Over the weekend, Lebanese ‘bantamweight’ fighter Khalid Taha ruined the return of veteran Hawaiian fighter Boston Salmon when he finished the “Contender Series” standout with a total knock-out just 25 seconds into the very first round!
As the phrase goes, Khalid Taha “went to work on Saturday night like he had someplace else to be.”
The mixed-martial-arts fighter made an impressive entrance to the UFC 236 when he took out the favored Salmon with an astonishing left hook in under a minute.
With winning projections estimated at 8-2 in Salmon’s favor, Taha was clearly the underdog going in.
First fight on ESPN: Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha #UFC236
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) April 14, 2019
He didn’t let that stop him, however, from raining down punches and delivering his match-ending blow within seconds.
Salmon later tried to petition the referee for a continuum, but replays of the match plainly show the veteran fighter suffering injuries and going limp from some clean strikes.
Although he was representing his German club Dortmund at the match, Taha didn’t hesitate to raise the Lebanese flag for a celebratory round across the arena, a move he often does in stadiums around the world (see below). This time, it was at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, in front of a crowd of 21,000 people.
With 13 wins and only 2 losses under his belt, Taha was supposed to fight Salmon this past November. But a tear in his ACL saw the 27-year old taking time over the winter to recover. Once re-installed to the ‘bantamweight’ category, he was quick to claim his victories.
69% or 9 out of 13 of his matches end in knockouts, meaning they are clearly Taha’s preferred method of choice.
This latest knockout, described by pundits as ‘his cleanest one yet’, placed him at the 5th fastest knockout in UFC bantamweight history.
Khalid Taha (@KhalidTahaMMA) ties the 5th fastest knockout in @UFC /WEC bantamweight history with his 25-second finish at #UFC236. The top 5⃣:
0:17 – Erik Perez
0:18 – Damacio Page
0:21 – Francisco Rivera
0:22 – Nick Denis
0:25 – Khalid Taha
0:25 – Iuri Alcantara pic.twitter.com/mFdNaLpVHR
— UFC News (@UFCNews) April 14, 2019
Nicknamed ‘The Warrior’, the 61-kilograms (135 lbs) MMA fighter who hails from Lebanon, has established an international fan-base that loves him for his unique athleticism as well as his humility and sportsmanship.
You have Lebanon fans and German fans,
And you have Japanese fans.
Everyone will support you.
— ふんばーがー (@HamburgerNo1) ٦ يوليو ٢٠١٨
Footage of the winning announcement show Taha turning around to shake hands with his opponent, but Salmon had already walked away. You can watch the full match below.
Keep making us proud, Khalid!