On Friday, Feb. 28, Titan Fighting Championship hosted its 27th event from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The main card aired live on the CBS Sports Network.

In the main event, Ultimate Fighter runner-up Mike Ricci returned to action for the first time since his UFC release to take on UFC and Strikeforce veteran Jorge Gurgel in a lightweight contest. Ricci, who holds a record of 8-4, went 1-2 inside the Octagon and looked to bounce back from a loss to Myles Jury in September. Meanwhile, Gurgel was competing for the first time since the final Strikeforce event in January of 2013. The 37-year-old is known for his exciting style, but was looking to snap a two-fight skid.

The co-main event also featured a match-up of big show veterans looking for redemption as middleweights Matt Riddle and Michael Kuiper locked horns. Riddle was released from the UFC following his second positive test for marijuana in February of last year. He stepped into the Titan cage riding a four-fight winning streak, tainted by the two no-contests stemming from the failed drug tests. The Dutchman Kuiper entered the world-famous Octagon with a sparkling 11-0 record, but struggled to find consistency at the sport’s highest level, dropping three of his four appearances.

The seven-fight event kicked off Friday with two preliminary card bouts streaming live on cbssportsnetwork.com at 10:30 p.m. ET. The five-fight main card followed at 11:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.

On a night where UFC veterans got back on the right track, Mike Ricci certainly shined in the main event. Ricci stayed composed when Jorge Gurgel ran right after him with strikes following the opening bell. Ricci quickly got in on a double-leg takedown and brought Gurgel to the ground. Ricci mixed it up with vicious punches and elbows until the referee had seen enough late in the first round.

The co-main event featured a battle of wrestling and judo, but it was ultimately jiu-jitsu that decided the fight between Matthew Riddle and Michael Kuiper. Riddle locked up a slick standing guillotine choke that ended the fight about halfway through the second round. Kuiper had surprised Riddle in the first taking him down, but Riddle came back in the second and reversed a takedown attempt and took Kuiper’s back. Kuiper scrambled, but that led to the guillotine that ended the fight.

Kurt Holobaugh got back on track after an unsuccessful Zuffa run with a convincing decision win over Eric Marriott. Holobaugh rocked Marriott on the feet in round one then defended every takedown Marriott tried to throw his way. Holobaugh went with a ground-and-pound style to win the second round. Holobaugh had to recover from a rough moment in the third when he was rocked, but he eventually used a leg lock sweep to get back on top and ended the fight there.

Kevin Croom and Byron Goldsby went to a close decision in a bantamweight bout. Goldsby was on top for the majority of the first round, but Croom stayed very active from his back. Croom returned the favor and spent the majority of round two on top. The third round was back and forth again, but Croom took control about halfway through and got the decision win.

The first fight to air in Titan FC’s new era on CBS Sports Network was a quick one. The Ultimate Fighter veteran, Anthony Gutierrez made easy work of Charlie DuBray. DuBray scored a takedown at the start of the fight, but it didn’t take long for Gutierrez to lock up a triangle choke. DuBray tried to fight it off, but was submitted in less than one minute.

Mike Ricci def. Jorge Gurgel by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:57
Matthew Riddle def. Michael Kuiper by submission (guillotine choke) Round 2, 2:29
Kurt Holobaugh def. Eric Marriott by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Kevin Croom def. Bryan Goldsby by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Anthony Gutierrez def. Charlie DuBray by submission (triangle choke). Round 1, 0:59
Kalvin Hackney def. Jeff Robbins by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 2:12
Bill Friday def. Kenneth Porter by submission (guillotine choke). Round 3, 4:28
Hannah Zeciri def. Florina Moeller by unanimous decision (29-28 30-27 30-27) (a)
Josh Reed def. Jordan Casterline by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 0:42 (a)
Aaron Goldfield def. Fernando Andrade by unanimous decision (30-27 x3) (a)

(a) – denotes amateur contest

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.