Kansas City’s Titan Fighting Championships once again occupied Memorial Hall for its 21st event on Friday, March 2.

Headlining the event was a middleweight clash between Brazilians Jorge Santiago and Leonardo Pecanha, both making their promotional debut.

The six-fight main card aired live on HDNet.

Santiago too much for Pecanha; scores impressive knockout

After coming up short in his last two fights, both in the UFC, Brazilian middleweight Jorge Santiago made short work of his fellow countryman, ground specialist Leonardo Pecanha.

Both fighters were tentative in the opening minute of the bout, and Pecanha look to clinch and neutralize Santiago’s dangerous striking attack. However, Santiago was able to separate and look to land an overhand right.

Santiago stunned Pecanha with a left hook and followed it with a right cross that dropped him to the mat. A few follow-up shots and the referee was forced to intervene.

In his post-fight interview, Santiago, referring to his nickname, declared, “I’m bringing back the old Sandman.”

Wilk submits Carrillo with guillotine

Featherweight submission ace Joe Wilk picked up his 10th career submission win and handed Andrew Carrillo his second straight defeat with a deep first-round choke.

Carrillo started aggressively and scored with a big right hand, which led Wilk to look for a single-leg takedown. Carrillo secured a guillotine choke, but Wilk was able to defend and escape. From the top position, Wilk waited for Carrillo to make a mistake, latching on to a guillotine of his own and forcing Carrillo to tap.

Ellenberger gets back on track, finishes Zeugin

Lightweight Joe Ellenberger, coming off the first loss of his career, rebounded by dominating Jesse Zeugin throughout the majority of their fight.

Ellenberger repeatedly scored with violent takedowns and pounded away at Zeugin from the half guard. Zeugin gave up his back multiple times, allowing Ellenberger to batter him with hammerfists.

In the final round, Zeugin suffered a big cut from an Ellenberger elbow, and it was all downhill from there. Ellenberger flattened him out along the cage and rained down punches until Zeugin exposed his neck for the rear-naked choke.

Hernandez takes decision over Croom in back-and-forth affair

In the most spirited action of the night, featherweights Ramiro Hernandez and Kevin Croom dished out their fair share of punishment on one another en route to a narrow decision win for Hernandez.

Hernandez utilized his boxing experience to score repeated combinations throughout the affair. Croom, meanwhile, showcased his chin and his wrestling, gaining a number of takedowns over the course of the three-round battle.

Using his jab and right uppercut, Hernandez frequently snapped the head of Croom backwards. Yet, it was Croom that did the most damage, opening a large cut over Hernandez’s right eye.

In the end, two of the three judges at cageside gave Hernandez the win.

Veteran Mello too much for Huber

Despite displaying competency on the feet, Josh Huber was overwhelmed by Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Fabio Mello, submitting to an arm-triangle in the first round.

Huber missed the bantamweight limit by six pounds, and Mello made him pay. A left hand from the Brazilian put Huber on his back and Mello quickly looked for a guillotine from the top. Huber defended, but Mello was not done attacking. The BJJ black belt locked up an arm-triangle from inside the half guard and forced Huber to tap.

Bektic overwhelms Carrillo

At just 20 years old, Bosnian Mirsad Bektic may still be growing as a fighter, but that didn’t stop him from remaining undefeated and submitting Cody Carrillo in a one-sided bout.

Bektic wasted little time putting Carrillo on his back and pounding away from top position in their featherweight match-up. Bektic nearly finished the fight in the opening frame after taking Carrillo’s back and threatening with the choke.

Carrillo survived, only to have a repeat performance in the second and third rounds. Bektic repeatedly threatened with submissions, all the while battering and bloodying Carrillo.

The final stanza saw Bektic secure the mount, then take the back and finish Carrillo with a rear-naked choke.


Jorge Santiago def. Leonardo Pecanha by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 1:48

Joe Wilk def. Andrew Carrillo by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 2:01

Joe Ellenberger def. Jesse Zeugin by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 3, 1:16

Ramiro Hernandez def. Kevin Croom by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

Fabio Mello def. Josh Huber by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 1, 3:26

Mirsad Bektic def. Cody Carrillo by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 3, 3:12