This week was the most impressive week on TUF I've seen in quite some time. It started off strong with some solid training montages that actually showed us how each of the coaches trains their fighters. We saw them introduce their asst. coaches, go over film, talk strategy, etc. It was really informative.
The shenanigans also started this week. It's obvious that the US team is much more into it than the UK team. Damarques is the ring leader writing on left behind shirts and shoes. It's not original but at least it's good natured and doesn't involve the transfer of any bodily fluids.
We also saw him and Bisping trade some words. Bisping admits that he's kind of an ass but only to get under the skin of the other team.
Henderson goes ahead and picks the first fight really without us getting any strategic insight into the match up besides that Mark Miller was on weight and ready to fight. The first match up will be at WW between Miller and Nick Osipczak.
This fight was quite the barn burner and was one of the most exciting quarter final fights I've seen. This round is usually where the cream rises but these guys were both tough competitors.
Round one was very close. Both guys' strategy was to get the other guy to the ground as neither had displayed much ground game in their first fight. Unfortunately they kind of neutralized each other trading position and ground and pound. It was a close call but Nick's stand up looked better so I would've given him the round.
Round two was almost all Nick. He got the fight to the ground immediately and almost got Mark to tap out (I still didn't see a definitive motion) but giave it up in order to not gas out. They stand up and start throwing bombs and it's obvious that Miller is pretty gassed.
Nick takes the fight back down and they continue to trade position though Nick landed much better stuff compared to Miller this time. Miller is doing nothing on top so the fight is stood up. Miller can't keep his hands up and Nick capitalizes throwing a devastating head kick for the KO victory.
This fight was a much better showing for Nick based on the caliber of fighter he had to face. Nick showed a more diverse attack too. Obviously his striking is his bread and butter but it appears as though he understands the ground game better than I expected.
This was a great first quarterfinal match and I'm definitely looking forward to next week after a great beginning to the tournament. As always I'll end with my quote of the weak which belongs to Mark Miller explaining his unusual nickname:
"I think I was at breakfast with my grandma and she asked me what my fight nickname was and I said ‘Meat Missile’ as a joke"
I wouldn't touch that statement with a ten foot pole. Alright folks that's all for now. I'll be back next week with another TUF 9 recap and stay tuned for my fighter rankings for May coming soon. Until then,
Soccer kicks and head stomps...