Team Canada's Chad Laprise joins us for our final 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.
Well, we've come to the end. Thanks so much to Chad for participating in the blog and we hope you guys enjoyed it. Make sure to check out Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Chad Laprise at The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia Finale on Apr. 16. Now for the final time, let's get things started.
David St. Martin: We see you chatting with Rich Walsh about his fight with Olivier Aubin-Mercier and I was wondering who has a better insight. A guy who fought him for a few minutes or someone who trains with him regularly?
Chad Laprise: Oh I think I know Olivier better than Rich does. Olivier did exactly what I knew he was going to do. With his amateur fights he's 10-0 with nine first-round rear naked chokes. When he takes your back it's lights out.
St. Martin: Rich was lamenting about the fight but it looked like most of the Canadian's just kind of shrugged saying, 'Yea, he does it to everybody.'
Laprise: Yea I knew he would finish him. I didn't know if it would happen early or be more like his fight with Jake Matthews. I just knew it would end like that.
St. Martin: You told Olivier you had hoped he would win but that you really didn't want to fight him.
Laprise: Yea I mean I was happy he won. We've got an all-Canadian final. It would have made things easier if I was fighting Rich in the Finale but Olivier is definitely the better fighter. It will be more rewarding.
Laprise: One of the greatest champions ever so when he's giving you insights on what he does, you listen. It's no fluke he went on such a long title run. I'm sure emulating things he does would improve anyone's game.
St. Martin: You guys saw his fight with Johny Hendricks but didn't see that presser or any of the fallout from that fight. How'd you feel about him talking about taking time off?
Laprise: Yea we didn't know anything about the drama that followed that fight. People saying he lost and all that. We had no idea. We saw him speak with Joe Rogan but that was it. When he got to the house we assumed he'd talk about it but went more in-depth about why he was taking a break. He just needs time away from the sport. I don't blame the guy. He's been in the sport forever. He's got nothing left to prove.
St. Martin: How about him saying he needed reassurance from Firas Zahabi about winning that fight with Hendricks? He even said he would have given the belt away if he really felt he lost.
Laprise: GSP's a very honorable guy and one of the nicest people I've ever met. I'm the same way in a fight. You think you know what's going on but I always double check with my coaches. We actually didn't talk about that fight very much. Moreso about things we could work on to move to the next level. It was great for some of the guys who might not get to train with the top camps out there. Cleaning up things like sparring every day, no set schedule and no head coaches. He basically walked us through an average day in the life of his training.
Laprise: Yea I think I was watching him from the couch. Sheldon has an unbelievable ground game. One of the strongest guys I've ever trained with. I've seen him do that move in practice and it didn't surprise me that he hit it during the fight, even in half guard.
Laprise: No I heard about it, though. Did he get it from half?
St. Martin: Nope it was from side control.
Laprise: Yea, way easier to finish it in side. Unbelievable to see someone get it in half.
St. Martin: I sort of feel for Vic here after everyone slammed Krylov for getting caught with it.
Laprise: The way most guys set it up you can still pull your arm out to avoid it. Sheldon traps your arm so tight in there that there's nothing you can do about it. Go to sleep. I bet it gets him the $25K for submission of the season.
St. Martin: Something's been bothering me. Was there a dog in that locker room before the fight? I'm a dog lover but I'm not sure about having one around me right before a fight.
Laprise: The golden retriever? Yea that was Cote's dog. He was awesome. His name's Tito. He got him years ago and then had to fight Tito Ortiz right afterwards. He was around a lot. It was great for us after being locked up in that house. Good to help relieve stress.
St. Martin: When you got back to the house it sounded like you had your whole camp already planned out. Heading down to Jeff Curran's in Chicago and maybe trying to work with Izzy Martinez.
Laprise: Yea I think Brendan O'Reilly was asking me about plans, knowing I'd be fighting Olivier. I did most of the camp up in Ontario, hit a few other places and it turned out pretty much like I said on the show.
St. Martin: You ready for next week?
Laprise: Yea man. The hard work's done. Monday night is my last three rounds of sparring and everything's done. I feel like a million bucks. I've put in a lot of work for this fight. I've known about it since December. I'm just resting this week, training about fifteen minutes a day. Weight's good and I'm ready to make my official UFC debut.
St. Martin: To the mailbag.
Jamesglory: To have folks say Olivier is, ‘The next GSP,' is no small thing. Can you make 3 comparisons between Olivier and GSP, to explain why those who know him, would say such huge and encouraging statements, about him at his age. Cheers:)
Laprise: Ha I've had to answer this questions probably a million times. Once people heard I was fighting him it's all been about 'The next GSP.' Obviously they're both French Canadian and come from the same camp, but they both work really hard. Humble guys. A huge prospect but that doesn't matter to me. We're going to go out and fight and may the better man win.
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.