The Ultimate Fighter Nations Episode 12 Recap
The teams pull up to a secluded cabin and prepare for a coaches’ challenge that pays the winner $20,000. After splitting axe throwing and apple shooting challenges, Canada coach Patrick Cote leads his team to a victory in the wood sawing round.
Guest coach David Silva trains with team Australia, focusing on wrestling on training techniques. “The training session today was one of the hardest one so far,” said Richard Walsh. “Bit of a reality check coming out of Australia; wrestling with some guys that are from the states. The standard is so much higher and the intensity is so much different.” Walsh fights team Canada’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier in this week’s welterweight semifinal match.
At Canada’s training session, Aubin-Mercier downplays the media’s comparisons to Georges St.-Pierre. “I think it’s maybe too fast to compare me to GSP. What GSP did for MMA it’s really something big and for me to do half of what he did would be a great achievement,” Aubin-Mercier said. The Canadian says that his weakness is in standing and trading, which Walsh and team Australia coach Kyle Noke plan to expose.
A snowstorm inhibits the teams from going to TUF gym so they make the best of it with a snow day. The Australians do backflips into snow piles and one member slides down a slope as if he were skateboarding.
Aubin-Mercier and Walsh make weight and make their final pre-fight preparations. Walsh illustrates what he visualizes before a fight. “I start at the top of an escalator and I close my eyes,” Walsh said. “By the time I get to the bottom, I take a step off and I walk into a room. That room is my safe place.”
“I’m in my room at home and I’m sitting there on the couch. And I could see myself sitting on the couch and I’m watching the TV; the TV is blurry. Eventually the TV turns clear and I’m watching my favorite fighter: GSP. I’m watching the way he moves, the way he fights, and eventually GSP turns into myself on the TV screen.” This is how Walsh pictures himself in battling Aubin-Mercier.
The semifinal match begins with Walsh landing a 1-2 combination. He spaces out repeated leg kicks and blocks one of Aubin-Mercier’s attempts. The Canadian lands a straight left and backs away. Walsh stuffs Aubin-Mercier’s initial takedown attempt but falls when pressed against the fence. Walsh gets to his feet but Aubin-Mercier clings to his back. As Walsh tires to fight him off, Aubin-Mercier locks in a rear-naked choke. Aubin-Mercier moves on to the welterweight final where teammate Chad Laprise awaits.
Next week, Sheldon Westcott fights Vik Grujic with a trip to the middleweight final on the line.
For weekly TUF Nations updates visit Scifighting.com.