Zaromskis out-toughs bigger Taleb for semifinal berth
Perhaps Marius Zaromskis didn't learn Chael Sonnen's lesson.
The former DREAM welterweight champion had Nordine Taleb rocked with a head kick in the waning moments of their opening-round fight, and instead of finishing things up with straight punches, he charged and launched a spinning backfist.
And fell. Taleb grabbed hold of him and rode out the remainder what was an intriguing clash. The bigger and better outside striking of Taleb was paired against the physical bullying of Zaromskis.
In the end, Zaromskis made more deposits in the scoring bank, earning a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
But Taleb made him work for it every step of the way, landing huge kicks to the legs and body and slamming head kicks into Zaromskis' forearms.
A pair of knockdowns for Zaromskis evened things out. In the first, he landed a spinning backfist (timing it considerably better than his third-round attempt) and in the second connected with a straight left. Late in the fight, he suplexed Taleb to earn more points.
Zaromskis surprisingly did little to evade Taleb's punishing kicks early on, preferring to wade forward and throw hands. Later, he began hunting for head kicks, but until the end, Taleb managed to avoid them.
It was the fifth straight win for Zaromskis (19-6 MMA, 3-0 BFC) following a pair of wins over Waachiim Spiritwolf and puts him through to the semifinals.
Taleb (8-2 MMA, 2-1 BFC), meanwhile, sees a seven-fight win streak, including two under the Bellator banner, come to an end.