By Alistair Hendrie
Nick Osipczak reckons he is a new breed of fighter ahead of his June 27 comeback against Kyle Redfearn at Macto Fighting Championships.
The TUF: United States vs. United Kingdom star, whose last fight was at UFC 122 in 2010, spent his time off learning tai chi in south-east Asia and Australia.
“I don’t train at all like the normal MMA fighter anymore,” said the 30-year-old, speaking exclusively to MMA Plus. “When I was away I sought out tai chi masters because that kind of traditional, ancient wisdom is so hard to find in regular MMA gyms.
“You start to become aware of all this knowledge that isn’t being utilised in MMA. A lot of it has come from the original phase of martial arts where it was kill or be killed. Many, many generations spent their entire lives training in how to do this.”
He added: “By practising tai chi my fighting has become a lot more efficient, and I study MMA a lot better than I used to.”
A tall welterweight with crafty Muay Thai strikes, “Slick” Nick went 1-3 in the UFC but still held his record of never losing by stoppage.
He also mentioned how his training has become smarter since hanging up the gloves.
“I only spar once or twice a week. Especially in the case of today’s MMA fighter, they’ll spar almost every day and compete very hard. I’ve stayed injury-free because of my training programme and to be honest, I don’t care what other guys do because they’re my competitors.”
Indeed, the Londoner even confessed he’d never heard of Redfearn before their bout was announced.
Training with Curt Warburton and Davey Grant in County Durham, Redfearn – a keen gymnast – is dangerous in the early stages and has built up an 8-6 record on the British scene.
Meanwhile Macto have set the bar high with their first event, hosting a welterweight scrap between David Round and Alex Montagnani, as well as heavyweight fireworks between Oli Thompson and Kamil Bazelek.
Osipczak said: “I know [Macto board member] Wad Alameddine has felt that events aren’t being staged well enough and fighters aren’t being treated well enough, so this has been a burning desire of his for a while.
“Macto have been producing high-quality video content to promote the show. All of their fighters are good at speaking to the media – that’s important as if nobody watches your fight or knows who you are, then it doesn’t matter how good you are.”
As for his own ambitions, Nick is aiming to reach the top. “I feel good – my plan is to fight three times and then fast-track my way to the UFC. From then my goal is to win the belt by 2018, absolutely.”
This interview was brought to you by Alistair Hendrie and you can follow Alistair on Twitter @allyh84.