Canadian Nordine Taleb walks into Team Australia’s post-fight meeting and is immediately confronted about his comment that Canada will be the first TUF team to complete an undefeated season.
Taleb denies talking smack but admits to believing that his team will go 8-0. He brushes off the tense situation and exits toward Team Canada’s van. “That’s what I wish for my team,” Taleb said. “What do you think? Guys, we’re in competition, no?”
At TUF gym, Australian Tyler Manawaroa prepares for this week’s fight with Taleb. “He’s wild as all hell, when you spar, when you train with the guy that’s pretty much what you get,” said Team Australia middleweight Vic Grujic about his teammate. “Martial arts is about self-expression so, you know, when you’re watching someone like Tyler fight, he’s just expressing himself.”
Team Canada coach Patrick Cote says that Taleb is very open to learning new things, but has a very short fuse. “It’s gonna be one of the bloodiest fights you’ll ever see. Don’t blink,” Cote said. He adds that Taleb is going to hurt the 19-year-old Manawaroa badly.
Aside from a considerable age difference, Manawaroa looks to use his three-inch reach advantage as the first round begins. Taleb starts with repeated leg kicks to Manawaroa’s inner thighs. He goes for another low kick but the Australian counters with a right jab, which leads Taleb to drives hard knees into Manawaroa’s abdomen. Taleb stuffs repeated take down attempts as both men leverage for position against the cage. They exchange knees to the body and find their way to the middle of the Octagon. The two trade blows near the fence as time expires.
Manawaroa misses with a straight right as the second round gets underway. Both fighters seem more hesitant as they circle the ring, chiding their opponent into making the first move. As Taleb hooks his left arm around Manawaroa’s neck, he inadvertently knees Manawaroa in the genitals and receives a verbal warning. Manawaroa says he doesn’t need time to recover and the fight goes on. Visibly tired and with his hands at his side, Manawaroa begins to back away as Taleb pushes the pace and continues to land jabs. Both men grapple to the ground as the round ends.
The judges announce that the fight will conclude with a third and final round. The exhausted fighters circle the ring for the first 30 seconds before Manawaroa lands two jabs to Taleb’s chest. The Canadian is less aggressive in this round, taking Manawaroa’s strikes without countering. The action picks up In the final two minutes as Taleb presses Manawaroa and lands his first takedown of the match. He gains half guard position but can’t get past Manawaroa’s defense. Surprisingly, Manawaroa’s flips Taleb over and unleashes a flurry of rights jabs. He nearly locks in a rear naked choke as the round ends.
Manawaroa wins by unanimous decision, giving Team Australia their first win of the season. Following the fight, Taleb is taken to the emergency room where he learns that he fought with a broken right foot.
Team Australia coach Kyle Noke announces that next week’s welterweight match will be between Australian Richard Walsh and Canadian Matt Desroches.
Check this link later for a full fight video from episode 4.
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