TUF Nations: Episode 2 Recap – Theodorou vs Saliba
Last week, viewers saw Patrick Cote’s Team Canada win the first bout when Kajan Johnson submitted Brendan O’Reilly (read the Episode One Recap HERE. This week, it is a Middleweight fight between Australia’s Zein Salib against Ontario’s Elias Theodorou.
On to the TUF Nations Episode Two Recap:
Cheers to Kajan Johnson as we see Ragin’ drinking red wine with Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Nordine Taleb.
Matt DesRoches comments on how all of Team Canada is getting along well.
Elias Theodorou agrees saying that “the Canadian team is much more together in all aspects whereas the Aussies are kind of scrambling.”
Taleb says that the Canadians might be “Over Happy because of the first victory.”
DesRoches also says that post-fight the Aussies were trying to get to close to the Canadians and it was ‘weird’.
While hot tubbing, Theodorou tells the Aussies that he is the top Middleweight in Canada not signed by the UFC and is a 12-0 kickboxer and had 20 pro fights.
Nordine recognizes that the Aussies are prying for information and asks the Canadians to meet. He warns his teammates not to give out information to the Aussies about their fighting. He knows Canadians are friendly and are quite willing to give up information. The team agrees. Great leadership by Taleb!
Team Canada trains with Vitor Ribeiro, four time BJJ world champion.
Chad Laprise talks about Theodorou and says he is a “very good athlete…is hungry and really wants to prove something.” Theodorou says he is still always learning. He is excited to be training with his Canadian teammates. Luke Harris says that Elias can’t give up his back to Zein Saliba.
Elias is “less concerned about what Saliba wants to do and is more concerned with what I want to do.”
Luke Harris is saying the TUF House is going to get messy with 16 guys living there. Richard Walsh says things are going to start getting testy. “Living in close quarters, people are going to get frustrated.”
Zein Saliba is on weight as he weighs in at the TUF House at 183.
Aussies are saying Theodorou talks a lot. Saliba says he does not know what to expect from “Buzz Lightyear” or “Box Jaw”, as the Australians call him. Saliba says his strategy is to pressure Theodorou early. His says his best game plan is determined during the fight.
Elias Theodorou says he is not dating because he loves fighting more than anything. The caption reads that he once charged $500 for a date. (I guess that makes him a fighter/model/actor/stuntman/escort now.) Theodorou says he has the “best hair in MMA.”
Cote tells Theodorou not to get in a brawl with Saliba. Cote says they can win every fight. “Skills wise, my team is better.”
Weigh-Ins: Elias Theodorou (184) vs Zein Saliba (184)
All the Aussies pick Saliba. All the Canadians pick Theodorou. (What do you expect?)
Kyle Noke hopes Theodorou “does not mind getting punched in the face.”
Cote and the coaches meet Team Canada in the TUF House for supper. His nutritionist Jean-Francois Gaudreau gives a nutrition lesson to the team.
Kyle Noke brings a cake and pinata to Dan Kelly, who is having his birthday. After everyone has eaten, Noke shoves the pie in Kelly’s face and a food fight breaks out.
Noke says Saliba is ready. Saliba says he is “an opportunist” and takes what is available to win. He does a little prep work and visualizes the fight. Saliba’s strength is his BJJ and Noke says they will play to this strength.
Noke talks about assistant coach Adrian Pang, who will help everyone with their striking. Israel Martinez is another assistant coach who is very vocal. Noke says the Aussies are more of a team than the Canadians.
Cote warns Theodorou that Saliba will be wild and to watch out during the first minute because the Aussies come out aggressive. Theodorou says out of all his fights, he has been only hit three times.
Elias Theodorou vs Zein Saliba
R1. Leg kick by Theodorou and he pushes Saliba against the cage. Knee by Theodorou who pressures Saliba. Saliba with some body shots from the clinch and gets Theodorou’s back. Escape by Theodorou. Theodorou pushes him against the cage again. Saliba with some short rights while Theodorou goes for takedown. Knee by Theodorou. Knee by Theodorou and a right lands. Now Saliba pushes Theodorou against the cage and they continue to reverse position and throw the odd knees. The go to the mat and Theodorou ends up on top but has a hard time keeping Saliba down. Saliba on his feet and they exchange punches. Theodorou goes for the single. Slam by Theodorou. That may wrap the round up for him. Saliba right back up. They exchange knees. Another slam by Theodorou.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 Theodorou
R2. Saliba comes out with a flying elbow that Elias ducks under. Theodorou pressures Saliba, pushes him against the fence, and slams him down a third time. He is in Saliba’s full guard. They each land a few small shots. Theodorou lands more body shots. Saliba closes his guard. Theodorou lands an elbow. Saliba goes for a kimura but loses it quickly and Theodorou passes to side. Theodorou lands an elbow and a knee from side. Saliba gets to his feet but Theodorou muscles him back down. Right back up though. A right from Theodorou and another takedown. A minute left and Saliba gets Theodorou’s back, he slides off, but goes for an arm. Theodorou shakes him off and gets side control.
Top MMA News scores the round 10-9 Theodorou
Elias Theodorou defeats Zein Saliba by Unanimous Decision
Watch the entire fight:
Cote says Elias is in such good shape and he was able to push the pace non-stop. It was too much for Zein. Noke chalks it up to a lack of experience by Saliba.
Saliba says he did not have the wrestling and could not capitalize on his opportunities.
Noke was pissed off. Canadians are cheering and he is steamed.
Fight Announcement: Chad Laprise vs Chris Indich
Cote says that Indich is not very mobile and Laprise will be able to take him down. Theodorou guarantees another Canadian victory, while Noke says he like the fight for Indich.
Next episode: Noke calls in a guest coach that gets under the skin of the Canadians. Could this be Jon Chaimberg?
Episode 3 Video Preview