The very mention of Montreal’s hallowed Tri-Star gym makes people nod their heads in respect. The camp is known to MMA fighters and fans alike as one of the best places to sharpen skills and turns fighters into elite level talent with regularity. The home to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, David Loiseau, Yves Jabouin, Rory MacDonald, the list goes on and on.
The latest name to work his way from the gym mats to the bright lights is Nordine Taleb, who earned his way into Bellator with a TKO victory over UFC veteran Pete “Drago” Sell in November. His Bellator debut comes against Matt Secor, a prospect out of upstate NY’s Spa City BJJ. Taleb, the product of France whose massive 6’3 frame belies his ability to make the welterweight limit of 170 pounds, exudes confidence befitting his training in Canada’s premier facility. When asked to give a fight prediction, he answers without hesitation.
First round knockout, definitely. I want to finish this guy. A decision is no good, I don’t like decisions. I just want to finish because finishing is good for the fans, good for the show and good for me. Good for everyone.
Taleb seems cognizant of the advantage that preparing with the best camp Canada has to offer affords him. He has a clear respect for the institution and teammates that are bringing him along and grateful for the unique opportunity.
The advantage is to give me a lot of confidence because most of the top five in the world came to Montréal and trained. I was lucky to exchange and spar, do some technique with them. They make me so comfortable for the future and I know I can go far.
I’m in the best shape in my life. I think my weight cut is going very well and I’m surrounded my friends and my training partner Denis Kang, so yeah I’m ready to let it go.
Taleb’s expressive nature changes from question to question. His voice lights up when talking about the opportunity to fight on a major card in front of Canadian fans, but turns terse when asked if he is even a little bit scared. “No”, he declares abruptly, shaking his head for emphasis then letting the answer hang in the air in front of reporters. We may have just accessed the affable Taleb’s dark side.
Taleb will take that side into the cage with him tonight against Matt Secor.