Tonight I am attending Titan Fighting Championships 16 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. Owner, Joe Kelly, who consults with Bellator Fighting Championships has put together a great fight card.
Thousands will trudge through the snow and muck to see what is undoubtedly the best MMA card to hit Kansas City since last summer’s four Bellator events at the Kansas City Power & Light District. Tim Sylvia, Drew McFedries and Rich Clementi will grace us with their cage skills.
All have fought multiple times with the sport’s ultimate promoter, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Sylvia was of course a multiple Heavyweight Title holder.
I am not fighting on this fine evening. I will be observing from a less dangerous seat in the balcony with the rest of the fans. I of course love to fight and love to watch fighters.
McFedries will trade leather with a hometown boy of Somoan descent, Gary Tapusoa. Gary and I once fought for the True Fight Fan Middleweight Title, so I’m told.
He ended my evening early with some heavy overhand rights. Drew actually trained with my brother, Brad Imes, at Miletich Fighting Systems for several years.
I’m not making any predictions, but I will be rooting for the hometown boy.. Gary plays rugby in his spare time and has won six consecutive fights since his pro debut and only loss in Strikeforce.
Sylvia also trained with my brother at Miletich Fighting Systems in Betendorf, Iowa. They were training partners along with Ben Rothwell for several years.
I remember Brad telling me a story about Tim knocking him out with a head kick in practice just weeks before his fight with Rashad Evans.
Brad lost that fight via split decision and Rashad went on to become a one-time Light Heavyweight Champion of the UFC. Sylvia has won and lost titles over the years and Rothwell in still in the UFC after holding the Heavyweight Title in the IFL.
I am still training and learning from my missteps. I got into this sport overnight and jumped up in competition very quickly.
Another former opponent of mine, Aron Lofton, will fight Keith Jardine in March. Keith of course was on TUF 2 with my brother and has since fought many times inside the UFC.
Keith has victories over UFC champs Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. Aron is 8-4 in a career against nearly everyone on the mid-level. He took a respectable second round loss to UFC vet, Marvin Eastman, early in his career.
All these names strike cords with people in the MMA world. These are men in search of glory. This glory leads through some pain, loss, anguish, heart break, hunger and financial difficulty.
All of their sacrifice is worth it for the chance to sit atop the cage in victory. Best of luck to all these men this weekend. I’ll be watching and cheering, for now.