Nordine Taleb made sure 2016 would begin the right way for his MMA career, scoring a second round finish of Erick Silva at UFC 196 Saturday night.
After winning three straight decisions, Taleb (12-2) was stopped by unbeaten Warlley Alves last August. He went back to work in Canada with Firas Zahabi, and it paid off vs. Silva.
“I have been training (the right-hand) a thousand times in camp,” he said. “I was not surprised it came out. The technique work paid off.”
After a strong first round, Taleb caught a kick from the Brazilian and connected flush with a right. He added a second while Silva was face-first on the canvas, earning his first finish since a 2012 win in Bellator.
“This was a step forward in my career,” he said. “I want to reach the Top-10 by the end of this year or early 2017.”