TUF Nations – Canada vs. Australia Week 10 Notes: Shattered Dreams and Broken Jaws

March 19, 2014
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TUF Nations LogoThe semifinal match-ups were revealed on the tenth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia and one welterweight solidified his place in the finals.

The Fighters Tell Dana Who They Want to Fight in the Semifinals

The fighters that have advanced were called into a meeting with UFC president Dana White via Skype video chat and asked who they wanted to face in the semifinal round.

Team Canada’s Kajan Johnson was first to enter.  He said he’d fight whomever they put him in there with but preferred to face Team Australia’s Richard Walsh.

Walsh requested a match-up with Johnson.  “I’m just going to pick the guy that I wanted to fight right from the get-go, and that’s Kajan.  He’s beaten one of my mates on the team.  He’s got the biggest mouth,” said the Australian.

Team Canada’s Chad Laprise was up next and asked for Walsh.  “I think he’ll stand with me and it will be fireworks,” he said.  Olivier Aubin-Mercier also asked to face Walsh.

Canada’s Elias Theodorou was the first middleweight to meet with White.  He asked to be matched up against Tyler Manawaroa.  Manawaroa requested a fight with Theodorou.

Canada’s Sheldon Westcott said he wanted to fight Australia’s Vik Grujic.  He also requested to be the final fight of the round because he’s healing from a neck injury.   “I want to close the season,” he said.

Grujic believes Westcott is the strongest of the middleweights left and asked for that match-up.  “I want a tough fight,” he said.  “I want to earn it.”

Semifinal Match-ups Revealed

The first welterweight semifinal match-up announced pitted Canadian vs. Canadian.  Kajan Johnson was matched up against Chad Laprise.  The first middleweight semifinal bout will be Elias Theodorou against Tyler Manawaroa.  Team Australia’s Richard Walsh was matched up against Team Canada’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier.  Sheldon Westcott was granted his request to fight last.  He’ll take on Vik Grujic in the final bout of the season.

The Fight: Chad Laprise vs. Kajan Johnson

Team Canada’s coach Patrick Cote decided not to corner either of the Canadians.  The coaching staff was supposed to be split up to accommodate both fighters, but that’s not the way it worked out.  Laprise had three people in his corner including two of team Canada’s assistant coaches and one of Team Australia’s.  Johnson was left with one corner.

The opening round played out on its feet with Laprise setting the pace.  He defended three takedown attempts by Johnson and landed the more significant strikes.  He was warned by the referee for grabbling the fence to fend off a takedown attempt by Johnson in the closing seconds of the round.

Johnson landed leg kicks in the early going to the second frame, but Laprise kept the pressure on.  In the final minute of the round Laprise stepped in with a straight right hand that landed flush on the jaw of Johnson.  Johnson collapsed face-first on the canvas, and Laprise solidified his spot in the welterweight finals.

“I think my jaw is broken,” was the first thing Johnson said as he sat up on the canvas.

“It was the biggest win of my life, but it was over one of my great friends and training partners outside of the show, let alone we were training partners here.  We trained at the same gym back home too,” said Laprise following the knockout win.  “It’s bitter sweet.  I hope that Kajan is great.  I hope he’s not seriously injured.”

“Everybody just helped him.  No one said anything to me,” said an emotional Johnson following the loss.  “It was like I was fighting everybody.”

Johnson has nearly retired from fighting before coming on the show due to an eye injury and fractured face.

“I only got one guy, Fabio (Holanda).  He had a corner with two people all screaming.  So it was pretty (expletive) for me,” said Johnson.  “I just didn’t want to go through this again.  I didn’t want my face to break again.  I didn’t want to lose the biggest fight of my life,” he said as tears streamed down his face.

“It’s just another test,” he added.  “I just don’t know why I’m tested so much.”  His jaw was broken in three places.

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  • Josh

    Probably the saddest episode of TUF ever seeing Kajan at the end. Disgusted by the Canadian coaching staff

    • Bucket of Chicken

      Same. Cote was so bogus with his claim that he wouldn’t be coaching anyone yet he was giving tips to Laprise before the fight.

      If Kajan won, they would have been kissing his ass after being disgruntled.

  • Martin

    Couldn’t agree more Josh. Fighters lose all the time, but team Canada hung Kajan out to dry. Not only were the corners uneven and stacked towards Chad, Cote also obviously picked a side and Chad was coached while Kajan was given a few reassuring words and brushed aside…
    You could see the bias and lack of support in the whole lead up to the fight, from the moment it was annouced. I think Kajan only realised this just before the fight when he walked into the team Canada dressing room. I think you could see it in his body language but he didn’t want to say it out loud. (I think he was trying a bit of denial).
    Anyway I’m Australian I don’t say this as a Kajan fan although I don’t mind him either (I kinda like him). Don’t mind Chad either.
    Didn’t really know anything about Cote before this and until now thought he seemed decent but this was a little disgusting. I have never seen any TUF coach treat one of there fighter with such disregard and disrespect.
    This was kind of like watching the ‘in’ jocks ganging up or conspiring to keep the guy with the personality that doesn’t ‘fit in’ out of there club by letting him catch an ass whooping (complete with broken jaw, though i’m sure it wasn’t intended, it happened)… And ok, maybe i’m reading too much into this, sure. But one way or the other Kajan was left out. Don’t now if it was personality or Canadian Fight Gym politics or ?? regardless it was disgusting and Cote should be chewed out publicly for this. Cote has zero integrity, he shouldn’t even be allowed to coach beginners self-defense at the Y.
    I hope Noke gives Cote the ass kicking he deserves. Actually hope Cote is kicking his own ass after that s***, if he’s not there’s no hope for him.

    Having said that Chad may still have smashed Kajan and broken his jaw (we’ll never know) but it should never have gone down this way… (and Chad being the so called christian should have made sure it didn’t, although it wasn’t his job so he could be forgiven for not realising, but he should have)

    F********** shame on you Team Canada!

    • King_DG

      I agree with everything you said, and I’m Canadian. I can’t believe Cote was picking sides, usually they stay out of it but all I saw was him pumpin up laprise while kajan was by himself. Even the one coach that was helping Kajan probably didn’t even want to help him.