TUF Nations blog with Chad Laprise, episode 2 recap: Buzz Lightyear vs. Black Belt.


Team Canada's Chad Laprise joins us in our weekly Thursday morning Q&A, where he'll break down all the action that took place inside the TUF house, both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask Chad please let us know in the comments below and he'll answer you next week. Rec'd comments will get first priority. Now with that said, let's get things started.


David St. Martin: So another solid episode with good action. We see sort of an attitude shift right after the first fight where some of the Aussies drop their guard a bit towards you guys. It reminded me of that scene in Bloodsport where Frank beats Jackson in the arcade game. 'You kicked my ass, so we're cool now.'

Chad Laprise: "Yea it was hard to say. There was definitely some more mutual respect after the first fight. Obviously, we're all martial artists and I give complete credit to anyone who steps in there and fights."

St. Martin: It looked like Nordine Taleb wanted to call a meeting to remind everyone to keep their heads in the game.

Laprise: "I think I missed that one, actually. It was between training sessions. He just wanted to say that we're all here to compete and not to make friends. He just didn't want people giving out information. Like with fight picks or strengths and weaknesses."

St. Martin: So you got the sense some guys were fishing for details? Maybe one of the middleweights asks about a welterweight?

Laprise: "Yea, for sure. 100 percent. Coming into the show, we had no idea who the Australians were. We're just going off the footage our coaches have seen of them. I had no idea about guys' strengths or what their weaknesses were. The same for the other team. We had no idea who was going to be on the show. I think you saw some guys slip up and let some information out."

St. Martin: Because the coaches are sort of 9-5, they can just go back to wherever they're staying and watch YouTube, right? Is that frowned upon? Or was it just pretty blatant.

Laprise: "Yea, our coaches were awesome. Right after they found out who was going to be on the show they started working on matchups. They had a breakdown of every guy. Records, all the stats. When it was time to fight they would go back and watch more film on the guy and work out a strategy."

St. Martin: It seems like Patrick Côté had more of an itinerary, bringing in a nutritionist and then Shaolin Ribeiro.

Laprise: "Cote and that staff did such a great job. They were there for us 100 percent."

St. Martin: Heading into the fight with Elias Theodorou, the Aussies were quickly cultivating a dislike for him, even calling him 'Buzz Lightyear,' which was excellent.

Laprise: "Yea he's definitely one of our loudest guys. Maybe he just rubbed some guys the wrong way. Super nice guy. He just talks. A big personality."

St. Martin: Elias sort of trolled the Aussies telling them he was 12-0 as a kickboxer, then just bum rushes Zein Saliba right from the start. Clinching, while still dry, with a BJJ black belt. Surprising.

Laprise: "Yea Elias and I have trained together and both competed in Bellator once. That's his best asset. The guy comes in phenomenal shape and doesn't have a real weakness. He just wet-blanketed Zein. Most people can't handle that pace."

St. Martin: He said he'd only been hit three times in his career? Then he's just straight dirty boxing in the clinch.

Laprise: "Yea, I'm sure with us knowing about Zein's black belt they thought that Elias would try to keep it standing. It worked out well for him."

St. Martin: The Aussie coaches sounded pretty pissed. Never good to hear stuff like, 'Come on!' coming out of corners. Noke and Izzy weren't happy.

Laprise: "I agree 100%. Cote just needed to tell Elias to keep doing what he was doing. This is also a tournament, so you don't want to take damage. He went in there and didn't even get hit. You feel for Zein because his coaches weren't really there for him to help him out."

St. Martin: So at this point we've got two guys in house down and out. It's brutal because obviously most of the house can still win the show, at least eligibility-wise.

Laprise: "That was my biggest fear, being the first guy in the house to lose. You're there for 40 plus days just hoping someone gets hurt to get a second shot. Meanwhile, you have to sit there watching everyone else live out their dream. The two guys didn't get too down, but it must have been pretty mentally tough."

St. Martin: Then we got the big reveal. Tried the psych out, didn't work. You're fighting Chris Indich next week. Sounds like the classic striker vs. grappler matchup. What can you tell us without getting into trouble?

Laprise: "He's bigger than me. He a true 170, while I'm actually a lightweight. I'm going to try to use my speed and skills. So tune in and see what happens!"

Do you have a question for Chad Laprise? Ask it in the comments below and he'll answer you next week. The Ultimate Fighter: Nations airs every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Portions of this interview have been edited for concision.

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