» Discussions

Im focused on going out there

  • June 8, 2020
    QUEBEC -- Welterweight Chad (The Disciple) Laprise won a split decision over Olivier Aubin-Mercier on Wednesday to become the first Canadian winner of the UFCs "Ultimate Fighter" reality TV show. [b]Detroit Pistons Jerseys 2022[/b] . The judges scored it 28-29, 29-28, 30-27 for Laprise, who finished strongly in what was a very close fight. "I cant describe what I am feeling right now. People are asking me what it feels like to be the first winner of The Ultimate Fighter from Canadaa and all I can say is I feel blessed," said Laprise. "Olivier was tough. I knew he would be, hes a southpaw and has a very difficult style to figure out. He is young and will come again. "Right now, I feel so happy right now, so proud. I just had Dana White hand me a TUF finale trophy. I cant describe whats going on in my head." Laprise (9-0) got on his knees in the middle of the cage after the fight. Aubin-Mercier (5-1), seemingly favouring his right foot, hung on to his cornermen. The welterweight and middleweight finals of "The Ultimate Fighter Nations," which pitted Canada against Australian, were all-Canadian affairs after the Aussies were eliminated earlier. Torontos Elias (The Spartan) Theodorou stopped Edmontons Sheldon Westcott via second-round TKO in the middleweight final. After Theodorou (10-0) came into the music of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Westcott (9-2-1) ran into the arena to Imagine Dragons, almost wiping out as he turned a corner. It was a frantic opening as Westcott looked to take the fight to the ground quickly, hoping to bring his submission game into play. The bigger Theodorou fought him off and started punishing him with knees. Theodorous size and wrestling skills took their toll. He dumped Westcott midway through the second round and hammered him. The referee eventually stepped in to stop the beating at 4:41 Canadian coach Patrick (The Predator) Cote, who fought Australian coach Kyle Noke in a welterweight bout later on the Colisee Pepsi card, was runner-up to Travis Lutter on Season 4 of "The Ultimate Fighter," which featured veteran fighters looking for a second chance. Aubin-Mercier stalked Laprise, who looked to counter from the outside, as he waited for the right moment to try a takedown. Laprise stuffed two attempts in the first round but was cut under the left eye as the crowd chanted his opponents name. Laprise was finally taken down a minute into the second round, to the delight of the crowd. But he quickly got back up. Aubin-Mercier kept coming but never got his ground game going. Laprise denied another takedown to open the third but was bundled down soon after. Again he got back up quickly. Aubin-Mercier connected with kicks as Laprise continued to fight from the counter position. Laprise finished the fight with a flourish of blows. Wednesdays card marked the UFCs first visit to Quebec City. In addition to being teammates on the show, Laprise and Aubin-Mercier have also trained together at Montreals Tristar Gym, home to former UFC weltwerweight champion Georges St-Pierre. "Theyre both my friends," said GSP. "Both very nice guys." St-Pierre, however, picked Aubin-Mercier to win. The former champion has closer ties to Aubin-Mercier than Laprise -- they have known each other longer, live close to each other and Aubin-Mercier was an important training partner ahead of St-Pierres last fight against Johny Hendricks. Aubin-Mercier, 25, does most of his training at Montreals H2O Gym, A former member of the Canadian judo team, he advanced to the TUF Nations final by beating a pair of Australians: Jake Matthews by decision and Richard Walsh by submission. A native of Windsor, Ont., Laprise now makes his home in London, Ont., and trains mostly out of Adrenaline MMA Training and Fitness. Laprise, 27, won a unanimous decision over Australian Chris Indich before defeating Kayan Johnsons jaw via a brutal knockout to advance to the final. "It was difficult seeing the aftermath with Kajan and his jaw breaking, obviously," said Laprise. But both knew what they had signed up for. "That could easily just as well been me," Laprise said. Johnson returns to the cage in June to face lightweight Tae Hyun Bang at UFC 174 in Vancouver. Like others on the show, which wrapped up filming in December, Laprise was unable to talk about what happened until the episodes aired. "Keeping it a secret for so long was definitely tough," he said. Both Laprise and Aubin-Mercier have spent most of their fight career at lightweight (155 pounds) but competed at welterweight (170) on the show. Laprise normally walks around at 190 pounds. "Im probably one of the biggest lightweights in the division," said the five-foot-10 Laprise. "So me fighting at 170 is actually awesome." Laprise added after the fight: "Id like to drop down to 155 pounds now, Im a little small for 170 pounds. But I will fight anyone the UFC want me to. Im here to fight." Fighting aside, Laprise is a man of faith. After weighing in Tuesday, he donned his trademark large cross to square off with Aubin-Mercier. "I truly believe that God put me here for a reason. And thats to share his light through fighting. Everybody that sees me fight, they know Im a Christian. Hopefully I represent God well." He found religion at the age of 21. "My life has changed dramatically since and Im very grateful for that." Living with 15 other fighters under the same roof with cameras everywhere for six weeks during filming of the TV show was a challenge however. "It was tough, man," he said. "Youre constantly on film, every single day." [b]Wholesale Detroit Pistons Jerseys[/b] . -- Top-ranked Stacy Lewis birdied the last three holes and five of the final six Thursday for an 8-under 64 and a share of the lead with Mi Jung Hur in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. [b]Detroit Pistons Pro Shop[/b] . After rookie right-hander Alex Colome excelled in a 5-2 victory in the opener, the Rays fell to Chris Tillman and the Orioles 4-1 on Friday night.( - It may not be as dramatic as Kirk Gibson limping off the bench to hit a home run, but shortstop Hanley Ramirez is certainly endearing himself to Los Angeles Dodgers fans this postseason. The Dodgers and Ramirez try to even their best-of-seven National League Championship Series Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium. Ramirez, who missed Game 2 after getting hit in the ribs in the opener, returned to the lineup on Monday despite a hairline fracture and singled in his first at-bat before driving in the final run in Los Angeles 3-0 win. "What can I say? It couldnt be better," said Ramirez, who is batting .455 with seven RBI in the playoffs. "Really happy we got the first win. Just come back (Tuesday) and even up the series." Pitching continued to dominate this series, as Dodgers righty Hyun-Jin Ryu scattered three hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings to help L.A. get back in the series after losing the first two in St. Louis. Of course, only one team has rallied from an 0-2 deficit in the NLCS -- the Cardinals in 1985 against the Dodgers. Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig ended the Dodgers 22-inning scoreless drought with RBI extra-base hits in the fourth inning, and that was all Ryu and the back end of the Dodgers bullpen needed. "I think the playoffs are a one-day momentum swing. Every day changes with momentum. Right now I feel like weve kind of grabbed it," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. Adam Wainwright, who tossed a complete-game gem in the NLDS closeout game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, surrendered two runs in seven innings to take the loss, while the Cardinals continued to struggle to get things going offensively. As a team, St. Louis is only hitting .134 with seven walks through the first three games. "Were a better club than this," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It wasnt very characteristic of how we played all season." The nine combined runs in the series thus far are the fewest ever tthrough three games of an LCS. [b]Swingman Detroit Pistons Jerseys[/b]. Now the Dodgers will turn to righty Ricky Nolasco, who was supposed to start Game 4 of the NLDS against Atlanta, but was pulled hours before the start for Clayton Kershaw. Mattingly kind of left the door open to that happening again, only this time he would go with Game 1 starter Zack Greinke on short rest. "As of right now," Mattingly said. "Ricky Nolasco will be pitching tomorrow." Nolasco was terrific after being traded to the Dodgers from Miami in early July and was 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA in his first 12 starts. However, he was winless over his final four starts and allowed 19 runs over 12 innings in his last three outings of the year. "Until somebody says otherwise, Im focused on going out there and pitching tomorrow," Nolasco said. Referring to his conditional starting status, he added, "Those things are out of my control. Im only concentrating on the things I can control." St. Louis, meanwhile, will rely on righty Lance Lynn, who picked up the win in relief in Game 1. Lynn pitched two scoreless innings in that one after yielding five runs in just 4 1/3 innings in his Game 2 loss to the Pirates in the NLDS. "You have two really good offensive teams that havent done much so far, and Ive never been one to be naive to the fact that somebodys probably due," Lynn said. "But when its all said and done, you have to concentrate on all you can take care of, and thats just one pitch at a time. Whoevers in the box, you just try to execute your game plan against them. "We have two great offenses here that havent done anything yet, so there could be a couple good games here offensively. But as a starting pitcher, you dont want to see it." Lynn has never lost to the Dodgers and is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts. To make matters worse for the Cardinals they may be without third baseman David Freese, who left Game 3 with tightness in his calf. The Dodgers were 4-3 against the Cardinals this season. ' ' '