As the semifinal fights approach on The Ultimate Fighter Nations, Team Canada will deal with a scenario that’s happened before on the reality show, but that certainly doesn’t make it any easier.
With UFC president Dana White calling into the fighters to ask them about their preferences to the upcoming matches, two Canadian welterweights are going to be forced to face each other and that means a few different scenarios could play out and battle lines will be drawn.
Kajan Johnson, Chad Laprise and Olivier Aubin-Mercier all made it to the second round of the tournament, which was a great start for the Canadian team, but now they are faced with the reality that two of them will fight in the next round. Following a season filled with training and team comradery, one Canadian welterweight will be forced to end the dreams of one of his teammates and then go back into the gym to work together again when the fight is finished.
This kind of scenario could easily cause a major rift in the team’s chemistry, which has been a big part of the success the Canadians have felt this entire season. It also turns the coaching staff and the fighters against each other — who picks sides with one fighter or the other and who ends up cornering against their own country? It’s a pivotal moment in every season of the show, but maybe none bigger than asking one Canadian to face another with home pride on the line.
Which two welterweights will face off and how will it affect coach Patrick Cote and the rest of the team? That’s what we all hope to find out on Wednesday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter Nations.
On the opposite side of the gym, Team Australia is riding high following Vik Grujic’s devastating knockout over Luke Harris. Turning Harris into ‘Frankenstein’ as the Australians call it was a huge boost to the morale of a team that has had a very up and down season all year long. With only three Australians left in the competition this was the exact kind of boost they needed heading into the semifinal selections.
Every fighter has a chance in the upcoming episode to give their selections on who they believe they should face in the next round of the tournament, although it’s likely there will be a few popular suggestions. From the Canadian welterweights there’s no doubt all three of them will hope to pull the long straw and avoid a teammate so they can instead face lone Australian survivor Richard Walsh.
In the middleweight division where things are tied up at two wins a piece, Canadians will face Australians, but who is gunning for pretty boy Elias Theodorou and which person wants to avenge Nordine Taleb’s loss and go after Australian wild child Tyler Manawaroa?
When the dust settles and the picks are made, UFC president Dana White’s choices may shock a few people given the favorites for the competition going into day one on the show.
It all culminates in the upcoming fight to kick off the semifinal round of the tournament as one fighter moves closer to April 16 in Quebec City in the TUF Nations Finale. While you won’t find out what fight is happening until Wednesday’s episode, rest assured it’s one of the best of the season and will surely leave more than a few jaws hanging on the ground when it’s over.
It also involves one of the most emotional moments to ever take place on The Ultimate Fighter and when it’s all said and done, a few tears will be shed. The only way to find out who’s crying and who’s moving on in the next round of the tournament is to tune into The Ultimate Fighter Nations this Wednesday night at 10pm ET.