by FIGHT! contributor Thomas McCullough
Nick Osipczak is one of a number of British fighters appearing on the UFC 105 card. Fight fans may remember “Slick Nick” from The Ultimate Fighter: US vs Uk, where he knocked out Mark Miller in spectacular fashion with a head kick. Despite losing to DeMarques Johnson in the next round, he defeated Frank Lester in the TUF 9 finale before being signed by the UFC.
Osipczk is glad to be in the UFC, glad that Zuffa has made a commitment to British fighters and fans, but it’s not all roses for the UK MMA scene. “The UFC is so big it kind of eclipses all other shows and some have suffered because of that,” he said. “However, it gives more exposure, in a good light, of the sport and more importantly shows the UK guys are up with the best in the fighting world.”
When told he would be facing Matt Riddle at UFC 105, he said: “I wasn’t too surprised to be honest because it will have been five months since my win on the TUF 9 finale against Frank Lester, so the timing was right and I figured it would be a good opportunity to get a lot of UK guys on the same card.”
On whether that brings added pressure to bear on the Brits, he said, “Yes and no; it’s definitely a great opportunity to be fighting in front of a home crowd, but I think it’s down to the individual whether or not it will add pressure. We will have to wait until the fight to see if it affects me.”
Osipczak didn’t begin martial arts training until he was an 18-year-old university student, but the fact that he was a professional gambler allowed him to devote more time to training than the typical student. His background is in Shaolin kung fu but these days Osipczak splits his time between Team Rough House and Leicester Shoot Fighters. “I believe I’m the more skilful all-rounded fighter. Who has better striking and is able to finish from more positions,” he said.
“Slick Nick” has one more reason to be confident when he steps into the cage against Riddle.
“Jetlag is a bitch,” Osipczak said.