The Ultimate Fighter Nations – Episode 1 Recap

The first episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Nations kicked off with Dana White talking about the intense pride that both Team Canada (coached by Patrick Cote) and Team Australia (coached by Kyle Noke) possess, and how important it is to both teams to win the season.TUF Nations

White’s introduction is followed by all sixteen fighters entering the TUF gym as both coaches are introduced. The fighters gather up with Cote and Noke in order to conduct a coin toss that will award one of the two teams the power to select the first match-up. Noke flipped the coin, and it came up in favor of the Canadians.

As the show’s location changes, so does the house. The new house is introduced as the fighters take their first glance at the destination that they will be living in as they partake in one of, if not the most important job interview of their life. The house has a bit of an outdoorsy feel to it as the backyard is quite expansive, and there is a large moose mounted on the wall.

A quick piece is done on Team Australia, depicting how it is a bit rough for them adjusting to a new timezone.

The UFC is running approximately a thousand event a year and twenty thousand seasons of The Ultimate Fighter annually, so White couldn’t greet the fighters in person. Instead, White greeted the fighters through some a chat hosted by an Xbox.

Cote and Team Canada make the first fight pick, and it’s a welterweight fight between Canada’s Kajan Johnson and Australia’s Brendan O’Reilly.

Both Johnson and O’Reilly get a bit of air time as we get to know a little bit more about their personalities. Kajan talks about a serious eye injury he suffered a few years back, and Brendan brings up his high pain threshold that has aided him in training and fights.

One of the first instances of drama takes place in the house with Team Canada discussing the inexperience of Team Australia. Vik Grujic of Team Australia confronts the Canadians who backtrack and say that they were only wondering which fighters on the Australian team has amassed ten victories (the answer is Tyler Manawaroa).

As more is learned about Kajan Johnson, he talks about how he is currently injured, but that won’t stop him from accomplishing his dreams. Johnson has a minor tear on his LCL and nearly tore his rotator cuff a month ago.

The weigh-ins for the fight go on without a hitch as both fighters make weight comfortably.

Finally, the fight between Team Canada’s Johnson and Team Australia’s O’Reilly starts. O’Reilly gets things started with a pair of takedowns on Johnson. Johnson eventually pulls for an inverted heel hook that causes O’Reilly to stand back up. As Johnson begins to use his own wrestling game, but O’Reilly does a solid job of defending his takedowns. Johnson scores with a pair of vicious knees, and he hops on O’Reilly’s back, locks on a rear-naked choke, and elicits a tap in the first round.

Team Canada gets the first victory of the season and maintain control of the fight selection. The episode fight ends with Team Canada selecting the next match-up which pits Canada’s Elias Theodorou against Australia’s Zein Saliba.

For an in-depth breakdown of each fighter on the TUF: Nations cast, take a look at the previews of each contestant on the show.
Team Australia – Middleweights 
Team Australia – Welterweights 
Team Canada – Middleweights 
Team Canada – Welterweights