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Maggie Hendricks

'The Ultimate Fighter' recap: Traitors never win

Cagewriter

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In the last episode, Frank Lester took Jason Pierce's spot, and in a shock to no one, Team UK and Team USA didn't get along. Lester took advantage of his second chance, winning over Team UK's David Faulkner, who didn't come back to the sudden death round. Tonight, they will pick the semifinal fights.

Dana White called in Bisping and Henderson to talk semi match-ups. Hendo and Bisping are on the same page for who they want to see fight. Next, the guys come in and say who they want to fight, and again, they're on the same page.

Except, Cameron Dollar wants to fight Jason Dent, his teammate. That puts an idea in Dana's head. "Maybe we should go team vs. team?" Because then you are guaranteed an American vs. a Brit in the finals? Naw, Dana wouldn't be that diabolical ... or would he?

"[Expletive] that," Bisping says. "I'm not worried about it," Hendo says. Is it possible for Hendo to be any more laid back? At some point, could he become so laid back that he just falls asleep? Anyway, Dana shelves his brilliant idea, and gives his coaches what they want. The semifinal matchups are:

-- Nick Osipczak vs. Damarques Johnson

-- Andre Winner vs. Cameron Dollar

-- Ross Pearson vs. Jason Dent

-- James Wilks vs. Frank Lester (a rematch)

J'accuse!

Since the preliminary fights are over, the two teams come together for a barbecue. It seems like a nice, festive occasion until Pierce starts talking smack about his own team to Team UK. He complains that his team never came together, they drink too much, don't care about winning, etc. Richie Whitson walks in one this and calls Pierce out for not spending time with the team. Pierce calls his team a bunch of animals, but then tells Whitson to jump weight and fight him.

Then Pierce tells Faulkner how he should have beat Lester. Man, he doesn't even stab people in the back the right way. If you're going to share state secrets, do it before the fight! Not only do that, make sure no one else, like Whitson, is listening. Because he was. And now the whole team knows that you're a Benedict Arnold -- and not even a good one!.

Damarques will take on Nick in the first semifinal. Damarques has taken advantage of the training opportunity in the house, improving on his standup and clinch work. Hendo is happy with his progress.

Pierce is sitting off to the side of practice when Hendo confronts him on sharing training secrets with Team UK. Pierce lies and says he didn't, and Hendo says that if he's lying, it will catch up with him. Psssst. Dan. He's lying!

Osipczak, in preparing for his fight, says that Pierce gave him some good information on Damarques. He will use that to get ready for the fight. Bisping is pushing his guys hard, but he said getting his ass kicked is what made him who he is today.

Nick Osipczak vs. Damarques Johnson (welterweight)

Round 1: Damarques scores a beautiful takedown about one minute in, but the fighters then return to their feet. After a minute of standup, Nick goes in for a takedown but ends up with Damarques on top of him in half-guard. Damarques has trouble accomplishing anything from this position, and Nick methodically elbows Damarques in the head. They stand back up, and Nick unleashes an unanswered flurry of blows with as times wanes in the first. Just before the bell sounds, Damarques returns punches, and the two stand and trade in an exchange that Dana later calls, "Awesome."

Round 2: Nick has another failed takedown attempt about 45 seconds into the second round, and ends up with Damarques in side control. Nick makes a half-hearted attempt at triangle choke but doesn't finish. Bisping yelling, "Move that elbow in for a triangle!" probably didn't help Nick's cause. Damarques then makes a half-hearted attempt at a kimura, but gives that up for some ground and pound. Damarques gets Nick's back, but Nick covers up well. He also camouflages his head well, as Bisping goes crazy that Damarques is hitting the back of Nick's head. In fact, he's hitting his ear and temple. As the round ends, Herb Dean warns Nick that he needs to move more or he is going to end the fight.

Between rounds, Nick is looking beat, until Bisping whispers some magical, inspirational words to Nick, and he yells, "YES." Magically, he is now ready to fight.

Round 3: Damarques clearly looks fresher in the third round as Nick leans back and forth on his feet. Bisping keeps yelling that Damarques is so tired. That's what they call "reverse psychology," right? After Damarques owns Nick on his feet, he takes him down about halfway through the round. With a minute left, Nick gets on top but doesn't do much with it. Bisping begins to yell, "Nick, you can't win on points, you have to finish it!" He realizes that the judges can hear him, right? Nick finishes with a few punches, but I doubt that will erase the fact that he has been owned for the rest of the round.

Damarques wins by unanimous decision, and will fight in the finals on June 20. Dana congratulates Damarques on his "big balls and big heart." Damarques is only focused on the fact that his tongue hurts from biting it in the fight. Apparently, Pierce's inside info didn't pan out for Nick.

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