he comes into the bout with even better cardio (than a cutter)” explains Osipczak, adding that he knows Bang will be looking to live up to his nickname by trying to lay some heavy leather down.
“It’s obvious he prefers to strike in fights, and he has some heavy hands, so I think this will be a striking match until he decides to try and take me down.”
Looking at the card for Germany, its good news for UFC fans – there are some really solid strikers that will be vying for the UFC bonuses. Osipczak thinks that between himself and his opponent, they have a good chance of walking away with a nice fat check for Christmas.
“It’s about time I won a bonus! I’ve been close a couple of times… although I think Dre (Andre Winner) will be picking up Knockout of the Night against Denis Siver.”
If he is looking at a bonus, it means he is going to let it all hang out in the cage, which removes any notion of him looking for a safe game plan to get back into the winner’s circle. Osipczak has lost his last two bouts in the Octagon. UFC president Dana White has proven in the past, though, that if you are exciting and bring it, you will still have a home in the UFC.
Osipczak is quite pragmatic about the situation he is in.
“I always look to finish my fights, I am not going to change that now, and I am certainly not worrying too much about being cut, as it wouldn’t help anything. I always train 100 percent to win and my training should pay off.”
Focusing on the bout in more detail, it appears the biggest question marks will be how Ludwig performs after a horrific and unfortunate Maisonneuve fracture in his lightweight bout with Darren Elkins. Can he kick? Can he stuff takedowns? Will thoughts of the injury come back to haunt him?
“I am sure it will be a factor at some point. Looking and speaking to Dean Amasinger about his last fight, he told me that coming back after breaking his arm definitely affected him, and Duane’s leg break was a lot worse. Still, I’m taking nothing for granted and I have prepared to beat the best Duane there is.”
On the face of it, The Rough House appears to have had a bad 2010, but there have been positives along the way. Sure, Dan Hardy, Ross Pearson, Andre Winner, and Osipczak himself all suffered tough losses, as well as the highly documented ejection of Paul Daley from the UFC, but this dovetails with an excellent showing for Jimmy Wallhead in the Bellator promotion, and Amasinger came back from the aforementioned injury to pick up a tough victory over Jamaine Facey at UCMMA.
Osipczak thinks the year will end on a high and set the tone for 2011. At least, he plans on doing his part at UFC 122 on Saturday.
“It’s true that we have had losses to some top guys, and mostly by decision, but we’ve made some adjustments, such as bringing in Victor Estima to teach BJJ, and we’re looking towards a much more successful 2011. It starts with a second-round TKO for me in Germany.”