The eleventh episode of The Ultimate Fighter Nations started with fallout from last episode’s semifinal fight that saw Chad Laprise brutally knock-out Kajan Johnson, his welterweight teammate, in the second round.
Although he was able to enjoy the victory, Laprise was still shaken up about the devastating way he beat a fighter that he trains with outside of the show and considers a friend.
After visiting the hospital, Johnson returned to the house with both Team Australia and Canada welcoming him back with open arms. Johnson’s jaw was severely swollen and broken in a couple of places. He informed the fighters at the house that he would require surgery later in the week.
The semifinal fight on today’s episode of Ultimate Fighter Nations was a middleweight bout that pitted Australia’s Tyler Manawaroa against Canada’s Elias Theodorou.
In the lead-up to his fight with Theodorou, Manawaroa works his takedowns in the Team Australia training sessions. Amidst the training session, the coaches and some of his teammates do hype him up as a young, well-rounded fighter that is going to pose some serious problems for Theodorou.
Team Canada coach brought in former UFC middleweight champion Murilo Bustamante to give Theodorou some pointers and train with him for his bout with Manawaroa. Bustamante gave Theodorou advice about keeping the pressure, which Theodorou believes is his strong point. When it comes to fighting, what Theodorou prides himself on his frenetic pace that extends throughout all three rounds.
Also on the show, there was an intriguing juxtaposition of meals that both fighters consumed prior their fight. Manawaroa was shown eating a plate of fries and tater tots, while Theodorou consumed a smoothie filled with vegetables, fruit, and some type of protein powder.
Both middleweights made weight with no issues, and when Manawaroa and Theodorou did a the stare-down after weighing in, Theodorou put on a spartan helmet and yelled “This is Sparta!”
The fight took place next, and Theodorou combined his relentless pace with his wrestling to outpoint Tyler Manawaroa in all three rounds to win a clear-cut unanimous decision.
In each frame, Theodorou spent the majority of the time in some sort of dominant position, adding some short-spaced strikes to his pallet. Although Manawaroa did a great job from a defensive grappling standpoint, keeping himself out of precarious positions for extended periods of time, it was still Theodorou who had the clear edge in each period.
With the victory, Theodorou advances to the finals of the middleweight tournament. His opponent will be decided by the winner of Canada’s Sheldon Westcott’s fight with Australia’s Vik Grujic.
On the next episode of the The Ultimate Fighter Nations, Canada’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier will take on Australia’s Richard Walsh, with the victory taking on Chad Laprise in the finals.