After losing the first three fights on The Ultimate Fighter Nations, Team Australia rattled off back-to-back wins, setting the stage for an equalizing third victory on the sixth episode Wednesday evening.
Dan Kelly represented the Aussies in this middleweight battle against Team Canada's Sheldon Westcott, giving the Australians a theoretical advantage in this crucial tilt.
The most decorated Olympian to ever compete on The Ultimate Fighter, Kelly brings a high-level judo to the cage scarcely seen in professional mixed martial arts action. With these powerful and technical trips and throws in his arsenal, Kelly has amassed an undefeated record to this point, including one TKO victory due to throwing his opponent from the cage in his first pro scrap.
That's something you don't see every day, eh? Unfortunately, video evidence of this fight is hard to come by, so we will have to use our imaginations until something surfaces.
Westcott, on the other hand, came into his fight with Kelly bruised and battered.
The episode began with Westcott traveling to the doctor's office to check out his injured right knee, an unfortunate beginning to his journey toward TUF gold.
Kelly took the Octagon as the clear favorite due to his Olympic background and his cast mates' shining endorsements, but could he back up the hype and take out the weakened Canadian?
Definitely not how I expected that to go #TUFNations— Perry Kinch (@perrykinch) February 20, 2014
This is why they fight, ladies and gentlemen.
Westcott exploded in the fight's opening seconds, swarming Kelly with punches, kicks and knees and putting the Olympic judoka on the defensive.
Westcott capitalized on his early momentum, slamming Kelly to the mat twice before working to take the Aussie's back and finish the fight. Kelly was able to escape, however, and the two returned to the clinch against the cage.
As Westcott looked for another takedown, Kelly countered with a hip toss and landed in top position. Westcott immediately swept his foe, cinching up an arm-triangle choke in the process. Still in Kelly's half guard after the sweep, Westcott was able to apply pressure and force the tap just one minute into Round 1.
Westcott dominated the fight, and he dominated it where everybody expected Kelly to reign supreme.
The win gave Team Canada a 4-2 lead in the series, shifting the momentum back to Patrick Cote and Co.
Unfortunately, the win may have gone to the Canadians' heads, as Australian coach Kyle Noke was seen talking to his fighters at the end of the episode about some unsportsmanlike banter from Team Canada's Kajan Johnson and Elias Theodorou.
Only one middleweight and one welterweight from each team remains, so the final matchups are obvious at this point.
Next week will feature a welterweight showdown between Team Canada's Olivier Aubin-Mercier (4-0) and Team Australia's Jake Matthews (3-0).
While both fighters boast impressive undefeated records, Aubin-Mercier is a Tristar product who said on Wednesday night's episode that he credits legendary UFC welterweight Georges St-Pierre for his own interest and success in the sport, so the bar is set high for Team Canada in this one.
Tune in next week to see if Team Australia can fire back with a victory or tumble into a 5-2 hole.