South Florida promotion Titan FC has announced the first bouts for its August 23 event, Titan FC 56. In addition, Titan FC has also officially confirmed the launch of a kickboxing wing, Titan FC Kickboxing, confirming an earlier report from The Body Lock.
In the main event of Titan FC 56, lightweight champion Martin Brown (13-5) will defend his crown in a rematch with Kazakh standout Beibit Nazarov (15-4).
During Titan FC’s foray into Kazakhstan, Bellator veteran Martin Brown defeated longtime Titan FC staple Nazarov by unanimous decision – despite a point deduction for an illegal knee – to win the Titan FC title.
Brown has not competed since winning the belt back in December, while Nazarov has since rebounded with a split-decision victory over the Dustin Poirier-cornered Thomas Webb at April’s Titan FC 54.
Referring to the main event, Titan FC COO Lex McMahon said, “The Martin Brown v Beibit Nazarov title fight is an exciting rematch. During the promotion of their first fight in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Brown and Nazarov developed a lot of bad blood, coupled with a controversial decision, this fight has fireworks written all over it.”
The co-main event of Titan FC 56 will feature one of the promotion’s most impressive talents, as undefeated Freestyle Fighting Academy product Jason Soares (13-0) takes on ex-Titan FC bantamweight title challenger Andrew Whitney (16-7).
Widely considered one of the nation’s top prospects, Soares was the main reason as to why UFC President Dana White ventured down to South Florida for an episode of his Internet prospect-finding series, “Lookin’ for a Fight”. In addition to being the main reason, Soares was also the main event.
As opposed to a quick, emphatic victory leading to a UFC contract, Soares was nearly upset by short-notice replacement Ariston França (10-5). Over the course of three rounds, Soares looked to be coasting to a dominant – albeit lackluster – decision victory, but a stunning knee from França at the start of the fourth round nearly spoiled “The Speciman’s” unblemished record.
Soares was somehow able to recover from the crushing knee, miraculously returning from the brink of defeat to score a TKO win in what could only be described as a real-life Rocky moment.
Andrew Whitney, 35, challenged for the Titan FC bantamweight title on the strength of a four-fight winning streak back in 2016. After a decision loss to Farkhad Sharipov (17-8), Whitney left Titan FC and fought in several regional promotions in the years to come.
Whitney has won two of his last four since, losing a decision, picking up a knockout and a submission, and dropping a knockout loss in succession. Coming off of a knockout loss at JacksonWink Fight Night 5, Whitney will look to return to Titan FC in emphatic fashion.
Though he got the victory last in his time out, Jason Soares will undoubtedly feel like he has something to prove in his fight with Andrew Whitney.
McMahon agrees, adding, “Jason Soares has a chip on his shoulder because Dana White snubbed him after his last victory. Soares is looking to punish Andrew Whitney to move his record to 14-0 and prove that he belongs in the UFC.”
Also on the card is Mohammed Usman (4-1), the brother of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (15-1), who will face Bellator veteran Jon Hill (13-7).
Usman made his promotional debut back at Titan FC 53, where he picked up a unanimous decision over Frank Tate (6-7). The Nigerian’s lone pro loss came to newly-signed UFC heavyweight Dontale Mayes (7-2).
Titan FC 56 will also feature the promotion’s first-ever kickboxing bout, which will pit UFC and Titan FC veteran Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA) and BAMMA and Titan FC vet Dean Barry (2-1 MMA) against one another.
The Titan FC 56 card, as it currently stands, is listed below. The event will take place at Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on August 23. More bouts are yet to come.
Martin Brown (13-5) vs. Beibit Nazarov (15-4) – 155 title
Jason Soares (13-0) vs. Andrew Whitney (16-7) – 145 title
Michael Quinones vs. Dean Barry – Kickboxing bout
Mohammed Usman (4-1) vs. Jon Hill (13-7)
Kenny Porter (3-1) vs. Raymond Ramos (4-3)
James Hay (2-0) vs. Matt Ferraiolo (4-5)
Hector Olazabal (0-0) vs. Miles Amos (1-0)
Paulo Santos (7-2) vs. TBD
Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.