FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that EliteXC signed a pair of top fight prospects over the weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii while conducting its “Return of the King” event.
According to Mike Camp of F1 Management, the promotion has inked both Torrance Taylor (pictured) and Tiawan Howard to three-fight, one-year contracts. The half-brothers both train out of Ohio and had been considered two of the best unsigned prospects in the region until signing with EliteXC.
When contacted by Five Ounces of Pain earlier this morning, Taylor confirmed the news.
Their respective contracts with the promotion are non-exclusive, according to Camp, who also indicated that Howard will compete in the promotion’s welterweight division while Taylor could receive fights at both 150 and 160 pounds.
Five Ounces of Pain became exposed to both Taylor and Howard while covering the IFL’s draft tryouts in New York last October. Taylor displayed an impressive arsenal of traditional martial arts kicks that he landed with both accuracy and power. He was named a finalist by the promotion but was never utilized in an actual fight.
Howard also became a finalist even though he didn’t make the final pool during his first try. After having already fought during the final round of tryouts, Howard volunteered for a second fight after it was determined there was an odd number of fighters in his weight class. His resiliency impressed league officials and he was added to the list of finalists.
Other finalists from the tryout included James “Binky” Jones and Jim Bova of EliteXC, Danillo Villefort of the IFL, Matt Brown of the UFC, former BodogFIGHT veteran Matt Lee, along with top unsigned prospects LeVon Maynard of Virginia and Al Iaquinta of New York.
Taylor, 20, has created a recent buzz for himself with two wins over former UFC veterans the past two weeks. On May 30, he recorded a unanimous decision victory over Junior Assuncao during an American Fight League event in Atlanta. Then, this past weekend, he defeated Luke Caudillo in Denver during a Ring of Fire show. He also holds a win over a third UFC veteran, Jason Dent, whom he defeated last November.
Howard, 33, is 5-1 according to Sherdog.com’s fight finder. He had been scheduled to compete on this past weekend’s inaugural Adrenaline MMA show in Chicago but was forced to pull off the card due to a groin injury sustained while training. Howard also serves as the trainer for his younger brother, Taylor.