Over twenty seasons of The Ultimate Fighter–the UFC’s reality show where fighters compete for a contract with the promotion—and there had not been one Canadian winner in the history of the show, until now. The TUF Nations season, which featured fighters from Canada against fighters from Australia, guaranteed to have two Canadian TUF winners after the Canadians swept the semifinals in both welterweight and middleweight classes.
Chad Laprise became the first ever Ultimate Fighter winner from Canada when he defeated fellow teammate Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the finals of the welterweight division. Laprise, aware of his opponent’s strength in the takedown department and on the ground, did his best to prevent the fight from going to the mat by defending the majority of Mercier’s takedowns. While on the feet, the Adrenaline MMA fighter was able to use his superior striking technique to dictate the range and continually land punches and kicks to throw Aubin-Mercier off his game.
The 27 year old Chad Laprise improved to a perfect 8-0, while handing Olivier Aubin-Mercier his first career loss, in a strangely scored split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29).
“Words can’t describe how I feel right now, it’s truly amazing,” Laprise said post-fight in the cage with commentator Kenny Florian.
“I really wasn’t nervous at all, I truly believe god put me here to be a fighter.”
In addition to winning the 6-figure contract, Laprise also took home Performance of the Season honours for his knockout win over Kajan Johnson in the semifinals of TUF Nations. And Chad Laprise also won the Fight of the Season award for his 2-round decision over Aussie Chris Indich in the quarterfinals. $25,000 each bonus.
In the 2nd TUF Nations final, Elias Theodorou was crowned the middleweight TUF winner after disposing of finalist Sheldon Westcott in the 2nd round, which came to a merciful end. Theodorou weathered the early storm of Westcott as his opponent came out relentlessly looking for the takedown and early submission. But Westcott would suffer a huge adrenaline and cardio dump midway through the first, and would not be able to recover. Theodorou began to take Westcott down repeatedly, and deliver ground and pound leading to the ref stepping in to signal an end in the final seconds of round 2 as Westcott kept taking unanswered blows. Theodorou improved his undefeated record to 10-0 with the TKO victory.
A thrilled Elias Theodorou at one point midway through the 2nd, even shouted “Hi Mom!” in between punches on the ground. And post-fight gave UFC president Dana White a hug as he handed him the trophy.
“This is honestly the greatest moment of my life,” Theodorous said post-fight. “and I’m so happy to share it with all of you.”
While pointing out that he had received a lot of criticism on the internet for his style of fighting during the TUF Nations season, saying that people called him a “cage humper”.
Theodorou also thanked former ultimate fighters, Stephan Bonnar, Forrest Griffin, and Rashad Evans for paving the way, in his post-fight speech.