So, the next fight had been announced between Australia’s Chris Indich and Canada’s Chad Laprise. These are two of the nicest guys in the entire world, but it just so happens Chad was Canadian…so, I hate him. (Just kidding, Chad!)

We know that the Canadian’s are underestimating Indich’s skill and toughness, and although I’ve heard Chad is a big ‘up-and-comer’ in Canada, I think Indich can get the win over him.

Indich is a really remarkable guy and an athlete I have the utmost respect for. He’s come from a tough background, definitely no fairy tale, but he’s risen above the odds and is one of the most focused, humble and dedicated fighters I’ve ever met. What’s more, he’s proud of his indigenous heritage, and in my opinion is the greatest role model for young Indigenous kids in Australia who are looking for an athlete to aspire to be like. Forget the guys who get paid too much for doing too little—Indich is your man! I’m getting sidetracked here, but you can tell I’m a fan of “The Savage.”

Tensions were still high around the house, and I got the feeling this could be a theme until the moment we left Canadian soil. Myself and Tyler Manawaroa have taken to playing the didgeridoos to fill in time, and I feel we’re essentially somewhat of a symphony orchestra. We are the songbirds of our generation, and our songs will be heard.

Although the Aussies appreciate a bit of didge playing, the Canadian fighters were not such big fans, which of course was a green light for Tyler to play it into their bedrooms each morning. They were all pretty upset about this new alarm system we’d devised, but Nordine Taleb was seriously angry. Olivier Aubin was also less than impressed, which begs the question…perhaps French taste in music is not yet developed enough to appreciate some of the finest didgeridoo playing in the world? Who knows?

Okay, back to Nordine. This guy was angry! He’s pretty much like Robocop, and I decide that no matter what it took, I would make him smile before we left that house. Tyler already wanted to fight him, and the didge incident only made the tension between these two even greater. When these two eventually locked horns, it was going to be a clash of the titans! Robocop vs. the Wild Thing. Experience and confidence versus youthful self-belief. I couldn’t wait!

Chad was a fairly quiet guy around the house, and he was also one of the Team Canada members I really appreciated. He’s a sincerely nice bloke, a very religious guy and just a good person. I’m not religious at all, but I am very spiritual and I respect his dedication to his faith. He goes about his business without having to bring anyone down, and that goes down well with me.

Indo is also quite a spiritual guy, and he and I connected really well during our early days in the house. We’re both a bit weird and unique, and I respect how little he cares of what anyone thinks of him. We’re on the same wavelength. We didn’t come to that house to get famous. We came to fight, and I know that when his time comes, he will show why he’s known as “The Savage.”

Both guys made weight quite easily and set to refuelling their bodies for the fight ahead. The Canadians seemed overly confident in Chad. He’s fought in some fairly major promotions in North America, but things like that don’t intimidate any of us Aussies. If there’s one thing we love, it’s a challenge battling against the odds. The Canucks seemed to think Chad was a hot favorite to win this whole tournament, but Indich intended on throwing a spanner in the works.

Fight day arrived. Indich seemed mentally strong, with a steely gaze and laser-beam focus. The fight kicked off, and Chad was using some great movement to stay out of range and landed some range-finding shots. Nothing too heavy, but he seemed to be getting his eye in faster than Indo.

As the round went deeper, I led a chant for Indich, which all of Team Australia got behind 100 percent, and it seemed to lift Chris a little bit. He began to push forward aggressively, pressuring Chad and walking through some of his best shots. Chad was still landing the more telling blows, but Chris was as tough as nails and landed some great punches of his own. By the end of the round, the momentum may have swayed in Indo’s favor. He took more damage in round one, but finished with some good momentum and a mental win. He had taken some of Chad’s best clean shots and ate them up.

Round two taught us three things. First, Indich has a chin! Second, I had lost my voice from shouting and had reverted to hand signals. Third, we had ourselves a fight!

Round two kicked off and Chad maintained his constant lateral movement. He did well to stay out of the power zone of Chris, who was loading up with some big shots. Chris landed some clean, but was often getting beaten to the punch by the straight, direct shots of Chad. Chris attempted a takedown, but Chad defended well, and both boys continued to trade as this battle grew in intensity. Chris threw a big head kick, nice accuracy, but Chad blocked strongly and took little damage. Chad finished the round with a nice spinning back kick, which hit pretty clean. I can tell it would have hurt, but Indich took it like the warrior he is.

As the referee announced the judges’ decision, my heart sank for Indo. Chad won a decision, and rightly so. Although Indo brought it to Chad, he was out-pointed by cleaner strikes and more telling blows. I’m so proud of Indo. In the face of adversity, he stayed strong and showed what he was made of. He embodied the Aussie fighting spirit in that fight, and although he didn’t get the win, it was something of a moral victory for us. The Canadians were saying Chad would knock Chris out and get the $25,000 “Knockout of the Season” bonus. They underestimated just how tough this unassuming yoga-surfing hippie from the wild west is.

I could tell Indich was shattered by his loss, and I know how he feels. Nothing anyone says can make you feel better at that point. Like me not long before, he’d just seen his dream slip away. A dream that dedicated guys like Chris and myself have been chasing every moment of every day for years.

I didn’t try to console him. I think the best thing at times like that is just let them know you’re proud of them and give them time to come to terms with what just happened. Chris is a tough guy and a true professional, and I know he’ll be back.

Following the fight, it was time for the next fight announcement. Patrick Cote announced Nordine Taleb, our resident Robocop. He marched out in front of our ranks and announced that Tyler would get his wish and they would fight. I’m not sure if he thought Tyler would be intimidated, but the “Wild Thing” has been man-bashing as a pro fighter since he was 16 years old. If there’s two things Tyler can do well, it’s have fun in any situation and fight like a demon. Sometimes, he likes to combine the two—he’s that talented.

Well, the stage is set for next week, and I promise you there will be fireworks! Tune in here to catch round four of the Badger blog and find out what happens when our Aussie wild child steps inside the cage with the baddest man in Canada!

Until next week, keep Badgin’!

Brendan “Badger” O’Reilly would like to thank his cult-like supporters, his sponsors Mass Nutrition Chermside, Sports Master Athletics, Harris Stability Systems, Battlebeard Athletica and gyms Gamebred Combat Club, Alliance Jiu Jitsu Brisbane and Fortitude Boxing. Follow the Badger’s antics on Twitter: @oreillymma
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About The Author

Brendan O'Reilly
TUF: Nations Blogger

Brendan "Badger" O'Reilly prides himself on being a physical and aggressive fighter. He is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a former Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling state champion in Australia. Before discovering MMA, Brendan was a representative Rugby League player, while also competing in rodeos. He set aside both sports to focus solely on succeeding in mixed martial arts. Outside of competing as a professional fighter, Brendan owns and operates Gamebred Combat Club, a Cross Fit and MMA gym, in Brisbane, Australia and also boasts a degree in Applied Science.