The Coaches’ Challenge
The coaches and teams were taken to a sprawling wood cabin mansion for this season’s coaches’ challenge followed.
Coaches Patrick Cote and Kyle Noke competed in a lumberjack-themed challenge with $20,000 on the line. The first of three segments was an axe -throwing contest. Noke went first, taking aim at the target in his first of three throws. He let it go, but the axe did not stick. Cote’s first toss missed the target altogether. Noke’s second throw came up short. Cote ‘s second throw was short as well. Noke missed the target with his final throw and all Cote had to do was have his final toss stick in the target to win the segment. He aimed and released, sticking the axe in the outer circle on the target.
In the second stage of the challenge, the coaches had to shoot a crossbow at an apple dangling from a string. This time, Cote was up first. He closed his left eye and aimed, but hit just above the apple. Noke’s first shot impacted left of the target. Cote hit the bottom of the apple with his second shot. Noke nicked the top of the apple with his second chance. Cote grazed the apple with his third arrow. Noke took aim on his final shot and pulled the trigger. His arrow pierced the apple through the middle. It was all tied up heading into the final segment.
In the last portion of the challenge, the coaches had to saw through a telephone pole-sized log in the quickest amount of time. Noke sawed first and logged a time just over 49 seconds. Cote stayed steady with his saw, using short pushes and pulls. His saw cut through the bottom of the log in 41.87 seconds.
“I’m not going to let an Australian show me how to cut wood. No way in hell,” said Cote after winning the coaches’ challenge. “I won. I was pretty happy.”
The Fight: Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Richard Walsh
The Canadian, Aubin-Mercier, transitioned into mixed martial arts from a judo background. Walsh hoped to hand the fellow 25-year-old his first career loss.
Walsh pressed forward behind his jab in the early going of the opening round. He landed leg kicks and pressured the Canadian. Aubin-Mercier responded with kicks to the body and counter left hands. He timed the Australian moving forward and changed levels. He secured a double-leg takedown and transitioned around to Walsh’s back. Walsh struggled to get back to his feet, and Aubin-Mercier drug him back to the canvas while sinking in a rear naked choke. Walsh was forced to tap out and Aubin-Mercier advanced to the finals via submission.
“Everything went pretty well,” said Aubin-Mercier following win. “He hit me a lot in my knees when he exploded. So that’s my I took him out, to avenge myself and to make him suffer.”
“Yes. I won. Super. But the thing is, I see it as the first step before winning the big show,” he added. “I have more homework to do. I have more homework now than I did before.”
“I just choked. That’s it. He was one-dimensional. That’s why I knew what he was going to do. I relaxed too much and took my foot off the gas for a second, and I got caught. I was thinking. I was thinking about something else,” said a dejected Walsh following the loss. “It was just a matter of being stupid like that. I didn’t defend the choke. I didn’t scramble up to my feet. I got too comfortable. And credit to him. He’s good at jib-jitsu. I just got caught. It wasn’t the fight I wanted to have, but these things happen.”
Aubin-Mercier will face fellow Canadian Chad Laprise in the welterweight finals at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale on April 16, at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Canada.