Nothing came easy after Fialho came storming out of the gates but “King of Kung Fu” was ready to match him strike for strike with the momentum shifting dramatically in the second round. Salikhov unloaded a variety of spinning kicks to the head and body while also cracking Fialho with stiff punches in every combination.
The end came when Salikhov blasted Fialho with the spinning back kick to the head that left the Portuguese fighter just teetering against the cage. Salikhov continued launching strikes until the referee stepped in to save Fialho from further harm with the official stoppage coming at 1:03 in the third round.
“I feel good,” Salikhov said about the win. “First round he get me with a good punch to a left eye and I see him two Andre Fialhos, not one. After that, in the second round I saw he got tired and I was ready to fight five rounds. In the second round, I’m not nervous, I’m just looking for my shot to finish the fight.
“I can be much better. I just changed my team, I’m training with American Top Team. I have the best coach in ‘King’ Mo [Lawal]. I’m ready for big fights.”
For a moment at the start of the fight it looked like Fialho was headed for a knockout win after he caught Salikhov with a well-timed punch that immediately put a mouse under the left eye. As Salikhov continued favoring his eye, Fialho looked to take advantage but he couldn’t quite get the job done.
At the start of the second round, Salikhov just went on the attack and uncorked all sorts of strikes that kept Fialho guessing. A spinning back kick to the body actually put Fialho down in the third but he managed to get back to his feet again.
That’s when Salikhov set up the fight-finishing sequence with another spinning back kick — this time to the head — and he didn’t stop throwing shots until the fight was over.
Salikhov remains an all-action fighter any time he sets foot in the octagon and it appears he’s getting even more confident now that he has a new team behind him.