TUF Nations: Episode 8 Recap – Harris vs Grujic

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TUF Nations 2Olivier Aubin-Mercier made it 5-2 Canada in the last episode with the decision win over Jake Matthews. This week it is his teammate Luke Harris who is taking on Australia’s Vik Grujic.

This episode begins with OAM celebrating with a big meal in the TUF House and Matthews is upset over his loss.

Next, the Aussies are in the UFC Gym training and Kyle Noke brings out Jon Jones as a guest coach. Noke brought Jones there to provide inspiration to the Aussies who are losing quite badly to the Canadians. Grujic is very happy that Jones is visiting around the time of his fight.

Canada’s Harris is shown talking about his MMA career. All of his wins have come by first round submission and he wants to continue that streak against Vik Grujic. He says the knockout that he suffered in his first fight helped get him to where he is today.

Again we see Sheldon Westcott dealing with injuries. The Canadian Middleweight sees the doctor about a neck injury. He is told that he may not be able to fight again in The Ultimate Fighter. He has an MRI scheduled. Eliminated TUF Middleweights hope for a second shot in the tourney.

Kajan Johnson, Chad Laprise, and Olivier Aubin-Mercier have all advanced and all want to fight Richard Walsh. All three have trained at Tristar and do not want to fight each other.

Jon Jones comes back to the TUF House and has supper with the Australians. They show Vik Grujic showing pictures of his family to Jones. Jones signs Tyler Manuwaroa’s chest.

Patrick Cote brings Cung Le out as a guest coach. Le, who beat Cote in the UFC, was also the man in charge of TUF China. Le coaches the Canadians on striking techniques, of course. Westcott is shown wearing a neck brace.


Luke Harris vs Vik Grujic
R1. Tentative start for the two fighters.  Grujic lands a jab and a hook.  Grujic clinches up and slams Harris down.  Grujic drops elbows on Harris and knocks him out.  A dominating performance for the Aussie and a disappointing performance from Harris.  
Vik Grujic defeats Luke Harris via KO (Elbows) in Round 1

The Aussies celebrate a victory and there will be no need to match teammate against teammate at Middleweight.  Grujic hopes to get KO of the series and $25,000 for that win.

A badly cut Harris is very disappointed, saying, “This was the most important fight of my career. Everything in the last seven years has been working toward this. It’s very disappointing to take this loss at this time.” (This will be a tough loss to recover from. Not sure what will be next in MMA for the 36 year old Harris)

Kyle Noke said. “I knew Vik would be better on the feet than Luke and that showed in the fight.” Cung Le was also very impressed with Grujic.

Cote says that Harris was ‘flat’ and ‘got caught’.

Next week they will announce the four semi-finals. Here is list of the remaining fighters:

Welterweight

  1. Kajan Johnson (CAN)
  2. Chad Laprise (CAN)
  3. Richard Walsh (AUS)
  4. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (CAN)

Middleweight

  1. Elias Theodorou (CAN)
  2. Tyler Manawaroa (AUS)
  3. Sheldon Westcott (CAN)
  4. Vik Grujic (AUS)

46 Responses to “ TUF Nations: Episode 8 Recap – Harris vs Grujic ”

  1. Luke Harris is one of those few fighters who in the 7 years he has being involved in mma has not shown any real marked improvements in his striking ability, even though from time to time he trains at a striking gym here in the city, his footwork is very pedestrian and slow, head movement is pretty much non existent, his striking movements are rigid and robotic with no snap at the end of his punches, coupled with a suspect jaw is a recipe for disaster as was witnessed with the Vik Grujic fight or should I say demolition. Unlike the Real Deal Ryan Ford whos greatly improved his overall game with his ventures to Tristar.

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  2. only me? says:

    So is it just me or did anyone else notice how soft Luke looked? every time I’ve seen this guy he’s been jacked! now he’s sporting a flabby gut? some one obviously got off the roids for the show. Loved watching his ass get Ko’d btw

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  3. luke Harris was a poor choice to be picked for the Canadian cast, TUF should be about scouting out the best available young talent and providing the platform that will eventually launch them onto the big show!! At 36 years old Harris is too old, and too one demintional in his fight game, In lukes case the old adage that you cant teach an old dog new tricks holds true, not only was Luke an embarrassment to himself he was also an embarrassment to Canada with his pitiful, shameful performance!!

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  4. Bruce Griffin says:

    That guy was terrible, How did he make the show?

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  5. Bdc says:

    Shit on the guy while hes down would ya….yes it was a brutal stand up display, i thought he would have come further with his striking but none of us know what it is like to fight for the big show. Maybe it has a way of getting to some, made him even tighter.

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  6. Marty Jannety says:

    10-2 with 10 first round stoppages is terrible?

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  7. Luke deserved to be there. He is one of the best Canadian MWs that was not signed by the UFC.

    Unfortunately, he was not good on this day.

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  8. It’s easy to kick a guy while he’s down, but had Luke won by first round sub, then everybody would be shitting on the opponent not being good enough.

    The guy is working his ass off, trains hard, is a very high level fighter.

    He must be doing something right having all the haters.

    Keep up the good work Luke.

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  9. Robin Black says:

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  10. Tim chemelli says:

    Win or loose, they made it there and that’s awesome!! All the guys on Canadian side are doing great.. Keep it up guys!!

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  11. terry robertson says:

    I think Luke is a good fighter and am sure he works his ass off to get where he is at and he is a great guy and donates to charity to help orphans and all of that.

    I also do not think criticism of his standup is invalid. Especially at the level he is promoted and advertised as a professional fighter.

    To say it was a bad day for him, while true, also doesn’t address the fact that his defense consisted of his arms sticking straight out and his chin sticking up in the air as his head turned away from incoming punches with his eyes closed.

    That is very amateur striking defense, like what you would see from someone just starting out that doesn’t spar. He didn’t show any offense.

    I am not typing this to bash Luke Harris, but come on Keith or topmmanews, you guys are supposed to be reporting on MMA on this site why can’t you call it like you see it, Harris is an excellent grappler with way below sub-par striking skills and that cost him this fight and will cost him ever moving up to higher levels of mma.

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  12. Adam says:

    I don’t think anyone is insulting him (or kicking a guy while he’s down), more so typing their opinion! In fact the criticism is bang on, good grappler who just doesn’t have much to offer with boxing or muay thai and doesn’t appear to be improving with his training not to mention he is what 36 yrs of age. Yes he has a good record but I think or tend to believe viewers want to see the best TUF participants because the UFC have access to see (video) as well have him demonstrate his skills. We also are being picky who is representing Canada. So it becomes either who was available for the show, trying to make it as competitive as possible and or TV ratings.

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  13. Champions have a way of overcoming adversities whether its fist time jitters ,nerves, fear and are able to adapt to whichever game plan presents itself, sure 10 first round stoppages by submission is commendable and there is no arguing that luke works his ass off and trains hard , but this is not a jits tournament or your dads mma from 1993. with the skill of todays high level mma fighters its hard to compete on a level playing field if you only have one dimension to your game plan compounded with zero striking ability, its comparable to go going into a gun fight, your shooting blanks while your opponent is bouncing 50 cal. rounds off your cranium. contrast Lukes fight with Kajans fight were kajan made the best of a once in a lifetime opportunity and came out like a house on fire in his win, while Luke looked flat, scared and unmotivated in hiss loss.

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  14. PUCK says:

    It may have just been and off day for Luke but I do think he was kinda an odd choice for this show. Luke is a great fighter but I think he’s a bit long in the tooth and it showed? A bit slower, a bit softer and looked very nevous on his feet. I kinda feel bad for him as this was his big shot….about 3-5 years too late for Luke? We all get old…nothing you can do but step back?

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  15. Criticism of his striking is definately valid, but when fighters are as high level at grappling makes it a bit less of an issue.

    No different than Ben Askren, Ronda Rousey, etc.

    With Luke being 36 versus 20, he’s only going to change so much, and over a longer period of time. But while others are more one dimensional, he can beat most with his grappling/submission skills.

    Why is nobody hating on Kajan as he’s also not a spring chick? (Not saying anybody should, but had he lost, would he be criticised as well?)

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  16. Too bad says:

    Okay first is first that’s a horrible way to see anyone lose , but let’s be realistic … How high level is Luke,s grappling ?
    What tourneys has he won ? What did he do in judo ?
    Damien Maia high level ! Jacare is high level !
    Luke was picked up and slammed on his head by a much smaller man. Held on to the guillotine way too long. Luke bought his way onto that show like he bought everything else , is it just me or is it a coincidence that Luke was flying Cote out for training a few months prior to the show ?

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  17. HAHA you’re right, he bought his way into TUF.

    Cote had been going to Edmonton for training long before he knew he’d be a coach on TUF. That has no relevence. Besides Cote isn’t the one who picked the fighters. That was the UFC and the Fox producers.

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  18. A deep down critical analysis of Lukes performance will do luke more good in the long if continues with his mma career than having his friends blowing sunshine up his keyster by telling him how great he is at jits , how he trains his ass off or its ok luke at least you made the show!! lol come on comparing luke to ben askren and rousey, luke should be so lucky!

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  19. I just meant from the standpoint of being a one dimensional fighter.

    he’d have to be competitive at a higher level to be in that class otherwise.

    I’m sure nobody is more dissapointed in his performance than Luke is. He’d definately want to learn from some of his mistakes, and correct them for the future.

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  20. Bruce Griffin says:

    Heard Hayabusa sales have plummeted since his episode aired

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  21. Terry robertson says:

    MAD is the ultimate hypocritical fanboy poster on this site.

    It’s too bad because he has enough knowledge and connections in the sport to be able to bring real inside stories and provide valuable factual knowledge and insight to people who want to read real stories and come to this site for that type of journalism and/or opinions whether on the site or comments/forums.

    MAD, you have been on this site writing/commenting many times about the advancement of mma being taken seriously as a professional sport.

    To say his grappling skill makes his striking issues less of an issue might be top one or two silliest things you have said here in my opinion.

    What Luke Harris showed in his standup on tuf is mma ten years ago.

    I have seen comments on here by posters stating Harris standup will prevent him from beating the next level competition above regional shows.

    It rings true and the evidence is on tv for everyone to see.

    It doesn’t make him less of a man or a bad person just a lower level fighter than a lot of Canadian mma personalities would like to admit.

    Rousey and Jacare have show huge improvements in their standup and have shown a lot more skill in the standup game than Harris. This is on top of already having a higher pedigree in their base disciplines to start with.

    Harris’ standup is amateur, has not improved much over the years and it is ok for the yes men and butt-kisses in the canadian mma scene to admit he is a regional show fighter at best.

    Grow a pair!!

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  22. David Letourneau says:

    Sometimes shit just happens, it’s great watching all of our fellow canadians on the show, especially Luke Harris, I’m a big fan Luke best of luck looking towards the future.

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  23. Everyone would agree that Luke’s standup is not up to par.

    Look at our poll, he was the 2nd favorite to win it for the Canadians by our readers.

    To say he did not deserve to fight on the show after seeing the result is ridiculous though.

    Also… I believe he made TUF previously but had to pull out due to injury. Could be my memory playing tricks on me though.

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  24. Cosmo Kramer says:

    I guess slick marketing and cool T shirts don’t get in the cage with you.

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  25. fools says:

    You cannot blame Luke for trying out and going on the show anybody would jump all over that. for that you have to respect his effort, he gave it his best . that being said its MMA , you better be a all around fighter if you want to make it to the big show. My only comment is the crew at topmmanews on a regular basis are not objective .Lets be serious , does he have some skills , yes of course he is a judo and bjj black belt , but lets be clear he is not a high level judo player or in bjj. sorry boys the results are not there. he also cornered a fighter at hard knocks who have his jaw fractured in 3 places and he said you are fine get in there…..

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  26. Robin Black says:

    We chatted about Luke; I threw out my opinion (for what its worth) around 3:15.

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  27. Lil Jon says:

    Seems like a nice guy and supports fighters through his company. Unfortunately his standup isn’t that great but there has definitely been worse fighters making the show. That’s one of the problems with country vs country I think it kind of waters down the product and best fighters available fighters aren’t on it.

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  28. Chris Ladouceur says:

    Luke was on the National Judo team, so he does have international experience in Judo. In my opinion making a National Team in any discipline is a very high level. Striking for Luke is a fish a out of water comparison. I hope he does continue and gets a contract in the UFC, however he needs to concentrate on his striking and foot work to reach that.

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  29. mike spence says:

    Luke needs to sign up for boxing 101 class.

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  30. Donald Duck says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    1. I didn’t know Kyle knew KD Lang

    2. I’m reasonably sure that the use of ‘statistics’ was not correct – I think KD was trying to reference Murphy’s Law

    3. I tend to agree with Ms. Lang – Luke has had a good run and will fight again but his shot at the big show is probably over. That said he’s in a good position and shouldn’t feel bad about making it as far as he did.

    Donnie

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  32. BOOBOO says:

    THIS IS BULLSHIT ! LUKE HAS WHAT 9 OR 10 FINISHES IN THE FIRST ROUND WITH 1 LOSE AND IS A FUCKING AMBASSADOR TO THE SPORT IN CANADA AND POEPLE ARE FUCKING HATING ON HIM FOR HIS LAST PERFORMANCE ( WHICH WAS VERY UNDER PAR ). HIS STIKING IS NOT WHAT GOT HIM IN THE UFC ITS HIS FINISHES , ATTITUDE AND HIS LOVE FOR THE SPORT !

    YES HE CANT STIKE , WE ALL KNOW THAT , HE IS A 1 DEMENTIONAL FIGHTER WHO FINISHES FIGHTS , NOT LIKE JOSH HILL WHO IS ONE DEMENTIONAL AND CANT FINISH FIGHTS AND IS BORING , AND THATS ONE THING LUKES NOT . THATS WHAT LUKE HAS GOING FOR HIM HE IS FUN TO WATCH , THE GUY FINISHES FIGHTS PLAIN AND SIMPLE .

    I DO THINK DANA WILL GIVE HIM A SHOT AT THE FANALLY BECAUSE OF THEM REASONS , NOT CAUSE HE CANT TAKE A PUNCH ITS BECAUSE HE HAS EARNED HIS PLACE IN THE SPORT AND AT 36 THIS MIGHT BE HIS LAST CHANCE AND I THINK HE DESERVES IT REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME LAST WEEK .

    HE FINISHES FIGHTS AND IS A BLAST TO SEE HIS JUDO SKILLS AND HOPEFULLY HAS 1 MORE SHOT TO SHOWCASE THEM SKILLS AT THE FANALLY !

    SO GET OFF THE GUYS ASS , HE DESERVES TO BE IN THAT HOUSE .

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  33. Terry robertson says:

    I don’t think he didn’t deserve to be on the show. I wasn’t at tryouts.

    I think Ryan Machan tried out and would say I would rather see him there at 185 over Harris.

    I’m a huge baseball fanatic, players are assessed no holds barred all the time. If you don’t belong at a certain level everyone from the media, gm’s and coaches know and have a realistic view of that no matter who you are.

    MMA wants desperately to be a big mainstream pro sport, fans, journalists, coaches and promoters should treat it and it’s athletes with the same regard when it comes to skills, project-ability etc.

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  34. As fans we should reason less with our emotions and adoration of a fighter and more along the lines of whats best for a fighters well being and safety, at 36 years old the last thing we want for luke is to make it to the big stage only to be used as a stepping stone and cannon fodder for the UFCs top young hotshot 185 lb fighters, and then once he cannot even serve that purpose to be thrown out like yesterdays news.

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  35. I’m not a Luke Harris fanboy, but didn’t think it was the time to critic his overall game.

    It’s no secret he’s mostly a grappler/submission guy, and going into this show, he’d only lost once, with the rest of his matches being first round submission wins.

    For him to be competitive at a higher level, his standup definately needs some work.

    Why not be happy he made the show, was able to try his thing. It didn’t work out, so what’s the point in shitting on him?

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  36. mike kent says:

    9 first round finishes, was one of the top 5 MW’s in Canada for years so why would he not be on the show ? he had a poor showing and didn’t win. That doesn’t erase everything that luke has done before that. On any day if luke gets his chance to tie up with you he can beat anybody.

    I feel that he just didn’t look into it on that day and came out flat. That doesn’t take away the fact that hes been finishing guys in the first round for years. He deserved to be there

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  37. The reality show model doesn’t work for everybody either. People are taken out of their comfort zone, not allowing everybody to be as effective as they could be.

    He tried, it didn’t work out, what happens next with Luke is on Luke.

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  38. Terry robertson says:

    I’m not sure if the replies are to my comments or not.

    Like I said it didn’t bother me that he was on the show. Would I rather have seen a more well rounded, younger and hungrier fighter? Yes

    Luke didn’t look hungry and maybe that’s why he was so flat.

    Still doesn’t change the fact that we have seen his ceiling. All the power to him if he wants to keep fighting regional shows and submitting regional fighters in the first round.

    I am sure he is a great guy and loves his life and all those things that don’t really matter to me at all when I am watching a fight and looking at a fighters skill set.

    Anyone who fights Luke from now on will also have a clear plan on how to beat him as well, so it will probably get tougher from here on out.

    I don’t have anything against the guy, I just don’t think his loss on the show had as much to do with having a bad day, being unlucky being out of your comfort zone etc. as a lot of people would like to believe.

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  39. I don’t disagree with you, just don’t think it’s the best time and place to shit on the guy for not being a complete fighter.

    There are people in the UFC in the same situation. It’s obviously only going to get you so far, if you are a one dimensional fighter.

    And let’s be honest, making the UFC now is not what it was 5 years ago. Way more fighters are being signed due to their busy schedule in the various countries/markets.

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  40. Anybody fighting Luke now or ever should have a gameplan strategy to avoid the ground and keep it standing.

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  41. Terry robertson says:

    I don’t think he is being shit on.

    I’ll use my baseball comparison again.

    Spring training is happening now and where prospects get evaluated to see if they got what it takes to stay with the big club or if they will go back to grinding it out in the minors and hopefully show improvement or enough potential to continue being an asset to an organization.

    If a player shows holes or flaws and taking into consideration age, potential ceiling etc. they are discussed at length and fairly and honestly assessed no matter how they might feel about it.

    When you become a professional athlete you are in position where the spotlight and exposure will open you up to being publicly critiqued or praised.

    It is a part of every sport, mma athletes should not be exempt from that and Luke is a big boy I’m sure he can handle it.

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  42. I see what you’re saying. Being a professional athlete isn’t the easiest job, and praise as well as crtique is what they need to put up with.

    I appreciate you keeping us on point, and the kind things you’ve said about my knowledge in MMA.

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  43. Cody Krahn says:

    Maybe part of the reason luke lost was due the fact he fought Vic and Vic’s a beast.

    I’ve trained with Luke before. Sure his striking is his weakest area but you gotta be pretty fucking athletic and strong to try and take him down.

    Not to mention Grujic obviously has very powerful elbow strikes. He only landed a handful of them and left Luke unconscious and with one of the biggest cuts I’ve ever seen.

    Give the guy at least a little bit of credit for winning instead of just shitting on Harris for losing.

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  44. Cody Krahn says:

    Melvin Manhoef is also an incomplete fighter but I’ll be goddanmed to find anyone on here who doesn’t love watching that guy fight.

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  45. Terry robertson says:

    Geez, again not saying he sucks or shouldn’t fight and again I agree that he would out grapple lower level/ inexperienced fighters and be a top dog in regional shows.

    At 36 years old it may be that his standup isn’t developed and won’t have enough time to make the adjustments necessary to compete at a higher level than where he had success so far in his career. Newer fresher younger and more athletic blood coming up behind in all sports all the time.

    My comments are just my opinion based on what I have seen and taking into account factors that determine an athletes projected ceiling. I don’t think my opinion is gospel either.

    It would be great if Harris could learn to stop turning his head and close his eyes and sticking his arms straight out when punches are being thrown at him, start using a guard and slipping punches in the pocket and cutting angles instead of backing straight up,go on a run and win some fights in the UFC. I’d come on here and eat my words.

    The MMA community sure can be pretty sensitive.

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  46. machine says:

    I think boo boo’s cap locks stuck……

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