“The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” welterweight Jake Matthews (@JakeBJJMMA) will blog for Sherdog.com all season long, giving his thoughts, reactions and behind-the-scenes insights on the show. “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” (#TUFNations) airs each Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 in North America, and Thursdays on FX at 4:30 p.m. AEDT (with a second airing at 10:30 p.m. AEDT) in Australia.
Here it is! The final episode: it’s been an amazing journey and one that I’ll never forget. I believe I’ve made friends for life and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
Another Aussie has fallen and our last hope, Vik Grujic, faces Canadian favorite Sheldon Westcott. Two explosive fighters who don’t take a backward step, so going head to head should make for a great fight.
The overall mood in the house had progressively grew more relaxed as the weeks went by. At this stage we were all pretty much best mates; all animosity and tension was gone and we could finally have fun and crack some jokes with the Canadians.
So we were all in the living room relaxing when we hear a knock at the door. At first we thought a camera man had locked himself out … next thing we know Georges St. Pierre is walking through the door! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt like a little kid at Christmas; Georges has been the fighter that I’ve looked up to the most. In fact, his rematch against Matt Serra was the fight that got me interested in becoming a UFC fighter. It was awesome to be able to chat with GSP not as a fan, but as a peer and to gain some insight from a legend.
All of our focus was now on Vik. Our remaining training sessions were revolved around preparing him for his bout against Sheldon. It would be hard to simulate Sheldon’s style in training so we focused more on explosion and conditioning, knowing that Sheldon would come out hard as he usually does and we wanted Vik to pull the trigger first.
The day of the weigh-in Vik was very quiet, even more quiet than when he fought Luke. I would say that he was nervous due to what was at stake in this fight, and facing the favorite to win the show. The weigh-in went off without a hitch: Vik weighed in the heavier fighter but Sheldon looked a lot bigger and as always he was fired up.
Fight Day! We were excited for the bout, as no one knew what was going to happen. Would it will finish quickly or be a 3 round war? I was sure that it wouldn’t go past the first round seeing as though both fighters are extremely powerful.
The fight begins and both boys waste no time and almost immediately engage in a scramble in the center of the cage, Sheldon was just too strong and bullied Vik to the fence. Vik did a really good job of defending the takedown, but Sheldon powered through and took Vik down with a big slam. Sheldon must have expected Vik to hold onto his neck as he was practicing the Von Flue choke in the locker room. Low and behold, Vik holds the neck and Sheldon sinks in the choke.
I personally would have liked to see the season close with a war, but it was good to watch never the less. So that does it: an all Canadian Finale, despite that I would like to wish all of the finalists the best of luck. It’s sad to have to leave but at the same time I can’t wait to get home, I believe win or lose each contestant has gained so much from this experience and it is only going to benefit their careers.
The Canadians may have gotten four fighters into the finale, but rest assured that Kyle Noke will save face for the Aussies when he defeats Patrick Cote. Thank you to all of our loyal viewers! Enjoy the finals!