Following Daniel Kelly’s loss to Sheldon Westcott, Team Australia discusses Kajan Johnson’s alleged comments about Kelly on their way home. “If there’s one thing I won’t tolerate it’s anyone disrespecting any of my boys,” Australian middleweight Vik Grujic said.
They confront Johnson about his insults; comments Johnson says were taken out of context. “They think I said ‘he’s done’ referring to Dan and his career because he’s aging,” Johnson said. Soon after, Johnson assures Grujic that he would never wish ill-will on another fighter.
Australian welterweight Jake Matthews, who battles Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the show’s second-to-last preliminary bout, trains at TUF gym and says that he won’t have a problem taking the fight to the ground.
“What I love about MMA is that it’s an individual sport,” Matthews said. “You don’t have to rely on a team. You either win or you lose.” Matthews says that he got into mixed martial arts after being invited to a kickboxing class.
Kelly is told by a UFC doctor that his knee injury isn’t as devastating as initially thought. “I’m doing this for my family so we have a more stable future, hopefully. In a couple of days I’ll be ok, no problem. Life goes on,” Kelly said. It may heal in four-to-six weeks but he can’t train his legs in the meantime.
Team Canada fighters begin to realize their success means they may face each other in the next round, which worries Westcott since his teammates know the severity of his injuries. Meanwhile, Aubin-Mercier prepares for this week’s fight. He says that Georges St.-Pierre is the reason he started in MMA and his 2-year-old daughter is the motivation he needs to win.
“How I prepare myself mentally is that I just try and kick out all the negative energy in my head. Then I have all the positive energy to kick Jake’s ass,” Aubin-Mercier said. At the weigh-ins, he and Matthews playfully pose with a headshot of Justin Bieber.
Both men feel each other out as the fight begins. Matthews hits Aubin-Mercier with an overhand right and follows with repeated combinations. Aubin-Mercier pushed Matthews to the fence and the Australian quickly changes positions. They break the clinch and head to center ring where Aubin-Mercier connect with a body kick. Aubin-Mercier hovers above Matthews and strikes; connecting with a big right as the round ends.
Matthews begins the second round with a combo that Aubin-Mercier blocks. Matthews goes for a takedown but the Canadian grabs his arm and spins him to the mat. Aubin-Mercier once again postures about Matthews and lands vicious strikes. He gains back control and nearly locks in in a triangle choke. With his legs locked onto Matthews’ abdomen, Aubin-Mercier controls his opponent and the round as their fight comes to an end.
“Olivier put him in that kimura and reversed him into the ground and that’s where they got stuck,” Team Australia coach Kyle Noke said. “(Matthews) was killing him on their feet. He should have kept it there. Basically, Olivier just controlled the rest of the round.”
The final bout is automatically selected as Grujic and Team Canada’s Luke Harris face off next week.
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