“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.
Wow! It seems like only yesterday that “TUF Nations” tryouts took place, but at the same time, it feels as if it were years ago when I recap all that has happened in the short time since. What an experience it has been so far, and we are still yet to see the semifinals.
In all honesty, if I could take part in the entire experience again, I wouldn’t want a single Team Aus member to be replaced. Only with the personalities we had could we have jelled so well as a team and supported each other from the beginning to the end. Having teammates such as these makes the time that much more enjoyable.
Sometimes the harsh routine of training day in and day out takes its toll. When this happens, it’s good to take a break physically, but more important than that, mentally. The night out at the hockey, as you could see, was a good night to let loose and get back to reality, even just for a few hours.
It definitely wasn’t our season, but I know nine out of 10 times we would have it over the Canadians, and I believe that with everything in me. Poor decisions and missed opportunities were our only detriments. Despite having more downs than ups, we still have three boys in the semis, and that means back to training, getting them as ready and motivated as we can for their fights.
It’s quite exciting to see what the matchups will bring. Will the fighters be granted the fights they want? Will everything be turned on its head with matchups we never saw coming? I couldn’t imagine how “Filthy” Rich Walsh must be feeling with three Canadians all gunning for him. It’s almost an impossibility to predict who he will fight. In Tyler Manawaroa’s case, it’s easy: he wants blood, Elias Theodorou’s blood. This dislike is an accumulation of Elias’ cocky and arrogant behavior, and I certainly hope Tyler gets his wish. Vik Grujic couldn’t care less who he fights, as long as he gets to fight, and in my opinion, he will be a handful for any of the remaining middleweights.
I believe I speak for all fighters, win or lose, when I say it has been an incredible experience so far and definitely one to remember. The best is yet to come as the tension begins to rise between teammates. Stay tuned for the final matchups, some shocking upsets and, as always, awesome fights!