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TUF Nations – Canada vs. Australia Week 11 Notes: First Middleweight Finalist Emerges

Posted on by Jeff Cain

TUF Nations LogoThe fighters reacted to Chad Laprise’s brutal knockout of Kajan Johnson on the eleventh episode of The Ultimate Fighter Nations, and the first middleweight finalist earned his spot in the finale.

Fighters React To Kajan Johnson’s Broken Jaw

Laprise and Johnson were friends and training partners before appearing on this season of the reality series. They’ve sparred countless times at the Tristar Gym in Montreal. Laprise told himself that it was just a fight and it could have been easily him, but wasn’t completely comfortable with the reality that he just broke his friend’s jaw.

“I hope he’s okay. I hope he doesn’t have to get his jaw wired. I hope it’s just a fracture or something small,” said Laprise during the van ride back to the fighter house following the bout.

“I just picked up the biggest win of my life. I’m now in the finale with a huge knockout. Yet, on the other side, I feel terrible. If it wasn’t for this scenario I definitely wouldn’t be fighting a friend. But the way things went down here, I had no other choice,” he said.

Laprise and Nordine Taleb stayed back at the fighter house instead of going to the gym the next morning and waited for Johnson to arrive from the hospital. Johnson arrived in good spirits but with a jaw broken in three places.

“Kind of a lot of mixed emotions when I saw him today,” said Laprise. “I knew he was at the hospital all night yesterday all by himself. I saw him today and his face is swollen. Obviously his jaw is broken. And I’m the guy that did it to him.”

Johnson assured Laprise that there were no hard feelings.

“I would have done the same thing to you bro. Don’t worry about that,” he said. “If you tried less, I would have been insulted. Don’t worry about it. It’s fine.”

The Fight: Tyler Manawaroa vs. Elias Theodorou

Both fighters were undefeated heading into the house and were confident they’d remain undefeated after this fight.

Theodorou closed the distance and utilized his wrestling ability to control and neutralize Manawaroa throughout the fight. He pressed the Aussie to the fence and delivered knees to the body from the clinch position while mixing in takedowns.

The Canadian was relentless with pressure and gave Manawaroa no space. Manawaroa was unable to mount any offense at all. While not the most exciting fight of the season, it was a dominating performance by Theodorou.

“A lot of fighters lose when they don’t stick to a game plan. A game plan is everything,” said Theodorou following the win. “I knew that I was going to be the better wrestler, and I’m just really good at staying to what makes me win fights.”

Manawaroa left the building clearly upset following the fight.

“I went in there thinking that I was going to win. This is going to be an easy fight. I just didn’t click into the zone that I was fighting,” said Manawaroa after the loss. “I’m just upset that I let my coaches down and all the people looking up to me, people like my parents and stuff. I was just real upset that I lost the fight from not doing what I could have done.”

With the win Theodorou advanced to the finals and secured his spot on the season finale on April 16 in Quebec City, Canada. He’ll face the winner between teammate Sheldon Westcott and Team Australia’s Vik Grujic.

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