This is the part of the Ultimate Fighter I'm still invested in. Watching the prospects perform, even if they're not necessarily at their best, gives me some idea of what the next crop of new fighters the UFC is bringing up looks like. The second opening round bout from TUF Nations pitted middleweight Elias Theodorou against Zein Saliba. It wasn't exactly a clinic, both guys looked pretty raw out there, but Theodorou pulled ahead in the first round and dominated in the second. Afterward Kyle Noke talked about the experience disparity between some of his fighters and some of the Canadian team fighters. Theodorou and Elias have been pros for a pretty equivalent amount of time, but Theodorou does have twice as many fights to his name.
What I found most interesting was that the increased focus on cage miking and the lack of incidental music really brought out the point at which Saliba's corner stopped coaching him. About a minute into the second it becomes clear that only Theodorou's corner is offering any advice to their fighter. Only in the last 30 seconds or so of the round do you here Saliba's cornermen start yelling at him again. It's hard to think what advice they could have given, Saliba was getting badly out-grappled, but it was strange to hear his loss reflected, in fight, by his corner.
The loss now puts team Canada up 2-0 on team Australia. Next week we'll see team Canada fighter Chad Laprise take on Chris Indich of team Australia, and unfortunately for the Aussies it looks like it may be another loss as Indich is another small camp fighter. The baseline training may prove to be a big hurdle for the Noke's team in this season. Stay tuned as we'll be sure to keep you updated with more Ultimate Fighter results and videos.
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