Let’s pick up where we left off last week. Sheldon Westcott had just defeated Australia’s Dan Kelly in a whirlwind of destruction. A very fast fight, impressive by Sheldon, but a disappointing injury occurred for Dan. We didn’t yet know exactly what was wrong with his knee, but we knew it was serious, and he was taken to the hospital immediately.

Quite a number of us were pretty cranky about the way the Canucks carried on after Sheldon’s win. There’s no doubt Sheldon performed amazingly well and deserved a celebration, but in the light of the serious injury to Dan, myself and a couple of my teammates felt it was pretty disrespectful.

I asked Kajan Johnson about some things that were said as soon as I saw him back at the house. I wasn’t surprised that he couldn’t give me a straight answer, but he needed to know that we weren’t going to tolerate his garbage. Like I said at the time, I doubt Kajan actually has malicious intentions when he gets verbal diarrhea, but when the shit starts dribbling out, the floodgates open.

Anyhow, even though Dan has chased me in his birthday suit for shining a torch in his eyes and destroyed my dreams of being the next Michael Bublé, he’s still my mate, and I’ll throw my hat in the ring for him if he’s not around to defend himself.

I think Kajan got pretty bent out of shape about the whole incident. I don’t really see why. If he said it, man up and deal with the consequences. If he honestly thinks he didn’t say those things, then move on, champ. Don’t cry on your bed, nobody needs to see that. Grow yourself a beard and some manliness, and pull yourself together. I think he’s under the impression that I’m a confrontational guy, and when it comes to someone disrespecting people I care about, I am. I’d fight to the death for something I believe in. They don’t call me the “Badger” for nothing, and if you’re shy of confrontation, engage your brain before your cake-hole starts flappin’.

And to Dan, this doesn’t mean that I like you. Next thing I know, you’ll be inviting me around for casual randori and a glass of port in the hot tub…I would be there in a heartbeat. I’m kidding! Stay in Melbourne, you psycho!

To celebrate Kelly’s arrival back from the hospital, we had some rap battles in our room that night. I’m sure Kelly would have loved some peace and quiet, but most of us had watched at least three-quarters of 8-Mile at some point in our misguided youth, and we were ready to “spit venom in every direction” (heard that in an actual rap battle, not sure what it means). The winner of the rap-off was definitely Richie Walsh, who freestyled about losing his genitalia in a sparring accident (circa 2002) due to a rogue scissor kick. It was definitely the highlight of the night.

The next day after training we heard an extremely loud engine from within the gym. We all ran into the gym kitchen and saw a pretty awesome Ferrari. I think it was a Ferrari. I’m pretty bad with sports cars, and I personally would have been way more excited if it was a F-350 with monster-truck tires, but it was still a massive surprise. We were told that we’d be playing Forza Motorsport 5 on the Xbox One that night, and that the winner of the fastest lap time would get a ride to training in the Ferrari. I knew immediately that I’d be fighting an uphill battle, as I’m terrible at video games. I’ve probably played a handful of times in my life, and there were some hardened gamers in that house! Still, I’d give it a lash, and maybe find my hidden talent. Fast forward 25 minutes, and we’ve established I’m the worst video gamer in the Northern hemisphere. Punishment for losing was a nudie run, so off I went on my jog in the -20 degrees. It was actually quite refreshing, and due to the sub-zero temperatures there was little need to censor the footage for television. You’re welcome.

Let’s get back to business. This week’s fight was between Australia’s young phenom, Jake Matthews, and highly touted Canadian prospect Olivier Aubin-Mercier. I didn’t know much about Oli, but was confident in Jake’s skill, and he was also very experienced for such a young fighter. Although his pro record doesn’t reflect his experience, Jake has plenty of amateur fights under his belt, and as a pro has fought some of the top welterweights in the country.

Both guys made weight easily, and the weigh-in was kept light-hearted when Olivier presented Jake with a photo of Justin Bieber, Jake’s doppelganger. Jake loves the “Bieber of MMA” title, and 16-year-old girls worldwide are now suddenly mixed martial arts fans because of Jake.

Fight day rolled around, and Jake was as confident as ever. He was looking sharp, and we expected a great battle between these two young prospects. As the fight began, Jake controlled distance well with his striking. He was exploding well with short combinations and single shots, and Olivier seemed a little gun-shy at first. Oli’s first real action was pushing Jake against the cage. Jake managed to circle off and disengage to his ideal range. After some more strikes, Oli once again pushed Jake to the cage. This time, he quickly secured an inside trip takedown on Jake and took the fight to the ground, where he is most comfortable. The remainder of the round saw Olivier land some ground-and-pound. Jake used an open guard to limit the damage done, but didn’t try to scramble to the feet, allowing Olivier to take the round due to positional dominance.

Round two, we knew Jake must win this one to take the fight to a third round. It’s do or die. The round kicked off with some striking, which was ideal for Jake. Olivier threw a body kick, which Jake smothered and attempted to hit a takedown off. Olivier deftly took hold of a kimura armlock and used it to take Jake to the ground. He quickly advanced his position to Jake’s back, which is where he remained for the remainder of the round. Credit must be given for his positional control and dominance. Oli attacked unsuccessfully with some rear-naked chokes, which Jake defended well. In the end, it just came down to positional dominance and superior ground control, and Olivier was awarded the win.

It was a tough pill to swallow. Jake was a great prospect on our team, and we had every confidence in him. I was disappointed for Jake, but certainly not in him. Even in losing he showed great fighting spirit, never giving up and defending every submission attempt. I knew he’d be shattered, and let him know I’d be there if he needed me, but as usual the best option was to give him space and time and let him deal with the loss in his own way.
At the fight announcement, we got to see a face-off between the last two middleweights to go head to head in the preliminary round—Vik Grujic and Luke Harris. This is set to be a real ripper of a fight, so tune in next week to hear all about it.

Until then, 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
Watch The Ultimate Fighter: Nations every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1

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.