Titan Fighting Championships

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Titan Fighting Championship
Private
Industry Mixed martial arts Promotion
Founded 2005
Founder Joe Kelly
Headquarters Pompano Beach, FL, United States
Key people
Jeff Aronson, CEO
Lex McMahon, COO
Slogan "Fans, Fighters First."
Website http://www.titanfighting.com/

Titan Fighting Championship (Titan FC) is an American mixed martial arts promotion based out of Pompano Beach, FL. Their shows were originally run in and near Kansas City and have since expanded to include venues all over North America and eventually, international locations. Since July 2015, Titan FC events are broadcast on the UFC online streaming service UFC Fight Pass, which also showcases a library of the organization's previous events.[1]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Titan Fighting Championships was founded in 2005 by veteran fight promoter and, at the time, Bellator Fighting Championships' director of operations, Joe Kelly. The organization was originally based in Kansas City and was headquartered in the city's historic Memorial Hall, where the organization held the majority of their early events. Memorial Hall was exclusively leased to Kelly's sports and entertainment promotion company Titan Entertainment, from which the MMA organization took its name.[2]

Broadcast deal with HDNet[edit]

On December 13, 2010, Titan Fighting Championships announced that they had struck a deal with the cable and satellite television network HDNet (later relaunched as AXS TV) to broadcast their next event, Titan FC 16, live on the network.[2] The event would take place on January 28, 2011 and was headlined by a super heavyweight bout between former two-time UFC Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and former The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights cast member Abe Wagner. Prior to the airing of the promotion's second show on the network, Titan FC 17: Lashley vs. Ott, CEO Joe Kelly announced that the organization had signed a three-year extension with HDNet to broadcast their live events under the network's HDNet Fights label. Kelly subsequently resigned from his position at Bellator FC in order to focus full-time on running Titan FC.[3]

Titan FC would initially air a total of nine live events on the HDNet/AXS TV networks, including a "Fight for the Troops" event taking place on June 15, 2012 at the Marshall Army Airfield at Fort Riley, Kansas, and conclude with Titan FC 24: Johnson vs. Jones which aired on August 24, 2012.

Merger with RFA[edit]

On October 11, 2012, officials for the Nebraska-based MMA promotion Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) announced that they had acquired Titan Fighting Championships, along with certain fighter contracts, as well as the organization's television deal with, now, AXS TV.[4] The goal was to combine the talent of both organizations under one umbrella, the RFA. Titan FC owner and president Joe Kelly would be brought in as the Vice President of the newly merged company, with seasoned MMA manager, and Black House gym owner, Ed Soares acting as the President.[5]

Resurgence and new ownership[edit]

Seven months after the RFA buyout, the Titan FC promotion was resurrected when founder Joe Kelly bought back the organization in 2013 and produced two more shows on his own: Titan FC 25: Lashley vs. Asplund in June, and Titan FC 26: Hallman vs. Hornbuckle in August, both of which were aired live on AXS TV.[6]

In December 2013, Jeff Aronson, the former chairman and co-founder of the fighter management company Alchemist Management, purchased a majority stake in Titan FC from the promotion's founder and president Joe Kelly. Jeff Aronson would serve as company's new CEO with, longtime friend and business partner, Lex McMahon serving as Titan FC's COO. Kelly would remain as the organization's president and minority owner.[6]

Unlike other organizations in the past who tried to go head to head with the UFC and failed, CEO Jeff Aronson hoped to form a professional relationship with the UFC and has attempted to position Titan FC as an unofficial feeder league for the organization. The newly overhauled Titan FC has now focused itself on finding unsigned prospects, and giving top level veterans who have hit a rough patch, a platform on which to get themselves noticed, or get their career back on track.[7]

"No one is going to take on Zuffa and win at this point. It's just not going to happen."

- Titan FC CEO Jeff Aronson.[7]

Along with the new ownership came new rules for the organization's fighter contracts and bonus structure, and an increased focus on fan involvement. As an incentive to get fighters to perform their best, and thus garner the attention of the larger organizations, Titan FC awards "finishing bonuses" to all fighters who finish their fights by either knockout or submission. Also, to entice up and coming prospects and veteran fighters to sign with the organization, Titan FC now offers a no-questions-asked "Zuffa out" clause in all their contracts, in case the opportunity arises for the fighter to leave the organization and sign with the UFC.[7] The organization hopes that these incentives will encourage the fighters to put on a better show for the fans, and intends to increase the fan experience by offering VIP packages and holding giveaways, contests, and autograph sessions at all of their live events.[8] To reflect their new position in the MMA community, and philosophy towards fights and fighter contracts, Titan FC has since adopted the motto "'Fans, Fighters First.'".

Broadcast deal with CBS Sports[edit]

On January 14, 2014, Titan FC officials announced that the first show under their new ownership, Titan FC 27: Ricci vs. Gurgel, would now be broadcast live on CBS Sports and that the organization had signed an eight-event deal with the television network.[9] As part of the deal, Titan FC prelim bouts would also be streamed live on the network's website, CBSSports.com. Titan FC officials also announced that CBS Sports had hired top MMA trainer, and TriStar Gym owner, Firas Zahabi and UFC hall of famer Stephan Bonnar to provide the commentary for all Titan FC events.[10] Titan FC 27: Ricci vs. Gurgel debuted on the CBS Sports Network on February 28, 2014.

Titan FC 30: Brilz vs. Magalhães would take place on September 26, 2014 and stands out as being the first time in Titan FC's history that the organization would crown a divisional champion, as two former UFC veterans faced off for the inaguarl Titan FC Light Heavyweight title. Four time World Jiu-Jitsu Championship gold medalist and former The Ultimate Fighter contestant Vinny Magalhães would submit wrestling standout Jason Brilz with a guillotine choke in the fourth round to claim this inaugural title.[11]

Titan FC crowned their second divisional champion at Titan FC 32: Green vs. Siler on December 19, 2014. That night Bellator MMA tournament veteran Desmond Green defeated former UFC fighter and The Ultimate Fighter contestant Steven Siler to claim the inagual Titan FC Featherweight championship.[12]

Over the course of their yearlong partnership Titan FC would eventually air a total of seven live cards on the CBS Sports network, spanning seven cities in seven different states, and culminating in their largest event to date, Titan FC 33: Green vs Holobaugh. Titan FC 33 took place on March 20, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama at the Mobile AeroFest music and art festival, a two-day-long not-for-profit event designed to raise money to support injured U.S. military service members and veterans.[13] The card would feature a total of four separate title fights, three of which would crown the inaugural championships for Titan FC's heavyweight, lightweight and bantamweight divisions; and was headlined by the organization's first ever championship title defense as Desmond Green sought to defend his newly acquired featherweight title.[14]

Broadcast deal with UFC Fight Pass[edit]

On June 15, 2015 UFC officials announced that Titan FC has signed a contract with the organization to air all future live events exclusively on the UFC's subscription-based digital streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.[15]

"I think we should look at being on UFC Fight Pass. So I gave Dana (White) a call and said it was something we'd like to pursue. He set the wheels in motion and, after quite a bit of negotiating, we finally got a deal done."

- Titan FC COO Lex McMahon.[15]

The first event to be held on the service, Titan FC 34: Healy vs. Edwards, aired on July 18, 2015 and featured a total of four title fights, including the crowning of Titan FC's inaugural flyweight champion when Tim Elliott defeated fellow UFC veteran Iliarde Santos for the vacant belt. Additionally, it was announced by UFC officials that the entire Titan FC library of past events would be added to the "On Demand" section of the Fight Pass online service.

Rules[edit]

Titan Fighting Championships follows the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which were first established in April 2000. The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts have been adopted by every state athletic commission that holds mixed martial arts events throughout the United States.

Under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts there are no groin strikes, eye gouging, kicking or kneeing a grounded opponent, downward elbows, strikes to the back of the head, head butting, biting, or grabbing the fence. Upon a violation of the rules, referee can either warn the fighter, take a point away, or disqualify the fighter depending upon the regularity and severity of the foul.

Rounds[edit]

All non-world championship fights in Titan FC consist of three, five-minute rounds, with one-minute rest periods between rounds. All world championship fights consist of five, five-minute rounds, with one-minute rest periods between rounds.

Weight divisions[edit]

Titan FC currently uses eight weight classes for men:

Weight class name Upper limit
in pounds (lb) in kilograms (kg)
Flyweight 125 57
Bantamweight 135 61.2
Featherweight 145 65.8
Lightweight 155 70.3
Welterweight 170 77.1
Middleweight 185 83.9
Light Heavyweight 205 93.0
Heavyweight 265 120.2

Titan FC currently uses two weight classes for women:

Weight class name Upper limit
in pounds (lb) in kilograms (kg)
Strawweight 115 52
Flyweight 125 57

Match outcome[edit]

Matches usually end via:

  • Submission: a fighter clearly taps the mat or his opponent, or verbally submits. Also a technical submission may be called when a fighter either loses consciousness or is on the verge of serious injury while in a hold.
  • Knockout: a fighter is put into a state of unconsciousness resulting from any legal strike.
  • Technical Knockout (TKO): If the referee decides a fighter cannot continue, the fight is ruled as a technical knockout. Technical knockouts can be classified into three categories:
    • referee stoppage (the referee ends the fight because one fighter is unable to intelligently defend himself)
    • doctor stoppage (a ring side doctor decides that it is unsafe for the fighter to continue the bout due to excessive bleeding or physical injuries)
    • corner stoppage (a fighter's cornerman signals defeat for their own fighter)
  • Judges' Decision: Depending on scoring, a match may end as:
    • unanimous decision (all three judges score a win for fighter A)
    • majority decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a draw)
    • split decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a win for fighter B)
    • unanimous draw (all three judges score a draw)
    • majority draw (two judges score a draw, one judge scoring a win)
    • split draw (one judge scores a win for fighter A, one judge scores a win for fighter B, and one judge scores a draw)

Note: In the event of a draw, it is not necessary that the fighters' total points be equal. However, in a unanimous or split draw, each fighter does score an equal number of win judgments from the three judges (0 or 1, respectively). A fight can also end in a technical decision, technical submission, disqualification, forfeit, technical draw, or no contest. The latter two outcomes have no winners.

The ten-point must scoring system is in effect for all bouts in Titan. Three judges score each round with the winner of each round getting 10 points while the loser gets 9 points or less. The only way that an even round can occur is if the fighter that won the round has a point deducted for a foul. Rounds scored 10-8 and 10-7 are typically scored when a fighter wins a round in dominant fashion.

Fouls[edit]

The following is a list of fouls outlined by the states that regulate MMA, as established by the Nevada State Athletic Commission:[16]

  1. Butting with the head
  2. Eye gouging of any kind
  3. Biting
  4. Hair pulling
  5. Fish hooking
  6. Groin attacks of any kind
  7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent (see Fish-hooking)
  8. Small joint manipulation
  9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head (see Rabbit punch)
  10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow (see Elbow (strike))
  11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
  12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh
  13. Grabbing the clavicle
  14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent
  15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent
  16. Stomping a grounded opponent
  17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel
  18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck (see Piledriver)
  19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area
  20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent
  21. Spitting at an opponent
  22. Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent
  23. Holding the ropes or the fence
  24. Attacking an opponent on or during the break
  25. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee
  26. Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round
  27. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee
  28. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury
  29. Interference by the corner
  30. Throwing in the towel during competition

When a foul is charged, the referee in their discretion may deduct one or more points as a penalty. If a foul incapacitates a fighter, then the match may end in a disqualification if the foul was intentional, or a no contest if unintentional. If a foul causes a fighter to be unable to continue later in the bout, it ends with a technical decision win to the injured fighter if the injured fighter is ahead on points, otherwise it is a technical draw.

Events[edit]

Current champions[edit]

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses Next Fight
Heavyweight 265 lb (120 kg) Vacant July 2, 2015
Light Heavyweight 205 lb (93 kg) Vacant March 4, 2015
Middleweight 185 lb (84 kg) Uninaugurated
Welterweight 170 lb (77 kg) Brazil Dhiego Lima Titan FC 39
June 10, 2016
0
Lightweight 155 lb (70 kg) Brazil Gesias Cavalcante Titan FC 39
June 10, 2016
0 Freddy Assuncao @ 40
Featherweight 145 lb (66 kg) United States Andre Harrison Titan FC 34
July 18, 2015
3
Bantamweight 135 lb (61 kg) Brazil Anderson dos Santos Titan FC 37
March 4, 2016
0
Flyweight 125 lb (57 kg) United States Tim Elliott Titan FC 34
July 18, 2015
2
Women's Flyweight 125 lb (57 kg) Uninaugurated
Women's Strawweight 115 lb (52 kg) Uninaugurated

Title history[edit]

Heavyweight Championship[edit]

206 to 265 lbs (93 to 120 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Chase Gormley
def. Jon Madsen
Titan FC 33
Mobile, AL, USA
March 20, 2015 104 days
Gormley vacated the title on July 2, 2015 after he signed with Bellator MMA.[17]

Light Heavyweight Championship[edit]

186 to 205 lbs (84 to 93 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 Brazil Vinny Magalhães
def. Jason Brilz
Titan FC 30
Cedar Park, TX, USA
September 26, 2014 159 days
Magalhães vacated the title on March 4, 2015 after he signed with the World Series of Fighting.[18]

Middleweight Championship[edit]

171 to 185 lbs (77 to 84 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 N/A N/A N/A

Welterweight Championship[edit]

156 to 170 lbs (70 to 77 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Belal Muhammad
def. Steve Carl
Titan FC 38
Miami, FL, USA
April 30, 2016 88 days
(incumbent)
Muhammad vacated the title on May 25, 2016 after he signed with the UFC.[19]
2 Brazil Dhiego Lima
def. David Michaud
Titan FC 39
Coral Gables, FL, USA
June 10, 2016 47 days
(incumbent)

Lightweight Championship[edit]

146 to 155 lbs (66 to 70 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Pat Healy
def. Kurt Kinser
Titan FC 33
Mobile, AL, USA
March 20, 2015 183 days 1. def. Marcus Edwards at Titan FC 34 on July 18, 2015
2 United States Rick Hawn Titan FC 35
Ridgefield, WA, USA
September 19, 2015 31 days
Rick Hawn retired, vacating the Lightweight title.[20]
3 Brazil Gesias Cavalcante
def. Pat Healy
Titan FC 39
Coral Gables, FL, USA
June 10, 2016 47 days
(incumbent)
1. VS. Freddy Assuncao at Titan FC 40 on August 5, 2016

Featherweight Championship[edit]

136 to 145 lbs (61 to 66 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Desmond Green
def. Steven Siler
Titan FC 32
Lowell, MS, USA
December 19, 2014 92 days
2 United States Kurt Holobaugh Titan FC 33
Mobile, AL, USA
March 20, 2015 121 days
3 United States Andre Harrison Titan FC 34
Houston, TX, USA
July 18, 2015 375 days
(incumbent)
1. def. Desmond Green at Titan FC 35 on September 19, 2015

2. def. Steven Siler at Titan FC 37 on March 4, 2016
3. def. Deivison Ribeiro at Titan FC 39 on June 10, 2016

Bantamweight Championship[edit]

126 to 135 lbs (up to 61 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 Wales Brett Johns
def. Walel Watson
Titan FC 33
Mobile, AL, USA
March 20, 2015 121 days
Johns was stripped of the title on July 17, 2015 after failing to make weight for his first title defense at Titan FC 34.[21]
2 Brazil Anderson dos Santos
def. Ricky Simon
Titan FC 37
Ridgefield, WA, USA
March 4, 2016

Flyweight Championship[edit]

116 to 125 lb (53 to 57 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 United States Tim Elliott
def. Iliarde Santos
Titan FC 34
Kansas City, MO, USA
July 18, 2015 375 days
(incumbent)
1. def. Felipe Efrain at Titan FC 35 on September 19, 2015

2. def. Pedro Nobre at Titan FC 37 on March 4, 2016

Women's Flyweight Championship[edit]

116 to 125 lb (53 to 57 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 N/A N/A N/A

Women's Strawweight Championship[edit]

106 to 115 lb (48 to 52 kg)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1 N/A N/A N/A

Notable fighters[edit]

Notable fighters who have gotten their start in Titan FC.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UFC Fight Pass reaches long-term agreement with Titan FC". mmasucka.com. 
  2. ^ a b Mendoza, Jose. "HDNet and Titan Fighting Championship Announce 1/28 Event Headlined By Todd Duffee". MMApayout.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ Whitman, Mike. "Titan Fighting Championship Inks 3-Year Extension with HDNet". Sherdog.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ Whitman, Mike. "Resurrection Fighting Alliance Acquires Titan FC, Nets Fighter Contracts, AXS TV Deal". Sherdog.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ Haggerty, Kevin. "Ed Soares: Titan Fighting Championship merger with Resurrection Fighting Alliance 'pretty much a done deal'". MMAmania.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Helwani, Ariel. "Titan Fighting Championship begins anew with event headlined by Ricci vs. Gurgel on CBS Sports Network". MMAfighting.com. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Kidd, Iain. "Titan FC Owner Jeff Aronson talks unique bonus structure & contracts". BloodyElbow.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ Becker, Dana. "Titan FC Returns Behind The Vision Of Jeff Aronson (Exclusive)". Fightline.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ Whitman, Mike. "Titan Fighting Championship Debuts on CBS Sports Network on Feb. 28 with TFC 27". Sherdog.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ Helwani, Ariel. "Stephan Bonnar to serve as color analyst for Titan Fighting Championship". MMAfighting.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ Bohn, Mike. "Titan FC 30 results: Vinny Magalhaes chokes out Jason Brilz for 205-pound title". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  12. ^ Tuttle, C.J. "Desmond Green Shuts Down Steven Siler, Claims Inaugural Titan FC Featherweight Belt". Sherdog.com. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  13. ^ Marrocco, Steven. "Titan FC heads to Mobile Aerofest for event to benefit wounded veterans". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Three of four title fights, including Green-Holobaugh, announced for Titan FC 33". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Martin, Damon. "Titan FC partners with UFC Fight Pass on long-term broadcast deal". Fox Sports. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  16. ^ "CHAPTER 467 - UNARMED COMBAT". Nevada State Athletic Commission. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Bellator MMA Press Release – The Chase for the Bellator MMA Heavyweight Title Heats Up With the Signing of Titan FC Champion Chase Gormley «  Spike Press". spike.com. 
  18. ^ "Vinny Magalhaes on Twitter". Twitter. 
  19. ^ "With Belal Muhammad's UFC signing, Michaud vs. Lima at Titan FC 39 becomes title fight". www.mmajunkie.com. 
  20. ^ Staff (2015-10-19). "Rick Hawn retires from mixed martial arts: 'It's time to hang it up'Results". http://www.mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-12-29.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  21. ^ Staff (2015-07-17). "Titan FC 34: Healy vs. Edwards Weigh-In Results". themmareport.com. Retrieved 2015-07-17. 

External links[edit]