What separates a promotion from all the rest in the sport? What makes it unique? Some might say it’s the fighters, the on-screen personalities or the presentation. Well, that’s true, but those elements are part of a long list of responsibilities that originate behind the scenes. It takes a man with a unique vision to build a promotion that truly stands out. It takes someone with the savvy to negotiate television deals, keep a strong eye out for new talent and make moves that other people in their shoes wouldn’t have the courage to make.

As much as anyone in mixed martial arts, Titan FC CEO Jeff Aronson fits that mold well. While other stateside promotions are either going global in some regard or becoming unabashed feeders to larger MMA promotions, Aronson has established a proving ground—a “fighter appreciation league,” if you will—for some of the best fighters outside of the UFC. This concept will be on full display at Titan FC 28, live this Friday from the First Council Casino Hotel in Newkirk, Okla.

“It’s just an awesome card from top to bottom,” Aronson told The MMA Corner. “We’re going to be streaming three live fights, starting 8:30 [p.m. ET] on CBSSports.com—that’ll be streaming nationally and internationally. Then, at 10 o’clock Eastern Standard Time, we go live on CBS Sports Network, and we’ll be having live fights in a two and a half hour window, which is unheard of, so the card is stacked from top to bottom, and we can’t wait to get to Oklahoma and put on this show, you know? We’re living by our mantra: ‘fans and fighters first’.”

Even the best of intentions does not make a promotion immune to the occasional roadblock. In Titan FC’s case, the promotion faced a number of obstacles in putting on this card, which was originally planned for three weeks ago.

“So, the injury bug hit us pretty hard,” Aronson explained. “The day I canceled it—I believe it was on a Monday—and just that weekend, three more fighters had been hurt. This is after the event where Vinny Magalhaes was supposed to fight Jason Brilz, and I had to go out—and I was not going to put out, for the fans, a subpar product—so I went out and got Raphael Davis, who also has a win over Vinny and who also has a win over Emanuel Newton, the Bellator champion. He’s 13-2, on a three-fight winning streak, fighting Jason Brilz, a multi-time UFC veteran also riding a three-fight winning streak, and these guys are just going to crush it Friday night.”

When Davis was offered the fight against Brilz, he was training with Michael Bisping, who at the time was preparing to fight Tim Kennedy. Aronson negotiated with Davis’s manager to bring the Bellator veteran into the promotion,. After giving Davis a date and time, the fight was locked up. Now, with a tremendous night of fights to feature this weekend, the promotion is finally set to make its second appearance on the CBS Sports Network, which is more commonly known for broadcasting collegiate athletics.

“I was in negotiations with CBS, and it was coming really close, down to the wire. I switched from CBS Sports Network to view the prelims, to CBSSports.com, which has over 50 million views a month, so now people will get to see Titan—a whole new audience, huge audience—and we got the two and a half hour timeslot, six fights instead of five fights on the main card, so we really restructured it. And I couldn’t have been happier with the way it turned out,” Aronson admitted.

That new audience will be in for a treat and then some. In addition to Davis vs. Brilz, the card also features Dave Herman, Walt Harris, D.J. Linderman, the highly touted Gleristone Santos and a crop of others that aim to make noise on Friday night. The executives at CBS Sports Network recognized the fresh talent that Titan FC possessed and decided that they wanted a piece of the proverbial pie. When the ink dried on the deal, Aronson realized that CBS Sports Network was the perfect platform to showcase these talented fighters. It stared with Titan FC 27, and Aronson looks forward to breaking more ground and making more history come Friday night.

“They have been wanting to get involved and were looking for the right promotion, and we were able to get it done,” Aronson explained. “And it’s a fantastic deal. We’ll do a minimum of eight shows this year, 14 next year, and it’s just super exciting. You can see the momentum. We’re on a 10 o’clock slot this time instead of 11:30. We’re on CBSSports.com instead of just the network. Six fights instead of five fights. I mean, it’s just unbelievable what’s going on. The momentum has just been driving home.”

Jeff would like to thank the fans and the fighters of Titan FC, as well as everyone who helped make the promotion’s success possible. Follow Aronson on Twitter: @JAronsonTitanFC

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.