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Ultimate Fighter 9: Team USA vs. Team UK Nick Osipczak blog Episode 7

Unfortunately, after watching the coaches’ challenge, I’d have to say that Michael Bisping is one of the worst tennis players in the world.

They weren’t even playing proper tennis rules and neither Mike or Dan (Henderson) could get it over the net. You didn’t even have to serve in the serve box.

Mike was as gutted as we were at the end of the match. We all wanted to receive the extra cash from the coaches’ challenge and it was pretty painful to watch it all unfold. From the first ball being hit – or not – we knew we had no chance of winning.

We’d have loved to have won the $1500 and obviously hated losing to the Americans at anything. You could tell from the first point we were going to lose, but still had to stand there and watch the whole thing play out. As soon as Mike started serving under-arm, we knew it was a lost cause.

Mike always puts on a good front, but he really hates losing. He was being wound up by the Americans that day and he hated every second of it. That DaMarques (Johnson) definitely got under Mike’s skin a lot that day. Fair play to Mike, though, because you need that kind of attitude to reach the elite level in sport. He’s obviously got it.

The Americans can have that tennis win. We were just concentrating on the fights.

The next fight for us saw Ross Pearson finally get unleashed from his cage. He’d been raring to go from day on, because he’s basically half-man, half-pit bull. He’s always looking to chase after people and fight them.

We knew that Richie Whitson had good hands and stand-up, but we were also aware that Ross had done some boxing in his time and possessed the better technique. We felt confident matching them up next.

In the fight itself, Ross actually attempted a few takedowns, secured the third and then got Richie’s back. The finishing arm-bar just showed Ross’ versatility as a fighter. The fight was pretty even on the feet, but Ross had the advantage in his wrestling and submissions. You could tell very quickly that Richie wasn’t comfortable with Ross on the ground. Ross fought a very smart fight and capitalised on Richie’s weaknesses.

Going into the fight, we all really expected a slugfest. Both guys were crazy strikers and we all anticipated an explosive battle. It went a little like that for a while. Ross even admitted to me that he got rocked by one of Richie’s punches and his vision actually shut down in one eye for a bit. That may have been an attributing factor to the takedowns.

We moved 4-2 up on the Americans with Ross’ win over Richie and Team UK were well in pole position. We had a massive mental advantage in the house and the team bond within Team UK was unbreakable at this stage…

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