Changing Mood in the House
After last week’s bout between Team Canada’s Chad Laprise and Team Australia’s Chris Indich, the overall atmosphere in the house has changed. Prior to the fight, the house was divided based on nationality. Indich’s toughness in defeat gained Team Australia some respect from Team Canada.
“My fight changed the house. It changed everyone’s view. Coach Kyle (Noke) even said to me that you gained so much respect from everybody,” said Indich.
The teams were segregated by nationality before but are now interacting. They even engaged in a friendly snowball fight.
The Fight: Nordine Taleb vs. Tyler Manawaroa
At 19-years-old, Team Canada’s Manawaroa is the youngest fighter in the fighter house. Taleb is 32 with a higher level of experience. He’s competed in Ring of Combat and fought for the Bellator promotion three times. The match-up looked like a mismatch on paper and physically, but the young Aussie came to fight.
Taleb landed leg kicks in the early going as Manawaroa looked to counter. At one point, Manawaroa staggered Taleb with a stiff jab, but the opening round went to the Canadian who controlled the action and delivered knees to the body inside the clinch.
The Aussie came on strong in the second frame landing power shots. He scored a knockdown with a strong jab as Taleb closed the distance. After two rounds, the fight was even on the scorecards.
Both fighters were visibly fatigued coming off their stools for the “sudden victory” round. Manawaroa circled on the outside. Taleb continued to press forward. It was a back-and-forth round with both landing heavy strikes. Taleb secured a takedown with a minute remaining in the round and looked to have sealed the deal. With 20 ticks left on the clock, Manawaroa revered the Canadian and mounted him. He postured up and poured it on. Taleb rolled, giving up his back. Manawarao flattened him out and worked for a rear naked choke, but was unable to finish.
When it was all said and done, the judges scored the fight for Manawaroa, and Team Australia secured their first win of the season.
“It was probably the hardest fight that I’ve had so far. I went in there and tried my hardest, did well and got the win,” said Manawaroa after the fight. “He was a good opponent. Awesome fight.”
“I hurt my foot. I want to know what’s happening with my foot, if it’s broken or something,” said Taleb following the loss. “I definitely want to fight again, and I hope my team can get over this defeat and come back stronger for the next fight.”
Team Australia gained matchmaking control with Manawaroa’s win. Welterweights will fight next, and Coach Kyle Noke picked Richard Walsh to go up against Team Canada’s Matthew Desroches.