Welterweights Chad Laprise and Chris Indich will do battle in tonight’s episode.
Last week, Team Canada earned its second consecutive win over Team Australia when Elias Theodorou ran roughshod over Zein Saliba. The day after the victory, Olivier Aubin-Mercier is awakened by the dulcet tones of Tyler Manawaroa’s didgeridoo. Quebecer Nordine Taleb tells a teammate in French that he intends to paralyze the Aussie by running him over with an automobile before chopping him up into six pieces. Taleb does not explain why six was the magic number in his murder fantasy, however.
Later, Laprise explains that he is a Christian and believes that God has put him here to shine some divine light upon the world of MMA. He then reads a psalm that is particularly useful when justifying a career that requires one to beat the snot out of his fellow man while still apparently adhering to the teachings of a pacifist during all other hours.
Later, Aussie coach Kyle Noke brings in strength and conditioning instructor Jon Chaimberg, a Canadian who usually trains Nordine Taleb and Chad Laprise. Canadian captain Patrick Cote feels betrayed by Chaimberg’s choice, and he says that the strength coach is “full of himself.” Chaimberg puts the Australians through a hellacious workout designed to test their resolve, though Indich is obviously excluded because of his upcoming fight.
Back at the fighter house, Team Australia has gotten hold of some tampons, which they use to decorate the foyer’s taxidermy moose head. Team Canada somehow manages to take offense at the juvenile gesture, though no retaliation is planned.
Laprise’s coaches then work with the Canadian on keeping the fight standing and claiming the center of the Octagon. Meanwhile, Australia’s assistant coach, Israel Martinez, says that the inexperience of Indich does not concern him due to Indich’s superior work ethic. Indich admits that he was no stranger to climbing off a bar stool to scrap in his younger days, a symptom of unresolved anger brought on by the hidings he received as a boy from his father.
While Kajan Johnson says that the energy and work ethic on Team Canada is out of sight, Team Australia’s Manawaroa has injured his thumb. This could turn into a problem if he is picked to fight next. To make matters worse, the Aussie is currently sitting at 199 pounds -- 13 pounds over the middleweight limit.
Meanwhile, Laprise and Indich have no issue hitting their marks on weigh-in day, checking in at 170 and 169 pounds, respectively. The fighters then reflect on the sacrifices they have accepted to arrive at this point and make their final mental preparations before stepping into the cage.
Once locked inside the Octagon, Indich throws out a pair of snapping right hands, but Laprise counters with a low kick and then a nice right cross of his own. Laprise connects with two more low kicks, and the men trade stiff jabs at center cage. Midway through the round, the Canadian is moving nimbly and scoring with clean if not powerful shots. The Aussie’s pace is more measured, but his less-frequent punches carry with them more danger due to their weight. Laprise rips his shinbone into Indich’s left ribcage and cracks him with a solid right hand counter, but the Australian continues to move forward, seemingly unfazed. Indich pursues with a right hand, but he eats three or four dynamite punches for his efforts. Laprise continues to backpedal and strike as the round wanes, drilling the Aussie with several more clean shots before the horn sounds.
Round two starts with more of the same from Laprise, who stings his man with another right hand out of the blocks. Indich’s determination is admirable, but he is losing almost every exchange and is unable to take the fight to the floor. He continues to soldier forward, though his face now bears the blemishes of nearly 10 minutes of punishment. Laprise whiffs on a spinning back kick attempt, but the Canadian connects cleanly with two more as the fight comes to a close.
Unsurprisingly, Laprise has earned a unanimous decision victory, extending Team Canada’s winning streak to three fights. The Canadian visits his opponent in the Team Australia locker room after the fight and gives Indich a hug, congratulating him on a great effort.
“I put it out there on the line, but I don’t think I landed enough punches,” Indich says in a confessional. “Maybe if I had moved my head a bit more and avoided a few more jabs, then he might have some stitches, too. He’s a tough competitor, and good luck to him in the competition.”
Team Canada now owns three victories against zero for Team Australia, and coach Cote retains control of the fight pick. “The Predator” chooses Taleb from his squad and asks the Bellator veteran whom he would like to face. The Quebecer points to Manawaroa, and the middleweights square off as the episode concludes.