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.
Johny Hendricks talks about UFC 167, punching GSP in the face, being a new father and Olympic Wrestling
MMAxposed was fortunate enough to partake in this past weekend’s fundraiser and charity event at ‘Woodbridge Heroes’ collectibles store in scenic Woodbridge, Ontario. The event was held in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association, the city of Vaughan food bank and SOS Children’s Villages.
The event, sponsored in part by Haymaker Fightwear, was a rousing success, raising much-needed funds for worthy charities and providing entertainment for children of all ages including super hero costumes and an exotic petting zoo.
Also featured were appearances from real-life superheroes in the form of some of the top names in MMA, including UFC #1 welterweight contender Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks. Hendricks gave this exclusive interview to MMAxposed where he discusses the clash with GSP, becoming a father the day before, whether wrestling will be back in the Olympics and more. Watch as “Bigg Rigg” pulls no punches on any subject!
By Carlin Bardsley
This veteran fighter doesn’t necessarily need a Bruce Buffer introduction, but ‘The Pride of El Salvador’ Ivan Menjivar (24-8) will get it this weekend at UFC 148. Ivan will be going for his fourth straight victory in the UFC. His opponent will be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Mike Easton (12-1) from Alliance MMA under Lloyd Irvin. Mike is currently on a seven fight win streak. Ivan believes that Mike has great hands to go along with his prolific ground skills and has been forced to train smart for this match up. His fight camp has once again been under the tutelage of one of the best in the business Firas Zahabi from Tri Star Gym in Montreal, Canada. These Bantamweights will square off this Saturday, in the under card, of the highly anticipated re match between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Menjivar rarely disappoints when it comes to putting on crowd pleasing performances. The Menjivar/Easton combination lends itself to have all the makings of a fight of the night honour. Menjivar already holds a submission of the night honour in the UFC. Ivan says he just appreciates the opportunity that the UFC is giving him and he just wants to face-off Saturday night and put on a great show for the fans!
Photos and article by Randi Lotsberg
Participants were treated to an afternoon martial arts class last weekend, instructed by current UFC Welterweight champion, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre. Around 250 people took part in the event, hosted by Robinson’s Karate School in Newmarket, Ontario. Prior to the event, St. Pierre spent time taking photos and signing autographs with fans that came to the seminar.
He began the class explaining how he incorporates gymnastics into his training, following this up with a number of warm up exercises. Over the next few hours, St-Pierre demonstrated various techniques he utilizes while inside the octagon including his patented superman punch and how to perform an armbar.
St- Pierre had previously coached a season of the UFC’s reality series, The Ultimate Fighter against welterweight Josh Koscheck culminating in the champion defeating Koscheck by unanimous decision at UFC 124. He spent time walking around, observing participants and showing them the proper techniques of what he was teaching. GSP concluded the seminar by thanking everyone for coming out and participating.
It is unknown yet when he will be able to return to mixed martial arts competition. St-Pierre has been out of action since late 2011 with an ACL injury. His last fight was on April 30th, 2011 at UFC 129, where he defeated Jake Shields by unanimous decision. However, it is expected he will defend his title against Carlos Condit later this year.