Titan FC 44: Torres vs. Sharipov – Full Card Preview

 

Ronildo Augusto (10-2) vs. Dan Ige (6-1)

Featherweight (145)

Ronildo Augusto: Brazilian Featherweight standout Ronildo Augusto will make his stateside debut after defeating the top competition his home country had to offer. Augusto has won three consecutive bouts in Shooto Brazil which garnered him international attention and this huge opportunity. The BJJ Black Belt showcased his versatility at Shooto 39 when he knocked out Joao Paulo Rocha with a spinning wheel kick.

Dan Ige: Hawaiian local boy Dan “Dynamite” Ige will enter the Titan FC for the first time following multiple wins in competing organizations RFA, Legacy and CFFC. Ige made the move to the mainland to train at Xtreme Couture which has been his home gym since 2015. Ige has won his last four fights against high level competition, if the 25 year old can add to his recent success it will be hard to keep him off of the sport’s biggest stages.

 

Demarques Jackson (5-1) vs. Paulo Silva (5-4)

Lightweight (155)

Demarques Jackson: Georgia native Demarques “Scrap Iron” Jackson will be looking to bounce back from his first professional loss to Raush Manfio at Titan FC 42. Prior to the Manfio set back Jackson had compiled an impressive resume that includes victories over MMA Masters Brok Weaver and Cyborg Abreu Black Belt Marcel Goncalves. Training with the Combat Club, Jackson will have the benefit of having elite training partners and instructors that will assist him in his quest to become a UFC fighter.

Paulo Silva: 29 year old Brazilian veteran Paulo “Bello” Silva will be returning to the cage for the first time in two years. The BJJ Black Belt’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss to current Fight Time Promotions Featherweight champion Jason Soares. Silva arrived in the states in 2013 and had immediate success fighting with the MMA Masters fight team. The world class grappler now trains with long time friend Valdir Araujo at Blackhouse Miami and with the Blackzilians at CSMMA. This fight will reintroduce Silva to newer Florida fight fans and a national audience.  

 

Gustavo Balart (2-0) VS. Desmond Moore (6-1)

Flyweight (125)

Gustavo Balart: Cuban Olympic Wrestler Gustavo Balart was ultra impressive in his Titan FC debut victory over Shorty Torres’s training partner Carlos Hernandez. The 30 year old was a Pan Am’s Gold medalist in Greco Roman Wrestling and utilized his Greco background in his last fight suplexing his opponent multiple times en route to a unanimous decision. He trains with fellow Cuban Wrestlers Yoel Romero and Alexis Villa at American Top Team Kendall. Balart’s elite Wreslting will  make him a grim proposition to any man who fights at 125 pounds.

Desmond Moore: Former Penn State Wrestler Dez “M80” Moore accepted this fight on three days notice. The 28 year old is the Strawweight champion of New Jersey based Global Proving Ground promotion. Moore began training when he met UFC veteran Carmelo Marrero in their shared home state of Pennsylvania. He committed himself to becoming a great fighter in 2015 when he moved down to South Florida to train with legendary Wrestler Steve Mocco and the rest of the staff at ATT Coconut Creek. This short notice opportunity will be Moore’s chance to prove he can hang in the ultra competitive Florida regional circuit.

 

 

Michael Cora (3-1) vs. Will Starks (1-0)

Middleweight (185)

Michael Cora: Gracie Tampa South fighter Michael Cora will be riding a three fight win streak into this prospect showdown. Cora is a Blue Belt under Matt Arroyo but he does his best work with his strikes, ending all three of his professional victories via the knockout.  The 27 year old southpaw has built a impressive resume in his two years of fighting and a win over a highly touted prospect like Starks would be a highlight that could open up countless future opportunities.  

Will Starks: 22 year old emerging star Will Starks impressed in his professional debut, defeating veteran Jose Cortes with elbow strikes in the first round at Titan FC 43. Starks had one of the best amateur MMA career’s to date, going 11-0 and becoming one of only two men (The other being Jose Torres) to win the IMMAF World Championships twice. Believed to be a can’t miss star by many Starks will look to continue his ascent up the rankings in this his second pro bout.

Michael Lombardo (2-0) vs. Lorenzo Hunt (2-3)

Middleweight (185)

Michael Lombardo: Undefeated 27 year old prospect Michael Lombardo has proven himself to be a rising talent in the Florida fight circuit. The ATT Palm Beach Gardens fighter was a former collegiate linebacker at D-1AA Wagner College in Staten Island New York. Lomardo is still a very raw talent, but what he lacks in technical proficiency he makes up for with off the charts athleticism.

Lorenzo Hunt: Four time veteran of the Tampa based RFC promotion Lorenzo “The Juggernaut” Hunt will also be making his Titan FC debut. 34 year old Hunt had a banner amateur career, knocking out the majority of his opponents and collecting three belts along the way. The St. Augustine resident has had mixed results as a pro, but win or lose he has put on a unforgettable fight every time out. This UFC Fight Pass showcase may be the fight that puts this explosive knockout artist on the radar of national talent scouts.

Jorge Calvo (9-1) vs. Korea Mesquita (7-1)

Flyweight (125)

Jorge Calvo: Costa Rican Jorge Calvo will return to the Titan FC cage for the second time, his first Titan bout was a hard fought decision defeat to Cuban Olympic Wrestler Alexis Villa. The 25 year old Calvo is a well rounded fighter who has trained extensively with fellow young prospects Brandon Moreno and Martin Bravo in Tijuana’s Entram gym. He is a perfect 9-0 in his native Costa Rica and will now attempt to make a name for himself on a world stage.

Korea Mesquita: TUF Brazil 4 semi-finalist Bruno “Korea” Rodrigues Mesquita will also be competing in Titan FC for the second time. The 25 year old Mesquita battled back from two early knockdowns to submit former Flyweight title challenger Abdiel Velasquez with a anaconda choke at Titan 42. Korea displayed flashy spin kicks on TUF, but his bread and butter is his ground fighting where he has submitted five of his past opponents. He will look to add one more to that submission count this Saturday and move one step closer to a shot at the Titan Flyweight Title.

Marc Stevens (21-10) vs. Robert Turnquest (7-3)

Welterweight (170)

Marc Stevens: TUF 12 alum Marc “The Spartan” Stevens will be making his Titan FC debut in this Welterweight contender match up. Stevens has been a winner in five of his last six bouts with his most recent victory coming over Victor Reyna in Combate Americas. The BJJ Blackbelt/ division I wrestler is the owner operator of an American Top Team gym in Watertown New York. When he is not coaching at his ATT gym Stevens prepares for his fights at the ATT Coconut Creek headquarters in Florida.

Robert Turnquest: Judo Blackbelt/BJJ Purple Belt Robert “TQ” Turnquest returns to the Titan FC cage following a hard fought decision loss to Gesias Cavalcante at Titan FC 42. Turnquest’s last couple of bouts have been closer to 155 pounds, but he feels he is best suited for the Welterweight division going forward. Last time he competed at 170 he submitted ATT fighter Taylor Krahl on two days notice at Titan FC 41. Turnquest views this opportunity against a big named TUF veteran as his ticket to the upper echelons of the sport. 

 

Gleidson Dejesus (5-2) vs. Edir Terry (5-1)

Bantamweight (135)

Gleidson Dejesus: American Top Team Bantamweight challenger Gleisdson Dejesus enters the Titan cage for the first time in this pivotal contenders match up. The 25 year old Brazilian is a life long Capoeria practitioner and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt making him a dangerous striking and submission threat.  Dejesus has been considered one of the top Bantamweights in Florida for the past couple years and will now look to make a name for himself on the national level in this Fight Pass showcase.

Edir Terry:  Freestyle Fight Academy’s Edir “Belico” Terry will be looking to extend his four fight win streak and step one closer to a Bantamweight title fight. The 28 year old Venezuelan will also be motivated to avenge team mate Tulio Quintanilla who was defeated by Dejesus in 2014. Terry has spent the last three months in Thailand sharpening his Muay Thai skills and will ready for a war, whether its on the feet or ground. 

 

Gesias Cavalcante (21-91) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (16-4)

Lightweight Interim Title (155)

Gesias Cavalcante: Two time K-1 HERO’s grand prix champion, Shooto Americas champion, Titan FC champion and all around mixed martial arts legend “JZ” Cavalcante returns to action looking to build on his December Titan FC victory over Robert Turnquest. The heavy handed BJJ Black Belt continues to train with the Blackzilians at CSMMA and also trains BJJ at the newly formed XCELL Jiu-Jitsu owned by longtime friend Jorge Santiago. JZ will need this interim title to earn a rematch with the currently injured Freddy Assuncao who took the Titan belt from Cavalcante last August.

Kurt Holobaugh: Former Titan FC Featherweight champ and UFC veteran Kurt Holobaugh is coming off of a extremely impressive rear naked choke victory over fellow UFC veteran Yosdenis Cedeno. The 31 year old Louisianan is dedicated to making a run at Lightweight and feels he is a better fighter when he makes the less drastic cut to 155. Holobaugh has looked like a man on a mission in his last two bouts in Titan and a win over a legend of the sport like Cavalcante may be the ticket to his second UFC stint at his new weight class. 

 

Frakhad Sharipov (17-7) vs. Jose Torres (4-0)

Bantweight Title (135)

Farkhad Sharipov: Reigning Bantamweight champion Farkhad Sharipov will be defending his title for the first time in this historic champion vs. champion main event. Shripov earned his title by winning a four man tournament that featured Bruce Lutchmedial, Anderson Dos Santos and Andrew Whitney. The Kyrgyzstan born Shripov trains with the American Top Team Black Boxx as well as running his own gym The Sharipov MMA Academy in Kissimmee Florida. He has an extensive professional boxing record and background in Combat Sambo making him a dangerous opponent in every position of a fight. A win in this high profile fight may earn the veteran his first call up to the UFC’s Bantamweight division.


Jose Torres: 24 year old Chicagoan Jose “Shorty” Torres’s stock continued to rise when he defeated UFC vet and Brazilian Top Team member Pedro Nobre in a first round knock out at Titan 43. Torres continues to make Chicago’s Combat-Do gym his home base but spent multiple weeks training with both Jackson/Wink and Team Elevation preparing for this mega fight. His main training partner at Team Elevation is former UFC Bantamweight champion T.J Dilashaw who paid Torres to train with him in his camp leading up to his fight with John Linker. The Flyweight champ feels the MMA community is not giving him the respect that he deserves and this historic feat of becoming the first multi division Titan FC belt holder will earn him a spot on the UFC’s Flyweight roster.

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