UFC 112: Interview with Nick Osipczak, the Safest Bet on the Card

Sam NassarCorrespondent IApril 3, 2010

A pride of London with a very interesting story leading to his MMA career, Nick Osipczak started his martial arts training in kung fu.  After attaining a national title in kung fu, a change of heart had Nick switching over to train MMA. 

“I realized my style was limited and it wasn’t representative of real fighting and the closest you could get to real, but still staying safe, was MMA,” Osipczak said.

If one wonders if kung fu style translates well to MMA, Nick stated, “Besides basic things like timing, distancing, balance, the thing I got out of it was the ability to kick, high kicks and head kicks, that’s definitely helped me in MMA. Other than that the rest wasn’t really helpful.”

With a bachelor's degree in math, accounting, and financial management, Nick made smart use of his skills by becoming a professional gambler.  

“It allowed me to train full-time and I had flexible hours, that’s probably why I went down that route.” 

He called his combination of gambler and fighter as “the perfect lifestyle”.  Without work-related distractions, Nick could keep his eye on what he truly wanted, which was a chance to be in the UFC.  

Nick got the chance of a lifetime being allowed to compete on season nine of The Ultimate Fighter .  Nick gained a spot on the show after a quick knee made short work of his opponent. 

Nick was not initially seen as a threat by Team Henderson and was chosen to fight first against Mark Miller.  A power head kick from Nick that echoed in the Octagon silenced any argument that Nick was for real.    

Nick eventually lost a unanimous decision to DaMarques Johnson which bumped him out of the tournament.  Nick’s fight with Johnson was called one of the best in The Ultimate Fighter 's history by Dana White

When asked how his experience was on The Ultimate Fighter , Nick replied, “I loved training, I loved the coaches, I loved every bit of it. I was pretty aware of how lucky I was to be in that situation.”

The morale and attitude differed between Team US and Team UK and Nick offered his own explanation as to why, “I guess MMA is just a bigger deal in America and they’ve got all these good facilities on their doorstep, but over here it’s a bit more difficult. To get to the top level you’ve got to work at it and seek out the best gyms and the best training partners, so having it all in one spot and being taken care of like that, we just loved it, that’s what we’re all about.”

The talented fighter has seen several advancements in UK MMA since the end of TUF 9.  There have been more attempts to host UFC events in the UK, advertisements, and most importantly, a greater respect for MMA as a sport.

“It still has a bit more to go before it’s like anything in the States,” was his response to where UK MMA currently stands. 

Osipczak made a move to train with the Rough House camp after TUF 9 wrapped.  Nick believed Rough House to be one of the strongest camps in the UK and was invited by TUF 9 teammates Andre Winner and Dean Amasinger to join the camp. 

“We’re mostly lightweights and welterweights at Rough House, lots of top guys and couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to train with.” Nick is among a talented pool of welterweights such as Ross Pearson, Andre Winner, Paul Daley, and Dan Hardy.

Nick specifically remarked about possibly the most experienced member of his team, Dan Hardy. 

“Dan’s been with it from the start, he’s watched these guys grow and he’s like a father-figure, him and Paul.”  

Results have been noticeable for Nick since his training started with Rough House.  Nick has seen the biggest improvement in his strength since starting to train with team Rough House, “When you reach a certain level you’ve got to be strong, you’ve got to be an athlete to compete with the best guys.”

Nick racked up two more wins after TUF 9 beating Frankie Lester at the TUF 9 finale by submission.  Nick’s biggest fight thus far has been his UFC 105 fight against TUF 7 alum Matt Riddle.  After an exchange of words Nick finished Riddle via TKO, Nick stated this has been his favorite moment in his MMA career.

UFC 112 sees Nick squaring off against Rick Story who has had three fights in the UFC thus far.  Nick is feeling very confident that he will finish Story by either KO or submission, “His danger, I think, is his work-rate. His only chance of beating me is to win a decision and I don’t think that’s going to happen.” 

Nick looks forward to progressing in his MMA career and wants to take it one fight at a time. The fighter is excited for his future and wants to test himself against the best in the world.

When asked about the event taking place in Abu Dhabi, Nick replied, “The UFC has made no secret that they want to dominate the world and so far they seem to be going the right way about it.  It’s going to open up more doors and get more fans.”

With talent, a good camp, positive attitude, and the love and support of his home country, watch out for this fighter. 

The former professional gambler has shown himself to be a safe bet and will continue to do so in the near future.