Titan Fighting Championship 22 was partially overshadowed this week by the news that Anthony Johnson was again treating his contracted weight more as a guideline than a rule. However, this was a solid card, loaded with stoppages and fun fights. Here’s what went down tonight in the cage in Kansas City.
Willie Mack vs. Mirsad Bektec
This fight kicked off the card and it was pretty damn one-sided from opening bell to when it ended to when it was stopped some fifteen to twenty seconds later. Willie Mack never had anything for Mirsad who dropped Willie with some tremendous standup skills and then ground and pounded him mercilessly for a what must have seemed like an hour for Mack before referee jumped in and stopped the action at 27 seconds of round 2. The referee, Bud Johnson was later replaced on the card, which is a great thing to see. If a referee is doing a poor job, indicative of a bad night, get him out of the cage before someone suffers for it.
Nick Nolte vs. Rudy Bears
This fight was much like the first fight of the evening. However, this time, Rudy Bears was far too much for Nick Nolte. The fighters spent the opening moments feeling things out, but Bears got the best of the standing and when the two found themselves in a scramble on the mat, Bears got the better position and used it to drop shot after shot on Nolte who had no answer. It wasn’t as bad as the first fight, but the referee was a little late stopping it again, and the end finally came via TKO at 3:57 of the opening frame.
Nick Mamalis vs. Fabio Mello
Another exciting fight was next, and this one would also not leave the first round. With a combined record of 14-15, nobody was going to confuse these Bantamweights with Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, but they put on a fun scrap in front of a enjoying audience. Mello had an excellent throw, sending Mamalis to the canvas in a heap. From there, he capitalized taking the mount, then working for a perfectly executed arm triangle, earning the submission victory at 4:34 of the first round.
Jose Vegas vs. Andrew Whitney
Andrew Whitney is a lot of fun to watch fight. He entered this fight with a respectable 7-1 record, and the brash Bantamweight ran it five consecutive victories when he landed a picturesque overhand right that put Vegas on rubber legs. Vegas did the chicken dance, not once, but twice before hitting the canvas and getting blasted by Whitney causing the referee to halt the action at 2:55 of the first round.
Last year, Whitney made himself known with a knockout of the year performance against Laramie Shaffer with a flying knee KO. This kid could find himself in the UFC very soon, and moreover, have success there.
LC Davis .vs. Bill Kamery
Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new force to be reckoned with at 135 pounds, and his name is L.C. Davis. The former Lightweight and Featherweight made the jump down to Bantamweight and he is strong as an ox at 135 pounds. Davis has always been a good fighter, but this weight fits him very well. He clashed with an outgunned Bill Kamery who came into the fight with a 10-2 record.
Davis had no problems with Kamery in this one as he controlled the action throughout the first round and first half of the second round, hurting Kamery with his striking and utilizing his wrestling to keep his edge. LC Davis had very good ground strikes and hurt Kamery with them, halting the action at 2:59 of the second round. Big win for Davis and he looks reinvigorated and reinvented at 135.
Anthony Johnson vs. David Branch
Well, this fight was officially fought at “Rumbleweight”, it’s a new weight class name for this fight, and I’m assuming any subsequent fights Johnson is in. Hell, I guess when you lose 20 percent of your check before you step in the cage, the least they can do is let you name your own weight class. This fight was billed as an exciting clash of two former UFC standouts. Not so much.
The rest of the Titan card was fast paced, fun and exciting action. This fight, was the contrary in every way. The two fighters spent the majority of the first round playing a game called, pace down the fighter, don’t cut the corner, pace down the fighter again. Branch effectively used footwork to confuse and frustrate Johnson who landed some decent leg kicks and little else in the first round.
The second round saw a touch more excitement as the two fighters clinched for an extended period of time and exchanged single shot knees to the thigh. Rumble added some more lower leg kicks, turning Branch’s thigh area a love shade of purple, but doing little else to discomfort Branch. With moments left in the second round, Branch worked for a triangle choke, but the bell to end the round stopped any chance of that coming to fruition.
The third was also less than stellar with some leg kicks, knees to the thigh and single rights being exchanged. When the bell rang to end the fight, the fans in attendance let the fighters know they were not happy, and it was a long plodding finish to an otherwise exciting night. I bet the folks at Titan would have given Anthony Johnson to MFC if they had it to do over again. Well, the referees scored the fight 30-27 across the board for Anthony Johnson, bringing his record up to 11-4.