We open this week’s episode with a discussion between Team Australia and team Canada’s Nordine Taleb in which the Aussies inform Nordine that they can hear everything that the Canadians have been saying in the house. Including their desire to go undefeated against the Australians. Nordine agrees that that is in fact their plan and informs the Australians that this is a competition and that there is no ill will between them. He makes it a point to also state that the Canadian team in fact thinks very highly of last week’s Aussie combatant Chris Indich and gives him nothing but respect.
The cloud of tension seems to be lifting as the two teams begin to respect each other more and more after every bout.
Meanwhile, Tyler Manawaroa, who will be facing off against experienced Canadian Nordine Taleb later in episode, has his first experience with snow. Having never seen snow, Tyler is like a child at play throwing snowballs and laughing. Manawaroa, at only 19 years old, is the youngest contestant to ever be on TUF. He states that he started practicing Jiu Jitsu at age 15 and won his first fight at the same age via rear naked choke within the first minute and a half of the bout. Tyler is undefeated heading into the middleweight quarterfinal bout with ten victories under his belt.
Manawaroa’s record means little to Nordine who is one of the Canadian’s favorites going into the competition. He is talked about highly amongst his teammates, and Canada’s coach Patrick Cote expects the bout to be “one of the bloodiest fights you’ve ever seen” and warns us not to blink. Nordine’s teammates seem to have no doubt that he will out class the young Manawaroa, and Nordine himself states that he believes the 19 year old hasn’t yet had easy fights and has yet to experience an opponent of his caliber.
During the weigh-ins Nordine pushes Tyler repeatedly. Tyler is not the type to back down however, and continues to get into Nordine’s face, slapping his hand away. The two are separated and ready to go to work. Tyler comments in the pre fight interview that he loves to fight and that people enjoy watching him fight. Naturally, being a people pleaser, everything just came together. He then assures us that he’s “got this”. Nordine, a muscled machine promises that he will “push the fight to the limit”.
Nordine Taleb vs. Tyler Manawaroa
Nordine begins the fight with some low inside and outside leg kicks. Tyler sticks a quick uppercut and abs in Nordines face. Tyler starts early with a flurry of punches. Nordine continues to throw low leg kicks. Manawaroa lands a big right hand. Tyler is using his distance exceptionally well. He pushes the action during the beginning of the round. The two wrap up and clinch up against the cage. Nordine is able to land some hard knees and he is controls the clinch. Nordine may be the stronger man in the clinch, but Tyler is still able to land some knees of his own and turn Nordine’s back against the cage when necessary. It is a back and forth clinch game between the two. Nordine is the aggressor as he continues to keep control of Tyler. Tyler breaks the clinch and is able to create some space.
Nordine seemed a bit nervous in the beginning of the fight, but as the minutes passed he began to loosen up. Tyler looks like he is beginning to gas out early, however his head movement and superior hand speed are keep him well in the game. Nordine lands a few big shots. He looks like he is loosening up. Tyler seems as if his nerves are beginning to affect him. Nordine nearly lands a heavy high kick. Tyler catches a body kick from Nordine and drops Nordine with a right hand as the round comes to an end.
Nordine is advised by his corner to be aware of the heavy right hand of Manawaroa. In the same respect, Manawaroa is being told to refrain from tying up with Nordine and use his striking.
Immediate wild exchange. Tyler is throwing his punches accurately and using his distance exceptionally well. He throws a lazy spinning wheel kick that misses Nordine by a mile. Nordine closes the distance to clinch and accidentally lands a now knee. Manawaroa takes no time at all to resume in the action. During the break we see the lingual skills of referee Yves Lavigne as he speaks to Nordine in French to warn him of a possible point deduction.
The action continues. Manawaroa is in and out when he pleases. And though Nordine is the aggressor and is the one putting on the pressure he just can’t seem to land. Manawaroa lands a stiff jab that drops Nordine. However, the Canadian is back to his feet in a hurry. Manawaroa is getting tired. His hands are dropped and his is noticeably gassed. His head movement is enough to avoid the Canadian’s punches. Nordine secures a clinch and is able to hold Tyler against the cage for a short time before the end of the round. The two break again. Nordine is simply unable to beat Manawaroa to the punch. Nordine, though tired, has seemingly more in the tank than the younger fighter but is having trouble connecting.
The judges score the bout a draw and decide that a third “sudden victory” round is necessary to announce a winner.
Coach Cote has good advice to Nordine telling him to keep his punches direct and use one-two combinations.
Manawaroa is noticeably tired as he walks in with his hands at his sides. Both fighters are exhausted going into the third. Little happens in the opening minute. Tyler lands a few punches. Nordine seems to be suffering from “paralysis by analysis”. He begins to snap out of it as he lands a few solid shots including a hard left hook to the body. Manawaroa is still using his distance very well as he lands multiple combinations, however his hands are still constantly at his sides. Nordine goes for the takedown and after finally secures it. He has Manawaroa on his back in the final minute of the fight. He is in Tyler’s half guard and landing punches and elbows. Suddenly, Manawaroa bucks and pushes off the cage directly into full mount. He begins to rain down punches on Nordine. Nordine turns his back and Manawaroa attempts the rear naked choke but is unable to sink it in before the buzzer sounds.
Tyler Manawaroa def. Nordine Taleb via unanimous decision.
A fantastic bout that both teams obviously approved of as everyone was on their feet. This marks the first victory for team Australia. The Aussie’s fill the gym with the traditional “Oye Oye Oye” and return to their locker rooms, pounding the wall with their nations flag painted.
It is then revealed that Nordine possibly broke his foot during the bout sometime during the first round. Nordine is obviously displeased with his loss, but his teammates do their best to cheer him up. Manawaroa immediately pays a visit to his opponent to give respect for such an amazing fight.
During the post fight interview Manawaroa promises to not let the victory go to his head, and assures up that he won’t do anything cocky like drop his hands. Then remembers dropping his hands during this fight and laughs heartedly.
Tyler reveals an injured thumb of his own as Nordine shows off his possibly broken foot.
Later, the two are in the hospital reminiscing about their bout with Manawaroa verbalizing his hopes that it will be fight of the season.
Four fights into the competition and Australia has finally won one. This of course means that the Aussie’s have control of the match ups. This time a bout within the welterweight division. Team Australia chooses their own Richard Walsh (7-1) to take on the Canadian Matthew Desroches (4-0). Walsh expects Desroches to throw heavy, but singular shots and hopes to capitalize on his opening. Desroches is expecting Walsh to use his wrestling skills to neutralize his striking ability. A great matchup stylistically.
On the next episode we can expect a snowball fight between some of the Canadians and the Australians. And Nordine vs. Manawaroa 2 as the two engage in a drinking contest.
Stay tuned to BJPenn.com for all the latest in MMA and UFC news and this season of the Ultimate Fighter Nations!Tags: Nordine Taleb, The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs Australia, tuf nations, Tyler Manawaroa