The fifth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Nations aired Wednesday night, and the show kicked off with a mellow Team Canada dealing with their first loss of the season.
Nordine Taleb’s decision loss to Australia’s Tyler Manawaroa brought the Canadian team off of its high, and it also left Taleb with a fractured right foot.
The fight on today’s show was a welterweight match-up between Canada’s Matt Desroches and Australia’s Richard Walsh. Prior to their fight, the viewers received a little insight into both fighters.
Matt Desroches talked about how he is a driven individual. Desroches talked about how his life growing up provided a lot of motivation to be great at something, and he has decided to channel all of that drive into the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
What we learned about Richard Walsh was that he was first inspired to become a mixed martial artists after watching the first two volumes of UFC Ultimate Knockouts.
Following their first training session of the episode, the Canadians had trouble getting home as their van taking them back to the house got stuck going uphill in the snow. Team Canada ended up walking home, and it was actually fortune that Nordine Taleb, fractured foot and all, stayed at the house.
Speaking of Taleb, he’s taken up a role as a pseudo-trainer for Team Canada. Although he was the first Canadian to lose on the show, Taleb has a serious amount of respect from all of his teammates, and he has become the “team captain” of sorts for the squad.
The weigh-ins went off without a hitch as both fighters made weight for the welterweight bout.
The most interesting note during the weigh-in scene was Kajan Johnson talking about how he could see his own teammate, Matt Desroches, losing to Walsh. He thought that it was likely that Richard Walsh could grind out a decision through a heavy diet of lay-and-pray tactics.
Prior to the fight, two middleweights with injury issues were featured. Australia’s four time Olympian in judo, Dan Kelly, was suffering from a various amount of injuries, although the Olympian talked about how he is chomping at the bit to get in the cage.
Team Canada’s Sheldon Westcott injury was a bit more serious. Heading into the show, he had a bit of a knee ailment, and that injury was worsened after a wrestling exchange with Elias Theodorou. Patrick Cote talked about how important it was for his team to win, so that he could control the fights and give Westcott as much rest as possible.
The welterweight fight between Matt Desroches and Richard Walsh took place next, and Richard Walsh was awarded a decision after two rounds. While Desroches was able to score with several quality shots with his boxing, Richard Walsh controlled the fight in the clinch and landed a few quality punches that stumbled Desroches.
With Team Australia getting it’s second victory, Richard Walsh joins Kajan Johnson and Chad Laprise in the next round of the welterweight bracket. Kyle Noke makes the fight selection for next week, and it pits Australia’s Dan Kelly against Canada’s Sheldon Westcott in a middleweight contest.