“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.
It was difficult to once again stand on the edge of the mat as the Canadians retained control. However, at the same time, I felt excited as they called Chris Indich to fight Chad Laprise -- a good matchup.
In the short time I’ve known Chris, I have seen that he has a strong sense of determination, and he’s tough as nails. We always knew Chad was gonna be tough, but we also thought that he had better be well-prepared.
Chris’ weight cut was a breeze, and boy did he look focused. From the fight pick right through to the final bell, Chris had an intensity about him, and without a spoken word, we knew he would give it his all. And he did.
Props to Chad; his footwork and timing were really the story of the fight. Despite the outcome, I have a massive amount of respect for Chris. He’s a genuine Aussie bloke with a ton of spirit who’s taken himself from a tough upbringing to “The Ultimate Fighter.” For me, that says a lot about his character.
Tyler Manawaroa and I thought we’d try and spice things up by decorating the house’s stuffed moose head, something we knew would get under the Canadians’ skin. It did, and we learnt that they had a dry sense of humor, or none at all. But I must agree with Kajan Johnson: “Canadian moose do not wear tampons”... but it’s apparent that some of the Canadian team do!
Tyler couldn’t seem to manage his weight. The “Wild Thing” was doing everything right with his diet, but the weight just wouldn’t come off. The whole team made sure he did what was necessary, but maybe that chip was one of many. I guess we’ll hold our breath and see if it all pays off next week.
Words can’t describe the intensity of this next matchup. There is definitely no love lost between these two, the laidback Tyler “Wild Thing" Manawaroa and the chest-beating Nordine “Grrrr” Taleb. Seems the only thing Nordine fears is an ice bath.
Cast your memories back one week to Nordine’s allegations of the Aussies “gaining intel.” I can assure you that the Canadians -- Kajan, in particular -- have no reservations in telling us all about themselves... over and over, and over, and over again. That’s when they’re not blowing kisses at themselves in the mirror. Nah, seriously, Elias Theodorou is a good guy.
The amount of animosity between Tyler and Nordine is insane. As Patrick Cote said, “don’t blink,” because I think either way this will be a quick fight. Nordine has the experience, but Tyler has an X-factor and an amazing natural ability that you can’t teach. It’s the young buck versus the old bull. I don’t think Nordine can bring anything to the table that Tyler can’t overcome. Move over, old bull -- I think your time has come. Either way, it’s gonna be one hell of a barn burner.
This is definitely not an episode you want to miss. Tune in next week to see a scrap that has the potential to be “Fight of the Season.” There will also be more Aussie humor and antics. I’m sure we can upset the Canadians some more.