Everyone is going to be talking about it.
No, this week’s bout between Demarques Johnson and Nick Osipczak on The Ultimate Fighter was not a classic fight. In the end, it wasn’t even a close fight. But, for 20 seconds, viewers saw one of the most exciting exchanges they will ever see, which left UFC President Dana White open mouthed and shocked.
With last week’s departure of Team UK’s Dave Faulkner, some would suggest that Johnson is now the best fighter remaining on the show. Prior to his fight, Johnson stated as much himself and added that he intended to “hurt Osipczak’s feelings”.
Team UK received a scouting report on Johnson from one of his American teammates (more on that later) which said that Osipczak should focus on his takedown defenses if he hoped to keep his feelings intact. While he certainly took the advice to heart, he was unable to thwart any of his training partners as they took him down at will and it seemed Osipczak was destined to be on his back for most of his fight.
The first round went mostly according to plan as Johnson took the fight to the ground and controlled Osipczak until the final minute. When the fight returned to standing, the Brit stunned Johnson with a heavy punch to the head, sending him backwards. Osipczak hunted him down and landed many more devastating blows and it appeared only a matter of time before Johnson would go down and stay down. Though badly hurt, Johnson somehow answered the assault with punches of his own, any one of which could have ended the fight in his favor. As the two fighters stood toe to toe, throwing everything they had with each punch, the fighters from both teams at ringside cheered wildly at what they were seeing. When the bell sounded, though it seemed impossible, both men had survived the round.
The American dominated the second round, putting Osipczak on the ground early and never allowing him to get to his feet. As Johnson pounded on his opponent, Team UK Coach Michael Bisping was heard shouting “You can’t lie there and do nothing Nick”, which was exactly what his fighter was doing. At the end of the round, Bisping and the other coaches scraped Osipczak off the canvas like a piece of road kill and carried him back to their corner. At that point Nick likely thought he was being taken for an ice cream cone instead of another round of punishment from Johnson. The American was simply too much for Osipczak in the third round and the Brit could do nothing to change the outcome, losing the fight in a unanimous decision.
In the night’s most controversial moment, American Jason Pierce was seen secretly providing information about Johnson to Team UK. Fellow American Richie Whitson reported the treason to their coach Dan Henderson, but Pierce flatly denied he had done any such thing when confronted. I suspect future episodes will show Pierce going through his teammates’ wallets and possibly contacting their girlfriends, but that will have to wait another week.