Titan Fighting Championships 23 Results: Santiago Dominates, Hints At Drop To 170

Jorge Santiago by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com

Titan Fighting Championships 23: "Fight for the Troops" aired live on HDNet last night from the Marshall Army Airfield in Fort Riley, Kansas. Former Sengoku champion and UFC middleweight Jorge Santiago drew the main-event assignment, facing a late replacement in Justin Guthrie after Jay Silva was forced off the card.

Santiago, a member of the rapidly expanding Blackzilians camp, signed with Titan after back-to-back UFC losses (Brian Stann, Demian Maia). He dusted Leonardo Pecanha in his promotional debut with a TKO just 1:48 into the 1st-round and made even quicker work of Guthrie with a slick inverted heel hook with an official time of 1:34. Guthrie came out hurling fireballs while Santiago patiently established his jab. Guthrie hit a power double and Santiago smoothly wheeled around in pursuit of a leg lock. Guthrie tried to back out but Santiago devoured the limb and transitioned to an inverted heel hook to elicit the tapout.

With the win, "The Sandman" extends his record to 25-10 and increases his stellar finishing ratio to 13 career submissions, 10 TKOs and just 2 victories via decision. Santiago, a lifelong middleweight, also hinted that a drop down to welterweight was a future possibility ... which is a scary thought.

Crowd favorite Joe Wilk didn't disappoint either. "The Nose" stuck his face in the camera and sang along with his entrance music while sauntering confidently to the cage to meet opponent Josh Huber. The pair tangled up early and Wilk missed on an outside trip from the clinch but followed up with a textbook double leg to ground the fight. From there, he ensnared Huber's neck with a top-side guillotine, stood up to lock the hold in tight and then dropped back into a full, closed guard to wrench it. The win is Wilk's 5th-straight and his 14th submission win overall.

Check the remaining results in the full entry.

Read More on Titan Fighting Championships 23

TFC 23 Full Card Preview | TFC 23 Live Results and Play by Play

Brandon Bear steamrolled Nick Budig in their middleweight match up, overwhelming him with takedowns and crippling ground and pound to notch a clear 10-8 1st-round. He picked up right where he left off to start off the 2nd round with another monster takedown but this time vanquished Budig with a nasty sequence of short elbows to force a referee intervention and pick up a 2nd-round TKO.

An entertaining and high-paced scramble-fest ensued in the Jordan Johnson vs. Jake Lindsey lightweight scrap. Johnson was intent on imposing his takedown prowess and pursued double legs tenaciously. The 1st round unfolded with a dead-even clip of takedowns and reversals for both combatants, but Lindsey turned the tide in the remaining frames with improved control from the top and a smattering of submission attempts. The fight was competitive throughout but Lindsey stole the momentum in rounds 2 and 3, earning a unanimous decision in the process.

Featherweight Freddy Assuncao had his hands full with gamer Andrew Carrillo, who unveiled a savvy combination of wrestling and submission grappling to steal the opening stanza. Misfortune struck in the 2nd, as Carrillo unloaded a combination and dislocated his shoulder, causing referee Chuck Wolfe to jump in and stop the fight as Carrillo writhed in agony on the canvas. Assuncao picks up the 2nd-round TKO due to injury and dodges a bullet.

The broadcast opened with a light-heavyweight tilt between Wayman Carter and Gregg Van De Creek. Each round unfolded with Van De Creek securing a takedown but getting swept by Carter and spending most of the time underneath his hail of hammerfists and elbows. Van De Creek did adjust in the 3rd by sneaking onto Carter's back when he attempted the sweep and eventually moving into the full mount. After posturing up with big punches, Van De Creek went for a sloppy armbar that Carter easily defended before reassuming his control and clobbering from the top. Carter won all 3 rounds on the judges scorecard for a unanimous decision.

Full results below.

  • Jorge Santiago defeats Justin Guthrie by submission (inverted heel hook), Round 1.
  • Joe "The Nose" Wilk defeats Josh Huber by submission (guillotine choke), Round 1.
  • Brandon Bear defeats Nick Budig by TKO (elbows), Round 2.
  • Jake Lindsey, who defeats Jordan Johnson by unanimous decision.
  • Freddy Assuncao defeats Andrew Carrillo by TKO (injury), Round 2.
  • Wayman Carter defeats Gregg Van De Creek by unanimous decision.

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