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By: Chris Park, MMATorch UK Specialist
UFC 122 in Germany will be an event that the members of Team Rough House will no doubt be happy to forget, as both Andre Winner and Nick Osipczak suffered defeat on Saturday night.
The late withdrawal of the Alessio Sakara vs. Jorge Rivera bout, due to Sakara taking ill on the morning of the event, meant that Andre Winner's clash with Dennis Siver was bumped up to co-main event status. Teammate Nick Osipczak saw his fight with Duane “Bang” Ludwig selected for promotion to the evenings main card with the shuffle to the event lineup.
Osipczak was aiming to avoid a third consecutive defeat when he took on Ludwig. After an early scare, "Slick" rocked the American and followed up with some serious ground and pound, sending "Bang" back to his corner with multiple gashes over both eyes at the end of the first round.
The second round was a much closer affair with very little done to make an easy choice between the two men. Osipczak seemed to have a slight edge, but it would take a solid third round to remove all doubt on what a judges' decision would be.
As both men came out for the third and final round it was clear their pace had slowed; although it was Osipczak who wilted dramatically as the round wore on. Ludwig appeared too tired to really turn the heat on Osipczak as the exhausted Brit went into retreat mode at every advance the American made.
It was clearly a round for Ludwig, but it would be the second round that would prove vital in the decision for this fight. As both men stood in the centre of the Octagon, knowing one of them was about to be handed a third straight defeat, Bruce Buffer announced that two of the three judges had awarded that second round to Ludwig, and subsequently handed the American a split-decision victory that could now see Osipczak's UFC future in jeopardy.
Later in the evening, The Ultimate Fighter season nine finalist Andre Winner came looking to put on a show for the fans as he took on fellow striker, and hometown favourite, Dennis Siver in the now co-main event.
After a frantic start that saw both men throwing at a ferocious pace, Siver caught Winner with a left hook that dropped him to the canvass. Siver followed up on his floored opponent before taking his back and sinking in a tight choke.
Winner bravely tried to survive, but Siver used a leg to trap one of the Brit's arms, meaning Winner was physically unable to defend the choke, and he eventually was forced to tap with barely a minute to go in the very first round.
This was a hugely disappointing outcome for Winner, with many touting this as a possible fight of the year. Siver, however, was extremely impressive, dropping Winner and then showing some very slick jiu-jitsu to finish the fight.
2009 was a hugely successful year for Team Rough House, but 2010 has been an a different story to say the least. Question marks will no doubt be raised over both Winner and Osipczak following last Saturday's performances, but the potential that these fighters have will hopefully mean their UFC status will remain intact - for the immediate future at least.
Chris Park is the MMATorch UK Specialist and guest columnist at ESPN.co.uk. Please email any comments or questions to Chris at; email@example.com or look us up at http://www.facebook.com/mmatorchuk2 our new MMATorch Facebook home for UK Fans!
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