Note: All quotes and material were obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report through a one-on-one between Luke Harris and Bleacher Report's Riley Kontek.
Well, this season has been a wild ride. Thank you for reading. Here is my final blog for TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia.
This episode starts out with a recap of last weeks’ where Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeated Richard Walsh by way of a first-round rear-naked choke. Richard replays the fight in his head as we all do when we lose. Understanding why you lost and working on those deficiencies are what make you a better fighter. It is so weird seeing Richard without his beard. He looks like a different person.
Olivier will now face Chad Laprise in the finals. I am really not looking forward to that fight. Both those guys are very good friends of mine and I hate to see either of them lose.
In this episode, Georges St-Pierre visits the house. It was pretty cool seeing him so soon after his fight with Johny Hendricks. Georges was one of my first training partners when I began Brazilian jiu-jitsu several years ago in Montreal. He was a purple belt at the time.
Of course, we all had a lot of questions about the fight. Georges felt he won, but it was very close. He also discussed retirement, as there were lots of personal issues in his life that he had been neglecting. He couldn’t remember how many times he had defended his title with his personal life put on hold. He said that fighting wasn’t in his heart anymore and if it returns, he would continue to fight.
For now, he plans to go on vacation and think about it. He talked about fighting “safe” and longevity in the sport. He has a very interesting perspective on sparring and training smart. There’s a reason he’s been at the top for so long. Cung Le had similar things to say about hard sparring, specifically that it’s not smart.
When asked about a fight with Anderson Silva, Georges said that it would be easier for him to move to 155 then 185 pounds. The fight was never something he seriously considered. It was great speaking with him. He’s a great ambassador of the sport and a true role model. It's pretty cool that we heard about his retirement before the media or anyone else.
Things were starting to wind down around the house, so Patrick Cote spiced them up a bit by dressing like Sasquatch. It was pretty funny, but he almost got his head taken off when everyone attacked him. There was also an epic food fight which Matt DesRoches took the brunt of. Sorry about the Dijon mustard and protein-powder pie to the face, Matt.
This week's fight is Vik Grujic vs. Sheldon Westcott. It was just my impression, but it seemed like Vik was looking past this fight a bit. It was not surprising considering how many distractions were going on. I’m not sure if it was really the case or if it just appeared that way.
Heading into the fight, I didn’t like Vik's chances. The element of surprise wasn’t there anymore and Vik didn’t have the grappling to deal with Sheldon when the fight hit the ground.
The fight started and Vik came out and kicked Sheldon’s leg. They tied up and Sheldon pushed him to the cage and secured a double-leg takedown. He carried Vik to our corner and put him on his back. From bottom half guard, Vik held on to a wrong-side guillotine choke, which gave Sheldon the Von Flue choke. The Von Flue is really a counter choke, as your opponent has to be out of position in order for you to get it. Like all submissions, it's been done before under a different name. Sheldon did well to recognize Vik's mistake and finish the fight. I'm pretty sure that should get him the $25,000 submission bonus, and more importantly, it should get another Canadian into the finals. Sheldon will face Elias Theodorou on the finale.
So, that’s it. Four Canadians are in the finals. Although I couldn’t wait to get out of that house, I really made some great friends. We’ve all become close over the past seven weeks.
TUF was challenging. The hardest part for me was not communicating with my family, the lack of privacy and starving myself for seven weeks. We were treated very well by the UFC and the producers, Those Canadians. I just want to take the opportunity to thank Joe Silva, Dana White, the Fertittas, Dan Farmer, Danny McNair, Don Young, Dave Bigelow, Mike Wetmore and all the rest of the staff at Those Canadians. And I can’t leave out Pepper!
Finally, thank you to my beautiful wife Amy, Jeff Montemurro and Tyler Edworthy, who ran the gym and my classes while I was away. It’s amazing to have great people who you can depend on.
What’s next for me?
I'm not sure yet. If you really want to know, come talk to me at Hayabusa Training Center and follow @HayabusaHarris on Twitter.
Thank you to the Bleacher Report, which was gracious enough to host my blog!
*Tune in on Wednesday, April 16 to watch the TUF Nations finale live on Fox Sports 1. The card is headlined by middleweight rivals Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy. The card also hosts the coaches fight between Canada's Patrick Cote and Australia's Kyle Noke. Finally, check it out to see who wins the finale in their respective weight divisions. Canadian teammates Chad Laprise and Olivier Aubin-Mercier battle it out for the welterweight contract, while fellow Canadians Elias Theodorou and Sheldon Westcott meet for the middleweight contract.