TUF Nations: Luke Harris Fighter Blog, Ep. 3

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2014

Courtesy of Luke Harris' Twitter.

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.


This week starts out with the Australians being intentionally obnoxious. I woke up to the sound of a didgeridoo and stomping on the floor. I am pretty sure that they were upset about us talking loudly while they slept, but there's no way of really knowing. Either way, it's obvious that they’re trying to instigate some conflict possibly because they’re losing the competition.

This week, Chris Indich will be fighting Chad Laprise. Like I mentioned last week, I’ve previously trained with Chris at Robert Drysdale's gym in Las Vegas. Hes a nice guy and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Chad, on the other hand, is a ferocious striker with great takedown defense and the ability to get back to his feet if he ends up on the ground.

As we were completing training one day, in walked Jonathan Chaimberg, best known as GSP’s former strength and conditioning coach. We had no idea if there's any truth to this or not, but Jonathan was rumoured to have been fired by GSP after stealing a pair of his event gloves and selling them on eBay. The gloves were supposed to go to a charity. Like I said, this is only a rumor that some of the guys were talking about.

The team was not impressed to see Jonathan there. He is Canadian, and back in Montreal he trains Nordine Taleb and Chad Laprise. It seems a bit strange that he’s coaching the Australian team instead of helping our guys out. He also spends a lot of time at Tristar, so he knows the game of literally half of our team. We have no idea if he was providing the Australians with inside intel or not, but it had our team talking.

Cote was especially offended and stated that Chaimberg was only here to be on TV. It looks like he drove the team into the ground anyway, so it was probably to our advantage, having him work with the other team. I got a good laugh when my teammates called him a traitor right to his face.

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While team Australia worked on strength and conditioning, our team worked on fighting. We literally put in 13 five-minute sparring rounds some days over two practices. We did seven rounds of ground-and-pound and BJJ, as well as six rounds of MMA sparring. We’re jelling great as a team and making one another stronger everyday.

The Australians were up to causing pranks around the house on top of being loud and leaving the kitchen a mess. They put tampons in our beds as well, which didn’t really phase us.

A pretty funny moment happened when they coaxed Nordine into the ice bath. Olivier Aubin-Mercier and I had some fun giving him a hard time. Nordine is a tough guy, but he hates cold water.

I didn’t know much about Chris’ background, but it sounds like he had a tough upbringing. I got to know Chad pretty well on the show. He’s genuinely a good person. He had a strong belief in God and a strong relationship with his wife.

It was funny to watch Tyler struggling to keep his diet in check. He clearly doesn’t know anything about nutrition. While most guys in the house are eating pretty clean, Tyler is snacking on chips and pizza. I don’t know how this guy is going to make weight. Maybe he won’t and get kicked off like some of the competitors in last season's TUF. Seems like a pretty big opportunity to waste for a slice of pizza. Crazy Queenslander!

I helped Chad cut weight for this fight. He prepared well with water loading and dieting, so the weight came off easily. Chad has a great work ethic and is very strong-willed. Those qualities should serve him well in this fight and his career.

The night before the fight, we ate a team dinner. We had salad, prawns, rice, chicken and salmon. Food fit for a king. The team is really bonding; we have a great group of guys. Things are really going to get interesting when/if we need to fight one another.

Fight day, our team trained a bit. If all goes well, the coaches would pick Nordine to fight Tyler. Nordine would love to smash him for being obnoxious.

Pre-fight, Chad’s warm-up was impressive. He’s a very technical striker. No surprise as he is a Shawn Tompkins product. Shawn produced great strikers like as Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki and Mark Hominick. I got to know Shawn through Hayabusa and his work with us in developing our coaching equipment series. It was very unfortunate that Shawn passed away in 2011 at the age of 37. It was a huge loss to his team and the MMA community as a whole.

The fight went as our team and coaches predicted. He picked Chris apart with strikes. Another victory for team Canada and a hat trick. Chad was humble in victory. I’m impressed with him both as a fighter and a person. Chris was very tough in the fight and didn’t back down for a second. Our team had respect for that.

I expected Chris to come out strong and look for the takedown. I'm not sure why he didn’t shoot in the first round. Sometimes in a fight it's tough for a guy to tell that he’s losing or down in points, and it’s his corner's responsibility to let him know. Talking to Chris afterward, he did think the fight was pretty even on the feet and wasn’t sure of Chad's ability on the ground, so he chose not to go there.

Second round, Chris decided to shoot. Chad stuffed Chris’ takedown and picked him apart from there. Chad closed with a spinning back kick to the body then to the face. In my mind, there was no way it was going to a third round. Chad’s keys to victory were his jab, accurate striking, using angles and lots of in-and-out movement. Indich is very tough, and I highly doubt too many fighters would have gone the distance.

Next up is Nordine Taleb vs. the pizza eater, Tyler Manawaroa. Halfway through the prelims and team Canada is looking to make it 4-0 and dish out a bit of punishment. Nordine definitely won the faceoff at the fight picks. Let's see what happens next week.

**Tune in next week to hear Luke's thoughts on the continued tension between teams, more in-depth stories from the house and his thoughts on the fight between Chad Laprise and Chris Indich. Follow Luke on Twitter @HayabusaHarris and follow his gym @Hayabusa_TC.