Titan FC CEO Jeff Aronson made the decision to move his first card to a later time slot after it conflicted with other promotions.
Aronson won’t be doing that again.
Titan FC 28 is set for CBS Sports Network April 25 with a main event between Raphael Davis and Jason Brilz. The card, set for Memorial Hall in Kansas City, also features Dave Herman-Kalib Starnes and Daniel Roberts-Brock Jardine.
“I would be willing to put money on the fact that Titan is putting out the best product on Friday night in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Aronson, in an interview with FightLine. “At this point, I don’t give an (expletive). After I saw the ratings on our last program, and saw the ratings of everybody else, if they want it, come get it.
“Everybody else is challenging everybody else for a pay-per-view event with their best guys against each other. I am laying it down. Call me. I am more than happy to do it.”
With the likes of Mike Ricci, Matt Riddle and others currently on the roster – and more signings expected in the coming days – Aronson feels things are quickly picking up steam.
“I am a firm believer in doing right things, and having right things come back to you,” he said. “I don’t ever put a time frame on anything, but I did not expect for (Titan FC) to shift the paradigm in MMA this quickly.
“I feel we are a legit No. 3, No. 4 promotion in the world and I only see it moving forward. I am thrilled with it.”
Plans to take the promotion out of Kansas City are in the works, as Aronson said “the next three venues after (Titan FC 28), none will be in Memorial Hall.”
“I think people will be shocked with the venues we get,” he added. “They are major venues. I think it’s a massive shock to the MMA world in general with what we have going on. Look at the signings. People are not going to other organizations; people are looking to Titan at this point and that is pretty cool.”
Constructing a card, just to see it get torn down
Ricci was scheduled to face fellow UFC vet George Sotiropoulos on the upcoming card, but an injury scrapped those plans. Vinny Magalhaes was also forced out of action after coming down with a recent Staph infection, leaving officials to re-work plans for the night.
“It’s funny. Just like (UFC president) Dana White says, ‘Every day I wake up, (expletive) things happen. Every day,'” Aronson laughed. “What I found out, though, was that by doing this, with these (injuries) happening, things wind up better than the original.
“You take somebody like Raphael Davis, who is 13-2 and went 3-1 in Bellator. He has a win over Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton. A win over Vinny Magalhaes. That’s going to be a great fight.”
Aronson also stated that Magalhaes “will come back” and pointed to him possibly fighting in a title bout or contender fight when he does.
Crowning a Titan FC champion
Speaking of belts, the first one will be handed out later this year when Riddle meets Jose “Pele” Landi Jons for the inaugural welterweight title.
“Give credit to ‘Pele,’ who is a veteran of 20 years in this sport,” Aronson said. “He talked himself into that fight and got Riddle to accept. I want to see that fight. As a fan, I want to see it.
“(Jons) is an innovator in this sport. He beat Anderson Silva twice in Muay thai, he beat Matt Hughes, Pat Miletich. The guy is a machine.”
Aronson also had high praise for Riddle, who was cut from the UFC. His release had nothing to do with wins or losses, but failed drug tests.
“I’ve managed three of the Top-10 welterweights in the world and I believe Matt Riddle is a Top-10 welterweight,” Aronson said. “I believe he would give any one of them a tough time.”
A man of his word
When he took control of Titan FC, Aronson made sure to let every fight know coming in that if the UFC came calling, they could accept – no questions asked. That contract clause was used when Zuffa signed Mirsad Bektic to fight at UFC on FOX 11 later this month against Chas Skelly.
“I released Mirsad to go to the UFC while I had him fully under contract,” Aronson explained. “How many other promotions in the world would do that?
“We envisioned having him fight for the 145-pound title. But we have other guys ready to step in and we’re about ready to sign a 135-pound fighter from the UFC to compete at 145 for us in the coming days.
“The Titan divisions are so stacked that anybody hoping for an easy fight, they are not going to get it.”