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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Titan FC featherweight title will remain around Jason Soares’ waist – for now. He wouldn’t mind giving it up for a shot in the UFC.
Soares (13-0) retained his 145-pound belt Friday with a fourth-round TKO win over challenger Ariston Franca (10-5) in the Titan FC 45 main event. And Soares did it with the pressure of UFC president Dana White sitting cageside filming an episode of “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”
After a rather pedestrian first 15 minutes marked by Soares’ dominance on the canvas, the fourth opened with a flurry for the challenger – only to be met with a rally from the champion.
Titan FC 45 took place at Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The card streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
The two looked for openings out of the gate, then a minute in clinched up on the fence. After a moment, Soares took Franca to the canvas and pressed him up against the cage from half-guard. Soares looked for an opening to pass, but Franca recovered to full guard. Soares tried to find a home for punches and short elbows with Franca left playing defense. Soares couldn’t find any home-run shots from there, but Franca had nothing to offer from his back most of the frame, either.
A Franca kick early in the second led to much of the same for him. Soares took him down, got on top along the fence, and kept him reasonably defensive. Franca had no real answers for the champion from his back, and though Soares again wasn’t landing anything truly threatening of a stoppage, he was dominating without question.
Forty seconds into the third, Soares again took Franca down and went right back to work on top. This time, Franca wasn’t able to secure guard as easily and Soares got off solid punches in the first two minutes on top.
Being stifled for 15 minutes apparently set something off in Franca, though. He drilled Soares with a right hand to open the fourth round and knocked him to the canvas. He immediately jumped on him for a series of ground-and-pound that had the champ covering up and in trouble. But Soares survived Franca’s rally of punches, then turned things around. After that, it didn’t take long for Soares to completely turn the tables.
He landed a series of big punches on the ground and before long, the ref shut things down. Soares retained his belt at the 2:16 mark of the fourth frame.
“I think I showed everything,” Soares told UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who was the event’s cageside analyst on UFC Fight Pass. “Dana White: Give me that (expletive) contract, baby.”
White already should be at least a little familiar with Soares since he had a shot at Season 22 of “The Ultimate Fighter” nearly four years ago. But Soares lost a majority decision to Julian Erosa in the fight-in round and was denied a chance to make it to the “TUF” house.
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Rafael Alves starches Felipe Douglas to win interim lightweight title
Rafael Alves knew UFC president Dana White was cageside scouting talent as part of his “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight” web series. He took advantage and won some gold in the process.
Alves (18-9) took out Felipe Douglas (17-5) to win Titan FC’s interim lightweight title in the co-main event. A huge left hand put Douglas on the mat and a few seconds later in the second round, Alves was flying over the cage in jubilation.
Alves threw a jumping kick right out of the gate, they tried another fancy kick that missed. He kept looking for an early home for his right leg until Douglas clinched him up along the fence. A minute in, Alves landed a big slam that echoed throughout the venue, but Douglas was back up quickly. A spinning kick from Alves was partially blocked to the body two minutes in, but it was apparent he was looking for something impressive given who was cageside. Douglas took Alves off his feet with two minutes left in the round, then got on top and tried to work ground-and-pound.
The two came out swinging 30 seconds into the second round, but then clinched up on the fence. After things stalled for a bit, Douglas started to back Alves up. But Alves threw a short left hand that was on the money. He planted Douglas on the canvas, then quickly pounced and hit him with three more lefts before the ref jumped in to shut things down. The end came at the
Alves quickly jumped over the cage, grabbed the interim belt from the cage apron, and ran to UFC president Dana White to ask him for a shot in the promotion.
Herbert Burns taps Gomez with ease, asks for chance in the UFC
Herbert Burns was hoping to impress his brother’s boss, and he didn’t disappoint.
Burns (8-2) won for the second straight time, and second straight time by submission, with a steamrolling of Luis Gomez (7-3). With UFC president Dana White watching cageside, Burns, brother of UFC lightweight Gilbert Burns, said he wants to join him in the promotion.
Burns came out with a purpose and took Gomez down immediately. He quickly took Gomez’s back and started to look for a rear-naked choke. And though Gomez fought it off nicely at first, eventually the pressure was too much from Burns, who kept a tight body triangle on almost throughout. Gomez finally had to tap at the 2:24 mark of the opening round with Burns draped on his back.
Titan FC 54 results include:
- Champ Jason Soares def. Ariston Franca via TKO (punches) – to retain featherweight title – Round 4, 2:16
- Rafael Alves def. Felipe Douglas – via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:18 – to win interim lightweight title
- Herbert Burns def. Luis Gomez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:24
- Andreas Michailidis def. Marcel Fortuna via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:26
- Beibit Nazarov def. Thomas Webb via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – 165-pound catchweight
- Ange Loosa def. Collin Lubberts via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Marc Stevens def. Quartus Stitt via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:41
- Said Sowma def. James Lawson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Matt Wagy def. Edir Terry via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Dylan Salvador def. Kenny Porter via submission (anaconda choke) – Round 3, 1:04
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