Santiago & Guthrie Headline TFC 23 Card
By: Matty Simo
Thursday, June 14, 2012
For the first time ever, the Titan Fighting Championship is heading to a military base with “Fight for the Troops” scheduled for this Friday at Marshall Army Airfield on Fort Riley, Kansas.
TFC 23 will be televised live on HDNet starting at 10:00 p.m. (ET), featuring a main event between former UFC middleweight Jorge “The Sandman” Santiago and replacement Justin Guthrie.
Santiago (24-10) will be making his second TFC appearance after knocking out Leonardo Pecanha in the first round of their bout on March 2. “The Sandman” has actually seen a KO/TKO result in three of his last four fights, but he was on the losing end in one of those. Brian Stann made Santiago a second-round KO victim at UFC 130 in what earned Fight of the Night honors. Santiago then lost a unanimous decision to Demian Maia at UFC 136 before getting let go by the organization for the second time.
Guthrie (9-4) will fill in for Jay Silva, who also had prior experience in the UFC, and is listed as a +375 underdog against Santiago (-575). The 31-year-old from Colorado Springs is riding a four-fight winning streak with the last two coming in the Ultimate Warrior Fighting’s Tournament of Warriors, although he failed to make weight and was ruled out of the final.
In the co-main event, featherweights Joe “The Nose” Wilk (16-6) and Josh Huber (9-3, 1 No-Contest) will square off. Wilk has won four in a row and is a -325 favorite against Huber (+235), who has finished four of his last five opponents with a loss to Fabio Mello at TFC 21 during that stretch.
Two more featherweights who will meet are Andrew Carrillo (5-2) and Freddy Assuncao (6-1). Carrillo is the +265 underdog as he has dropped two straight following a 5-0 start while Assuncao (-355) has won his last five after splitting his first two career fights.
Another middleweight bout that should get the crowd’s attention is Brandon Bear (3-0) against Nick Budig (5-2) in a battle of local fighters. Bear is a -315 favorite and was a US Army Captain and two-time All-Army Combatives Tournament Champion. He trained under UFC middleweight contender Mark Muñoz as a wrestler at UC-Davis and will take on a fellow Kansan in Budig (+225), who has a bit more experience but is coming off a loss to Bobby Cooper at TFC 18 on March 27 of last year.
Two more local fighters who will be looking to impress are lightweights Jake Lindsey (4-0) and Jordan Johnson (6-2). Lindsey is a -345 favorite as he puts his unbeaten record on the line against Johnson (+255), who has lost his last two bouts after starting off his career with a perfect 6-0 mark.