Posted 09/24/2014 by Jesse Scheckner in TITAN FC
 
 

Titan FC 30: Brilz vs. Magalhaes – Preview/Breakdown of the Top Three Fights

Titan FC 30: Brilz vs. Magalhaes
Friday, September 26th, 2014 |Cedar Park Center | Cedar Park, TX
MAIN CARD—CBS Sports Network: 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
PRELIMINARY CARD—CBSSports.com: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

Roughly one month ago, Titan Fighting Championship broke new ground when they held Titan FC 29: Ricci vs. Sotiropoulos in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It was a quiet groundbreaking, one which went largely unnoticed by many, but it was substantial in the fact that it was the first time in the company’s nine year history that their hexagonal cage was set up in a state that wasn’t Kansas, Missouri or Oklahoma.

It’s all part of what Titan CEO Jeff Aronson envisioned when he took over the company in December last year and promptly secured a national broadcast deal with CBS Sports. Now that the promotion has gained steam, they’ve begun to pick up the pace, and, for the first time in the company’s existence, they’ll be putting on four shows in four months.

Titan FC 30: Brilz vs. Magalhaes is just the second step in that process, but it’s a respectable one. It’s headlined by a title fight between two former UFC light heavyweights (Jason Brilz and Vinny Magalhaes). The co-main event features two recognizable bantamweights (UFC veteran Walel Watson and The Ultimate Fighter contestant Anthony Gutierrez). The rest of the card, supported by rising stars including “Toninho Furia” Santos, Robert Washington and Pedro Nobre, promises exciting moments throughout. Hell, they’ve even got UFC fighter Ramsey Nijem’s 21-year-old kid brother Adam fighting in only his second professional contest! (He goes by “Twilight,” by the way. I know. Adorable.)

Oh, and the whole thing is free, so there’s that too.

Let’s have a look at the three top fights on the main card, shall we?

MAIN CARD

Main Event
Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.) Title Fight – 5 Rounds
Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes [12-7]
vs.
Jason “The Hitman” Brilz [22-5-1]

For a while there, Jason Brilz looked to be something of a dark horse in the UFC light heavyweight division. Coming into the organization in 2008 on the back of a very impressive 15-1-1, he got off to a great start, knocking out Brad Morris in his first fight with the organization and earning a unanimous decision over Tim Boetsch. After alternating two split decision losses and one unanimous decision victory, he ducked into a Vladimir Matyushenko right uppercut/left hook combination that he didn’t appear to have fully recovered from when he lost to Ryan Bader later that year by the same method.

Since that time, he’s strung together four victories—his last coming inside the Titan cage at Titan FC 28: Brilz vs. Davis. At 39 and with 14 years in the biz he’s likely on the decline physically, but his skill set, bolstered by a terrific wrestling pedigree and rounded out with a good submission game and heavy hands, probably lends to him still having a few more years left to compete.

There’ll be little question as to what his opponent, Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes, will be looking to do once the cage door closes this Friday. The former TUF finalist’s elite jiu-jitsu game, which he honed under the tutelage of the legendary Royler Gracie, is his bread and butter, as is evident by his nine submission victories. At 30, he’s almost 10 years younger than his opponent, so he still has time to work on his striking, however it would be ill-advised to go in with the plan to knock Brilz out. Whether or not he can get the game to the ground will be the determining factor of this fight, and it’ll be interesting to see how far his wrestling training with Chael Sonnen has come along after being only one fight removed from a knockout loss to Anthony Perosh that sent him packing from the UFC.

 

Co-Main Event
Bantamweight (135 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Anthony “Sharkbait” Gutierrez [5-0]
vs.
Walel “The Gazelle” Watson [11-7]

Most fans first were introduced to Anthony Gutierrez in what will likely be remembered as “that guy from The Ultimate Fighter who made it to the semifinals without having to fight and then didn’t make weight.” Unfortunately, like fellow TUF competitor and weight cut-offender Cody Bollinger, he’ll have to hear that particular tune play for a little while until he creates new memories for the fans to focus on.

Part of the problem is, until he won by first-round triangle choke this February, he’d been away from the cage for two and a half years. Fortunately for him, he’s fought his entire career with Titan, so he’ll be fighting on his home turf, so to speak. A fast starter, the 23-year-old has never let a fight leave the first round, winning his debut by TKO and submitting his last four.

Walel “The Gazelle” Watson made his Titan FC debut this May, submitting William Joplin by third round rear-naked choke. The 30-year-old Eddie Bravo disciple has a pretty wicked submission game himself and is a consummate finisher. None of his 12 victories have come by way of decision. He’s also inarguably been in the cage with considerably better competition than “Sharkbait,” having faced the likes of UFC champion T.J. Dillashaw, Yves Jabouin and Mitch Gagnon (though, in full disclosure, he lost to all three).

An interesting thing to pay attention to in this fight is how tall both competitors are for their division. Watson stands at a comparatively towering 5’11”, while Gutierrez comes in only an inch shorter, at 5’10”. How fighting another man of similar stature will factor into their performance is a definite point of intrigue, as will how their submission-focal skill sets may negate one another.

A worthy co-main event.

 

Featherweight (145 lbs.) Title Eliminator Fight – 3 Rounds
Gleristone “Toninho Furia” Santos [18-2]
vs.
Robert “The Beast” Washington [18-8]

26-year-old Gleristone Santos, known more popularly as “Toninho Furia,” is on what us industry poets call a “hot streak.” He’s won his last eight fights, submitting three and knocking out another three. In his Titan FC debut earlier this year, he defeated former UFC fighter Alvin “Kid” Robinson in a bout where he controlled the majority of the fight on the ground before landing a fight-ending flurry on his turtled-up, overwhelmed opponent.

The Brazilian Top Team member’s grappling acumen will be put to the test against Robert “The Beast” Washington, who is cutting down to 150 lbs. after making his Titan debut at welterweight (170 lbs.) just a month ago at Titan FC 29. The 31-year-old bruiser from East St. Louis, Illinois is flashy, strong as an ox and possesses some of the most ruthless leg kicks this side of Jose Aldo and Tarec Saffiedine.

 

Welterweight (170 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez [2-0]
vs.
Le’Ville Simpson [4-1]

 

Flyweight (125 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Pedro “The Rock” Nobre [15-2-1]
vs.
Nick Mamalis [14-9]

 

PRELIMINARY CARD

Catchweight (165 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Todd “Maniac” Moore [15-6]
vs.
“Pretty Boy” E.J. Brooks [7-3]

 

Lightweight (155 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez [18-13]
vs.
Warren Stewart [11-19]

 

Flyweight (125 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Cody “Wolverine” Willaims [7-5]
vs.
Xavier Siller [5-1]

 

Lightweight (155 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Adam “Twilight” Nijem [1-0]
vs.
Gabriel Carillo [1-0]

 

DARK FIGHTS

Featherweight (145 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Matt “The Menace” Mazurek [2-3]
vs.
Charles Adkinson [0-0]

 

Bantamweight (135 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Kevin Troyer [1-0]
vs.
Eric Hendon [1-3]

 

Featherweight (145 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds
Phil “The Peacemaker” Platt [1-1]
vs.
Julian Shore [2-1]

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Jesse Scheckner

 
A freelance MMA, entertainment and business journo born, raised and residing in Miami, FL, Jesse Scheckner is a former semi-serious musician, cinephile and recovering ne’er-do-well committed to nonfiction storytelling. He is the 2014 Florida MMA Awards "Best MMA Media Correspondent" winner and a two-time Miami New Times "Best Of" winner. Follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner to talk about the stuff he writes about with him.