DesRoches featured fighter on Wednesday’s show

Eric McCarthy newsroom@journalpioneer.com
Published on February 11, 2014
Weighing in at 187 pounds, Matthew DesRoches managed a 355-pound squat at the P.E.I. School Athletic Associations power lifting qualification meet recently at Westisle Composite High School. He narrowly missed a 375-pound lift. He finished first overall in three events, registering the second highest points total in the history of the school competition, and placed first overall. Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

FREDERICTON, NB -- Wednesday night is former Tignish resident Matthew DesRoches’ long-awaited turn in the spotlight on the UFC’s TUF Nations Canada vs Australia TV show.

The reality sports show, which has been airing on Sportsnet 360 every Wednesday night since January 15, focuses on 16 mixed martial arts fighters, eight each from Canada and Australia, sharing a house in Quebec. Each week during the quarter-finals, a Canadian and an Aussie enter the cage to fight for national bragging rights. The Canadians won the first three weekly bouts but in last week’s episode Aussie Tyler Manawaroa put his country in the win column with a unanimous decision over Canadian Nordine Taleb in a Middleweight bout.

That gave the Australian team their first chance at choosing the combatants for the next bout Canadian Matthew DesRoches got picked to face Australian Richard Walsh in a welterweight match that airs this Wednesday, 11 p.m.

“It’s just going to be nice to see everyone get their fix and have their support in there for me, and I know people are looking forward to it a lot,” DesRoches said Tuesday from his home in Fredericton where he is a corporal at CFB Gagetown’s Joint Meteorological Center. “I’m glad the people will be informed and know how it goes.”

He knows people want to know. “I’ve been getting non-stop questions: ‘How did you do? How did the fight go? When is your next fight?’ A lot of these questions I can’t really answer due to the confidentiality agreement,” he commented.

By the time the show is over, they’ll know if he has advanced to the semi-finals and whether the only Maritimer in the cast still has a shot at being the ultimate champion.

He said friends will be gathering at his home to watch the episode while family members in P.E.I. will be watching at the Albert and Crown in Alberton.

Of course, he already knows the outcome of the match but simply can’t say.

He has already seen an advance screening of Wednesday’s episode. “Obviously, just getting to see myself fight for the first time since the show, I was definitely surprised,” he admitted. “The view I had on myself inside of there, it really gave me a little reality check of my skills and where I stand. It was almost like a burden being taken off of my shoulder, getting to see all the anticipation I’ve been waiting for.”

At 21 years of age, DesRoches was the youngest Canadian in the house, third youngest overall. Team Australia had two 19 year-old fighters. He entered the house with a 4-0 pro fighting record.

DesRoches, a graduate of Westisle Composite High School, is the son of JoAnne Arsenault of Tignish and grandson of Kevin and Marie DesRoches from Anglo.