Canadians are famously polite, not sure if Team Australia would agree though. After watching the season premier of TUF Nations Canada vs Australia it’s safe to say that things are getting heated quickly in the great white north as tension brews between the Aussie’s and Canucks. Are the Aussies on hostile territory? Or will they be bringing the hostility from down under?
Sportsnet opened its doors last night to TUF cast members friends, family and media for the TUF Nations premier presentedby XBOX ONE. It was a very intimate affair with the presence of Team Canada cast members Chad Laprise (7-0) and Elias Theodorou (8-0) who I may add are both UNDEFEATED As well as UFC lightweight Sam Stout, TUF China cast member Albert Cheng and local Ontario MMA talents Alex Ricci and Adam Assenza.
It was a change of scenery watching The Ultimate Fighter surrounded by people so heavily involved in the sport in a studio environment with live taping during and after for UFC Central. The energy from guests reactions while watching our Canadians in action speaks for itself that this is going to be a season on The Ultimate Fighter that will keep fight fans entertained with patriotic fight action, hostility, witty humor and good old Canadian charm.
O’Reilly starts the first round in a dominant fashion and taking Johnson to the ground in the first 25 seconds and a second takedown in under a minute things quickly turn around for Johnson as he get hold of O’Reillys ankle but O’Reilly managed to get out of the dangerous situation. About halfway through the first round there is an exchanging of punches then Johnson pulls O’Reilly in towards the cage towards the ground takes his back and finishes with a rear naked choke. Taking the first victory for Team Canada and sending Johnson to the next round.
Dana White said “If guys thought fighting in the toughest tournament on television was hard, imagine how they feel doing it with a whole country on their shoulders,” Could this country vs country style tournament help build a new breed and bigger fan base for the sport of MMA? Could this help push MMA to becoming more mainstream and an Olympic sport in the years to come?
Australian female fighter ‘Rowdy’ Bec Rawlings @RowdyBec Aka Bec Hyatt until recently returning to her maiden name, posted this to twitter during the show “Watching TUF Nations & I literally know TWO guys on the Aussie team.. what the frig who are these guys?”
Even Johnson questioned in the first episode whether any of these guys had over 10 fights, which didn’t seem to go over well with the Aussies. Team Canada has a total of 84 fights between all 8 cast members and Team Australia has a total of 54 between them ( keep in mind Johnson has 30 of those just on his record) I’m not saying the match ups are a huge difference but looking at the numbers I have to say this season is looking mighty good for Canadian domination.
PREDICTION TIME: So who do we think is going to win this season of The Ultimate Fighter TUF Nations Canada vs Australia? Without sounding bias being a Canadian writer. I think Canada will be winning in both weight classes with my top four picks on team Canada being Kajan Johnson and Chad Laprise in the welterweight division and Elias Theodorou and Nordine Taleb in the middleweight division but there can only be two I think we will be seeing Laprise and Theodorou representing Canada come time for the finale and Kajan Johnson possibly being signed with the UFC regardless.
Seven weeks out from Mitch Gagnon’s fight at UFC 165 he is confident to finish his opponent Dustin Kimura and have his hand raised inside the UFC octagon on Saturday September 21. The Sudbury, Ontario native is set to make his third appearance inside the octagon and is looking for his second win during his UFC career which would make him 10-3 in his pro MMA career. Kimura is currently undefeated in his pro career. You can watch their bout on the UFC prelims on Sportsnet 8PM/5PM ETPT