Chad Laprise’s striking prowess was enough to earn him a split decision victory in a closely fought bout with Olivier Aubin-Mercier to be crowned the TUF Nations welterweight winner.
Aubin-Mercier with a nice left hook to start this one off. He goes upstairs with a kick that’s blocked.
Laprise scores with a couple of leg kicks. Against A-M tries for the head kick. It’s not long before he tries another, this time off a punch.
Laprise continuing to land to his opponent’s legs with kicks.
Aubin-Mercier looks for strikes and then transitions to a takedown attempt, but Laprise is able to fend him off.
Very solid right hand lands for Laprise. A-M is trying to push the pace and take the center of the cage, but Laprise is landing some nice shots at times.
Aubin-Mercier catches a punch as he ducks in for a takedown which is stuffed and then Laprise lands a couple more punches for good measure to serve as a deterrent for any future attempt.
Aubin-Mercier trying to home in on Laprise, but finding it easier said than done to really get into range and land effectively.
Laprise bursts forward with a flurry of punches in the final seconds of the round.
Good right hand connects for Laprise in the opening exchange of round two. Aubin-Mercier pressing forward quickly and they both throw heavy leather with Laprise getting the better of it.
Aubin-Mercier swoops in for a takedown and has to work hard for it, but does land it eventually. A-M looking for a potential guillotine and Laprise reverses and quickly gets out of danger and back to his feet.
As they get back to it in the stand-up battle Aubin-Mercier starts to gain some ground with nice body kicks in particular paying dividends.
Laprise now pressing forward and looking to land hard lefts and rights. He wings in another solid right hand.
A little more ebb and flow to who’s leading the dance in this round, with A-M now trying to pressure his opponent again and attempt to land more kicks.
Laprise tries a spinning attack with a short combination to follow as the round closes out.
Superman punch from A-M to start the third. He continues with punches, resets for a moment and then runs back in with a takedown attempt that’s stuffed.
Laprise with a left hand a leg kick. A-M with a body kick in return. Laprise attempts a kick and Aubin-Mercier lands a nice takedown off it.
Laprise uses his feet to push Aubin-Mercier off and scrambles up to his feet. A-M tries to stay on him in the clinch, but Laprise breaks free.
Left lands for Aubin-Mercier. A couple of body kicks in short succession score too. He’s going to that kick a lot now and Laprise tries to respond with a knee, but slips in the process.
Right hand clips A-M. More strikes and a good left hook in particular from Laprise before stuffing a takedown.
Laprise catches a kick and sweeps Aubin-Mercier to the ground, but doesn’t follow him to the canvas, so he gets right back up.
Aubin-Mercier wades in looking to land a hard punch, but gets caught with a counter. He lands a body kick and a leg kick.
Spinning back kick from Laprise. He tries another, but this time it misses. Again he goes for it, this time to the head, but it’s blocked.
Aubin-Mercier is hitting reverse gear now and Laprise really pours it on with punches, hoping for a late finish. A-M is in defensive mode, but luckily for him the final bell sounds, so this one’s headed to the scorecards.
Pretty close fight here, and that’s reflected in the split decision ruling but it’s Laprise who gets the nod from two of the judges to become the TUF welterweight champ (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).