Episode No. 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” opens with Vik Grujic reflecting on his knockout victory over Luke Harris in the last episode.
Grujic says it was the first knockout of his career and he greatly enjoyed the feeling of it. Harris, on the other hand, is visually devastated by the loss, but stays strong in his role of team leader and tries to be positive in front of his teammates.
The following day, UFC President Dana White is connected to the “TUF” gym via a videoconference and speaks to the eight semifinalists about who they would most like to fight to advance to the finals.
After some deliberation between White, the fighters and the coaches, the four semifinal matchups are determined.
Kajan Johnson (Team Canada) vs. Chad Laprise (Team Canada)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (Team Canada) vs. Richard Walsh (Team Australia)
Elias Theodorou (Team Canada) vs. Tyler Manawaroa (Team Australia)
Sheldon Westcott (Team Canada) vs. Vik Grujic (Team Australia)
With Johnson and Laprise being the only countrymen and teammates pitted to fight one another in the semifinal round, both men are forced to pick certain coaches and teammates to corner them for the upcoming fight.
Laprise discusses his painful road into MMA that started with being born into an abusive family. At the beginning of his career he fought with anger and the legitimate desire to hurt people, but now that he’s matured, he has turned to religion and feels God speaks through him in the cage.
Johnson says that while Laprise is a good friend, he isn’t going to let anything get in the way of accomplishing his goal of making it to the final. He even goes as far as allowing Laprise to use the Team Canada locker room for his pre-fight preparation, saying that he wants to fight Laprise at his very best.
At the official weigh-in, Johnson and Laprise both hit the 170-pound welterweight limit, making the first semifinal matchup of the season official.
TEAM CANADA’S KAJAN JOHNSON (19-10-1) VS. TEAM CANADA’S CHAD LAPRISE (7-0)
Round 1 – Referee Yves Lavigne oversees the action. The fighters touch gloves to start the bout and Laprise opens with a left jab. Johnson fires back his own jab and Laprise attempts to counter right a left hook. Johnson pumping the jab, mixing attempts to the head and body. Johnson with a hard leg kick. Laprise comes forward with an overhand right. Johnson finding a solid range with his jab and he’s now following it up with crosses and overhands. Laprise with a right hand that lands hard. Laprise utilizing a lot of foot movement, but is still being tagged by Johnson’s jab with a frequency. Johnson attempts a high kick that is blocked. Laprise presses forward. Johnson backs him up with a superman punch, leg kick combination. Laprise tags Johnson coming in and Johnson shoots for the first takedown of the fight. Laprise sprawls and breaks free. Johnson fires a right hand and an inside leg kick. Johnson shoots for another takedown, but again Laprise shakes it off with ease. Johnson just misses with a huge overhand right but he connects with another leg kick. Laprise misses on a spinning backfist attempt and Johnson takes the back. Johnson desperately tries to drag the fight to the ground, but the bell sounds indicating the end of the first round.
Round 2 – Johnson just misses with another head kick off the opening combination. He throws another then goes down low with two leg kicks. Laprise pushing forward hard with overhand punches, but nothing can land flush. Laprise lands a hard strike off a failed Johnson takedown attempt and is becoming far more aggressive than his fellow Canadian. Laprise starts to land the jab with consistency while Johnson’s output rate is fading. Laprise lands a straight right that is answered by a counter shot from Johnson. Johnson now back to pumping the jab. He again throws and lands a superman punch on Laprise and misses with a spinning wheel kick. Laprise catches Johnson coming in with a flush overhand right to the jaw. Johnson crashes face-first into the mat and after two follow-up shots, the referee calls a halt to the action.
Chad Laprise def. Kajan Johnson via knockout (strikes) – Round 2
Johnson is in rough shape once he’s woken up from the knockout. He’s very emotional and tells his corner that he thinks the fight-ending strike may have broken his jaw.
Laprise says the result is bittersweet for him and while he never wanted to hurt his friend, he is happy to have secured one spot in the tournament finals.
Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FOX Sports 1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.