Lives Changed in Quebec City (TUF Nations Finale Review)

tuf_nations_finaleThe UFC continued their expansion of The Ultimate fighter when they added The Ultimate Fighter: Nations to the long list of seasons. The new season would feature two countries against each other as Canada and Australia would provide the fighters for the new season. As usual the show was meant to add some more fighters to the roster of the UFC and in this case was an attempt to add more Aussies and Canadians to the roster. When the final two fighters were determined it turned out that the show would be adding two new Canadians to the roster as the Canadian team would put all four fighters into the finals. The results of the show would provide a little insight to the country to the north that is rarely talked about in the MMA game. Canada does not produce a huge amount of fighters for the UFC with Brazil and USA providing most of the fighters but it has provided some stars. The most recent of which being Georges St. Pierre who became one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. St. Pierre would semi-retire at the end of 2013 and the leader of Canadian MMA was gone. The future of Canadian MMA has some stars with British Columbia’s Rory MacDonald working his way up to a welterweight title fight while Nova Scotian TJ Grant is looking to get healthy and return to the UFC with a shot at the Lightweight title in his reach. There are a number of other Canadians in the UFC looking to make their own legacy in Canadian MMA and the TUF: Nations show would be a way to add a number of other great athletes that could bring Canadian fighting to another level. Four fighters would have the chance to do this as four Canadians faced off in the finals for the right to be named the Ultimate Fighter and to earn a 6-figure UFC contract. Whoever won would end up carrying the hope of the nation in their career as with a smaller number of fighters in the UFC every Canadian fighter has a country behind them. In the Welterweight Division the two fighters looking to be the next Canadian star would be Chad Laprise and Olivier Aubin-Mercier who had made their way to the finals with some impressive performances. Laprise would come in as a fighter that Canadian head coach Patrick Cote considered the best bet to run the table. Meanwhile Aubin-Mercier was the young gun on the show built as a young GSP that had the potential to be a UFC champion if he could earn a contract with the show. The fight would be an even one as both fighters would go back and forth taking control of the fight but eventually Laprise would begin to pull away. Aubin-Mercier would look to take the fight to the ground and try to make the fight his but Laprise would show his experience in keeping the fight standing and squeaking out the win. Laprise would take the title of the Ultimate Fighter and a contract as he looks forward to a potential move to lightweight where he hopes to become the next Canadian superstar in the UFC. It would not be the only contract handed out on the night though as the Middleweight tournament would see the relative unknown Sheldon Westcott take on the man many considered to be the best Canadian not in the UFC, Elias Theodorou. Westcott made his name on the show after overcoming a major neck injury that would put him in a brace. He would make a full recovery and end up in the finals with a devastating KO in his semi-final fight. For that effort he would get the fighter than many expected to win it all in Elias Theodorou who was seen as a fighter right on the edge of making the UFC even without the show. The fight would reflect the difference in the fighters as Westcott attempted to put up a good fight but Theodorou was too much for him to handle. Theodorou would use his grinding style to take the fight to the third round and eventually would earn a TKO win over Westcott to take the second contract of the night and again look to start his road to becoming a household name in Canada and the rest of the world. Canadian MMA is looking brighter every year and with The Ultimate Fighter Nations the sport in Canada was proven to be taking off as the Canadians swept the final spots. Both Chad Laprise and Elias Theodorou have bright futures in the UFC while Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Sheldon Westcott will be seen again another time along with a number of other fighters from the show. TUF: Nations would show that Canadians are a force to be reckoned with in MMA and the Finale would provide the next names to watch with two new Ultimate Fighters and a number of new UFC fighters ready to make their impact.

As the Canadians would dominate the Finals of the show a number of other nationalities would make an appearance in Quebec City. There would be one more Canadian to fight on the card though in the coaching fight as Patrick Cote would look to make it a Canadian sweep for the TUF Nations group. After two Canadians took the UFC contract and all four fighters involved were Canadians Cote was looking to cap off the season with a win against fellow coach Kyle Noke. Meanwhile Noke was just looking to try to get some revenge for his team that would not put any fighters in to the finals as he hoped to save face in a season that did not turn out successful for the Aussies. The fight would come down to the control of the octagon as both fighters looked to try to keep the fight where they wanted it. After hurting Cote multiple times, Kyle Noke knew he should stay standing and use his kicks to set up a big KO. He would continue to try to keep the fight standing but Cote would get the takedowns he needed to earn a decision in front of a home crowd. Cote would represent for the Canadians in the fight and would end up completing the sweep for the Canadians. As the Canadians and the Aussie had their time it was a Brit and an American that would take the biggest focus when Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy faced off in an important middleweight fight. Leading up to the fight it was the typical story for any fight involving Michael Bisping with plenty of trash talk being exchanged between the two. Whatever it might be Bisping seems to bring the worst out of people and does not back down bringing his own trash talk to the pre-fight festivities. After all of the talk both fighters would get their chance to settle it in the octagon and finally get their hands on each other to shut each other up. The fight would see a dominant performance from the less experienced fighter as Tim Kennedy would control the fight. From the starting bell Kennedy would look to take the fight to the ground and would keep control through the majority of the fight on the mat. When the fight was standing Bisping would take advantage but Kennedy was ready to fire back and would almost end the fights multiple times. Kennedy took the unanimous decision win and would end another run for Bisping while beating the #3 fighter in the division. Kennedy would earn the biggest win of his career and would share that with the two new fighters as Quebec City played host to a number of very big fights for plenty of fighters on the card.

 

Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
The undercards would impress the UFC more than the main card and one of the impressive performances would be from KJ Noons who would earn a Performance of the Night Bonus after his KO win over Sam Stout

Performance of the Night
Continuing with the theme of undercard fights taking more focus the UFC would hand out another performance of the night bonus to Ryan Jimmo who beat Sean O’Connell with a great first round KO that would earn him and extra $50,000

Fight of the Night
It was not an undercard fight but the match between Dustin Poirier and Akira Corassani would kick off the main card with some fireworks earning the fight of the night for their two-round back and forth fight that ended with Poirier coming out on top

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Tim Kennedy def. Michael “The Count” Bisping
(Unanimous Decision)

Main Card:
Patrick “The Predator” Cote def. Kyle Noke
(Unanimous Decision)

Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou def. Sheldon Westcott
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Chad “The Disciple” Laprise def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
(Split Decision)

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier def. Akira Corassani
(TKO; Rd. 2)

Undercard:
KJ Noons def. Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout
(KO; Rd. 1)

Sarah Kaufman def. Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith
(Unanimous Decision)

Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo def. Sean “The Real OC” O’Connell
(KO; Rd. 1)

George Roop def. Dustin “The Diamond” Kimura
(Unanimous Decision)

Mark Bocek def. Mike “El Cucuy” De La Torre
(Unanimous Decision)

Nordine Taleb def. Vik “The Spartan” Grujic
(Unanimous Decision)

“Filthy” Richard Walsh def. Chris Indich
(Unanimous Decision)

Mitch Gagnon def. Tim “The Psycho” Gorman
(Unanimous Decision)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC on Fox 11: Werdum vs. Browne (Saturday April 19th; 8:00 pm ET)
Orlando, Florida (Amway Center)
Main Event: Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Travis “Hapa” Browne
Notable: Meisha “Cupcake” Tate vs. Liz “Girlrilla” Carmouche
Notable: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Edson “Junior” Barboza

UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira (Saturday April 26th; 10:00 pm ET)
Baltimore, Maryland (Baltimore Arena)
Main Event: Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Glover Teixeira
Notable: Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
Notable: Luke Rockhold vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch

UFC Fight Night 40: Brown vs. Silva (Saturday May 10th; 10:00 pm ET)
Cincinnati, Ohio (U.S. Bank Arena)
Main Event: Matt “The Immortal” Brown vs. Erick Silva
Notable: Costas Philippou vs. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin
Notable: Erik “New Breed” Koch vs. Daron “Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank

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