Interview with TUF 9 fighter Nick Osipczak 

Let’s get one thing straight, Nick Osipczak has probably got one of the strongest chins in the Welterweight Division. Anybody that saw TUF 9 Team UK Vs Team US saw that in his fight with DaMarques Johnston, I don’t think there are many that can doubt the heart of Team Rough House trained fighter.

If you were living under a rock at the time and missed TUF 9 and you’re not familiar with “Slick” Nicks work here’s a video so you can see how talented this guy is.

After a split decision loss to Rick Story, Osipczak faces Greg Soto at UFC 118.  In this interview Nick discusses his training camp, things that he’s been working on and even gives his predictions on who will win the main and co-main event at UFC 118.

Hey Nick, how’s life treating you?

Real good thanks.

Firstly, I read a while ago that before you started your MMA career you were a professional poker player. How did you get from that career to MMA?

Well, I was always training whilst playing poker, and already competing in amateur and semi-pro events.

Looks like you’ll be fighting Greg Soto at UFC 118 in August, how’s the training camp going for the fight with Greg Soto? What do you see as his strengths?

The training camp is spot on so far, just up in Nottingham at the moment where I spar with the Rough House lads. Soto is a decent wrestler with a good ground game, these are his strengths.

Is there anything in particular that you’ve been training to subdue his grappling skills as 4 of his 7 wins have come by submission?

I’m very confident in my submission defence, but as always I have been improving my ground game, training under Felipe De Souza at BJJ School.

You’re fighting on a pretty stacked card, which includes BJ Penn Vs Frank Edgar and Randy Couture Vs James Toney. Who’re your picks for those two fights in particular?

BJ Penn and Randy, for sure, stick some money on it.

Does it help that you’ve got your team-mate at Team Rough House, Andre Winner fighting on the same card as you?

Yes, as it makes the camp better and it makes the week leading up to the fight over there more comfortable.

I’m assuming that you’ve been training with each other considering that the fighter he’s fighting against is similar to Soto with their grappling skills.

Yeah, we always train together. His striking is top-notch and he’s actually really good at imitating any style of fighter!

I’ve heard a lot of fighters describe their time on The Ultimate Fighter as being pretty bad, due to it being such an enclosed space with nothing really to do. How was your time on the Ultimate Fighter?

I loved it, in fact so did most of Team UK. I made some excellent friends and learnt a lot!

What was it like training with Michael Bisping? Has anything he taught you stuck with you or helped you evolve as a fighter?

It was great. I’d trained with him before that, but he really got stuck in and was one of the lads. His mentality is what i learnt off him mostly, his approach and intensity to each training session.

Dana White described your fight with Damarques Johnston as “one of the best fights in TUF history”. How did it feel to get that sort of endorsement from someone like Dana who is known for not sugar-coating things?

It felt amazing, exciting fights is what the fans want to see, so that makes me happy. Obviously it was nice to get noted by the big man himself as well.

Hoping that you win the fight with Greg Soto, where do you see yourself in Welterweight Division?

I see myself as one of the top strikers and someone who is incredibly hard to stop.

Has your life changed at all after being on The Ultimate Fighter?

Yes, i can dedicate much more time to training and get more attention from coaches. I also get to do a lot more travelling and meet more people.

A question that has come up regarding British Fighters recently is that they can’t handle wrestlers and that they don’t have any takedown defence. How do you feel about statements like that and how do you handle wrestlers considering the UK isn’t known for our wrestlers.

Well it’s only a matter of time before wrestling in the UK catches up, the same way we did with our BJJ. My biggest problem with wrestlers is that they’re more likely to make for a boring fight.

With the likes of you, Dan Hardy, Ross Pearson and Paul Daley at Team Rough House I can imagine that there’s a healthy mix of banter and intense hard work? What’s it like training there and have you ever been tempted to go to the states and train at a 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu or a Cesar Gracie camp?

One day i will venture abroad for training, but i still feel like there is plenty for me to learn over here. Training is fun but tough; we’re a close group who like to take the piss out of each other.

I was pretty disappointed by the fact that you and Andre weren’t on UFC 2010 Undisputed game. Do you play and if you do what characters do you use?

I have the game but I don’t play it as I’m not really a big gamer. Wasn’t really disappointed about not being on it because I’ll be on the next one and my rating will be higher.

As a person who has had a bit of MMA training myself, what are your favourite and least favourite parts to train in? Personally, I love striking and the ground game, but I can’t stand the cardio training.

Same, I love the sparring, but hate the fitness side of things. I think most people are the same, but cardio is king.

The fight between you and Rick Story was controversial at best as many people including myself believed you won the fight. Was there anything in particular that you learnt from that fight or anything that you would’ve changed now that you look back on it?

I’ve learnt to “play the game” more, and work to the judges scoring criteria. This is a shame really but a reality. Looking back on it, I have no regrets, I had a rib injury which prevented me from grappling for a month, but that isn’t something i could have changed.

Thanks for your time Nick, is there anyone you’d like to thank?

I’d like to thank all my sponsors and coaches, including Cherry Active, Maximuscle, Tokyo 5, Hayabusa and Lean & Green.  Check out slicknickmma.com for regular updates and if you’re in London come train with me at new-wave-academy.com

Osipczak will face Greg Soto at UFC 118

 Credit to Leicester MMA for the picture

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s