“The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia”welterweight Jake Matthews (@JakeBJJMMA) will blog for Sherdog.com all season long, giving his thoughts, reactions and behind-the-scenes insights on the show. “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” (#TUFNations) airs each Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 in North America and Thursdays on FX at 4:30 p.m. AEDT (with a second airing at 10:30 p.m. AEDT) in Australia.
Wow! What a way to kick off the season. Those first few steps into the gym were so surreal, and once I saw Dana, it really began to sink in. Great first impressions of the coaches; they are all awesome guys with heaps of knowledge and easy to get along with.
How about that country-style log chalet?! Seeing the “TUF” house for the first time was amazing and unlike anything I’ve ever seen, let alone lived in. As for the taxidermy moose head, the footage does not do it justice -- it was huge!
No rest for us Aussies. We dove head-first into training with a couple of hard sessions before the fight. It was different being able to train when you had nowhere else to be and nothing else to do, just being solely focused on training and winning.
I was excited to get in there, but there was no surprise with the fight pick. Both Kajan and Brendan looked strong and ready, and neither fighter struggled making weight as both are normally lightweights. We were all confident and believed Brendan could kick it off with a win for Team Aus.
Yes, the Canadians did talk a bit of trash whilst they thought we were sleeping. Luckily, Kajan could back it up, but take nothing away from Brendan. That fight didn’t do him justice. Brendan is an amazing fighter. I think nervous energy and excitement got to him this time, but the “Badger” will be back!
Morale was a little low afterwards, but our spirits were still intact. You can never break an Aussie’s spirit. We regained our focus, looked forward to the future and gave Brendan all the motivation we could -- not that he needed it!
Stay tuned in for some good, old-fashioned Aussie spirit, surprises and heaps of mischief!