Chad Laprise beats Olivier Aubin-Mercier to become first Canadian TUF winner
Canada has never had an Ultimate Fighter winner. Until now.
Chad Laprise became the first person from the country to win TUF when he beat Olivier Aubin-Mercier by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29) Wednesday night in the TUF Nations welterweight final in Quebec City. Laprise and Aubin-Mercier were teammates on Patrick Cote’s Team Canada on the show.
"Words can’t describe how I feel right now," Laprise told Kenny Florian afterward. … "It’s truly amazing."
Laprise’s takedown defense and defensive wrestling won him the fight. In a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, Laprise never let Aubin-Mercier keep him down for any significant amount of time and that was the difference.
Standing up, it was Laprise’s bout. He was far more technical and landed punches as Aubin-Mercier was content to look for takedown attempts. When Aubin-Mercier (4-1) shot in, Laprise (8-0) shrugged off the superior grappler almost easily at times.
Aubin-Mercier, 25, actually opened a cut on under Laprise’s left eye in the first round and had him in a guillotine in the second. But, in the latter situation, Laprise was able to transition out and get on top. He stood up immediately, not wanting to spend any time in Aubin-Mercier’s guard.
Smart move. And Laprise, 27, executed his game plan perfect. He poured it on with punches at the end of the third when it already seemed like he had cinched a win.
Both men have said they will drop down to lightweight in the future. Laprise and Aubin-Mercier were both undefeated coming into this bout and are solid prospects.
It’ll be Laprise, though, who will get the six-figure UFC contract and prestige of winning The Ultimate Fighter.
"I really wasn’t nervous at all," he said. "I truly believe God put me here to be a fighter."