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The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK - Episode Ten Recap

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – This week on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK, the semifinals begin. Who will be the first fighter to make it to The Palms in Las Vegas on June 20th for a shot at a UFC contract?
By Thomas Gerbasi

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – This week on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK, the semifinals begin. Who will be the first fighter to make it to The Palms in Las Vegas on June 20th for a shot at a UFC contract?

Each team has four representatives in the semifinals, and UFC President Dana White brings the coaches, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, together to determine the matchups.

When it comes to the welterweights, the coaches and the fighters are in agreement, with Wilkes wanting to fight Johnson and Lester wanting to fight Osipczak, and vice versa.

In the lightweight division, Pearson wants to fight Dent, Dent wants to fight Winner, Winner will take anybody, and Dollar is noncommittal at first, before admitting that he wouldn’t mind fighting his teammate Dent.

Afterwards, White wonders whether it would be better to have the teammates all fight each other to ensure that the finals pit the US vs the UK. Neither coach is too pleased with this suggestion, but they’ll have to wait for White’s official announcement to find out which direction he’s picked.

In the end, he decided on US vs UK in the semis.

Welterweights – Nick Osipczak vs DaMarques Johnson
Lightweights – Andre Winner vs Cameron Dollar
Lightweights – Ross Pearson vs Jason Dent
Welterweights – James Wilkes vs Frank Lester

To celebrate the picks, both teams join up for a barbecue. While there, Richie Whitson gets into it with Jason Pierce, who is trash talking his team to members of the UK team. “Pierce is Team UK, he’s no longer Team US,” said Whitson. “But I don’t even know why they’d want him.” More importantly, Whitson believes Pierce is telling the UK team the key to beating the US squad. Henderson confronts Pierce about this, but the Team US fighter denies it.

In the first semifinal bout, the unbeaten Osipczak takes on Team US’ Johnson. The two trade strikes from long-range early, with Johnson scoring with his punches and Osipcak doing the same with his kicks. With a minute gone, Johnson gets a takedown, but Osipcak fights his way back up almost immediately. The standup battle continues, with Johnson clearly the cleaner striker. With 2:50 left, Johnson gets the takedown and works his ground and pound while trying to improve his position. Osipczak’s defense is solid and he also scores points with strikes from the bottom. The two rise with less than 30 seconds left, and Osipczak jars Johnson, leading to a strong finish not only from the Brit, but from the American, who goes toe-to-toe with his opponent until the bell.

In round two, the two pick up where they left off by trading punches and kikcs, but the fight soon returns to the mat. Johnson gets in side control and works for the kimura. He eventually gives it up and tries to improve position, landing with ground strikes in the process. With under 90 seconds left, Johnson gets the mount position and then takes Osipczak’s back, where he lands with a series of unanswered strikes. Referee Herb Dean threatens to stop the fight, but the bell intervenes before he can.

Osipczak makes it out for the third round and seems to be recovered as he lands some hard shots on Johnson. Johnson seems to be winded, but in the second minute he picks up the pace and attacks more frequently, as now it’s Osipczak who looks exhausted. At the midway point of the round, the two hit the mat, and Johnson looks for the submission again. When that doesn’t come through, he lands with some elbows just to keep busy. Osipczak is game though, and he reverses position in the final minute and tries to pull out the win. Johnson won’t be denied though, as he nullifies Osipczak’s attack and makes it to the bell.

After three rounds, all three judges score it for Johnson, who is on his way to the finals.

Here’s how the teams look…

TEAM USA
WELTERWEIGHTS
Mark Miller – eliminated on episode four by Nick Osipczak
Jason Pierce – removed from the competition by UFC President Dana White
DaMarques Johnson 2-0
Frank Lester – eliminated on episode six by James Wilks; brought back after Pierce’s removal. 1-1

LIGHTWEIGHTS
Richie Whitson – eliminated on episode seven by Ross Pearson
Santino DeFranco– eliminated on episode five by Andre Winner
Cameron Dollar 1-0
Jason Dent 1-0

TEAM UK
WELTERWEIGHTS
David Faulkner – eliminated on episode nine by Frank Lester
Dean Amasinger – eliminated on episode five by Damarques Johnson
Nick Osipczak 1-1 – eliminated in the semifinals by DaMarques Johnson
James Wilks 1-0

LIGHTWEIGHTS
Ross Pearson 1-0
Martin Stapleton – eliminated on episode six by Cameron Dollar
Jeff Lawson – eliminated on episode eight by Jason Dent
Andre Winner 1-0

For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles and a blog from UK coach Michael Bisping, stay tuned to UFC.com.

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