Titan FC 69: Taylor vs. Matos Preview

Photo courtesy Lex McMahon and Titan FC Facebook pages

Titan FC 69: Taylor vs. Matos Preview

Titan FC returns to the Dominican Republic on May 14th to host Titan FC 69 at the Centro Olimpico Pabellon De Esgrima in Santo Domingo.

Titan FC and Fighting Force have partnered to host this event and more in the future. The card is home to 10 bouts, two of them with gold on the line.

In the main event on UFC Fight Pass, the vacant Titan FC welterweight strap is on the line in a scrap between, four-time Titan FC veteran, Dilano “The Postman” Taylor (5-1) and Titan FC debutant, Carlos “El Matador” Matos. In the co-main event, Rami Hamed (9-3) returns to the Titan FC cage to take on Elias Santos (2-3).

Also featured on Friday night is the finale of the Fighting Force Lightweight Grand Prix in which Lucas Marte (6-1) and Jhonasky Sojo (11-3) square off to determine the next Fighting Force lightweight champion.

 

Dilano Taylor (5-1) vs. Carlos Matos (8-0) for the vacant Titan FC welterweight championship

 

One of Titan FC’s brightest prospects, Dilano “The Postman” Taylor, gets his wish as he is set to battle for his first pro MMA title. Taylor, training at Sanford MMA, has been on an absolute tear lately winning four straight, three by first round finish. The style and size of Dilano Taylor has been a problem for his opponents. A couple things about Taylor that might get overlooked are his high fight IQ and his canny submission skills. Taylor originated as a wrestler, but has become quite the complete martial artist. It’s safe to say getting in a kickboxing war with Dilano Taylor isn’t smart, but grappling with the BJJ brown belt is a scary thought as well. “The Postman” looks to make a statement and deliver Carlos Matos his first career loss on Friday night.

 

Matos comes into this fight as one of the highest, if not the highest, praised welterweights hailing from the Caribbean. The undefeated Dominican is a Pan-American champion in Sambo and a blue belt in BJJ. Matos is without a doubt a finisher, as he has finishes in all eight of his wins. Like Taylor, Matos is a very well-rounded martial artist and quite the crafty jiu-jitsu practitioner. In a Carlos Matos fight you never know what submission attempt you might see; omoplata attempts, straight armbars and leg locks are some of the more intriguing ones he has in his bag of tricks. Overall, this is one of the more competitive title fights in recent memory. These two fighters have insanely good ground games which means this could be a standup war. However this fight goes, without a doubt, it will live up to the hype.

 

Rami Hamed (9-3) vs. Elias Santos (2-3) 

 

In the welterweight co-main event, former Titan FC welterweight title challenger Rami Hamed returns to make his fifth Titan FC appearance. Hamed is one of the best kickboxers to step foot in the Titan cage. He is a 6-time muay thai national champion, 5-time kickboxing national champion and a 2-time Taekwondo national champion. Hamed has seven of his nine wins by way of knockout and plans to do no different on Friday. He is without a doubt one of the highest level fighters on the card and it’s safe to say you shouldn’t blink when he’s in the cage.

 

This will be a test for Hamed as he takes on the submission specialist, Elias Santos. In his last bout he finished Juan Marcos Sant Jusca in spectacular fashion, as he secured a heel hook in under 25 seconds and forced the tap. Santos is another clever submission artist and has both his wins by submission. As Hamed’s path to victory will be on the feet, Santos’ will be to get this fight to the ground. This is quite the clash of styles and those are the ones that leave your eyes glued to the screen.

 

 

Lucas Marte (6-1) vs. Jhonasky Sojo (11-3) for the Fighting Force lightweight championship 

 

Lucas Marte earned his spot in the Fighting Force Lightweight Grand Prix finale with a hard fought knockout victory over, high level grappler, Ty Kalista.  In that fight Marte proved his resilience and patience as well as the power in his strikes. Marte’s leg kicks are vicious and he uses them to set up his power punches which put people to sleep. Marte has five of his six wins by knockout and is an intelligent martial artist wherever the fight goes. As mentioned before, Marte’s composure is something that could carry him not only past Jhonasky Sojo, but also plenty of lightweights around the world.

 

Sojo locked in his slot in the finale by defeating Elias Santos by decision back in November. The Venezuelan striker is and fights like a veteran. Although he is known for his kickboxing game, he’s quite the wrestler. Most of his fights end up with a decent amount of grappling leaving him with the opportunity to get the finish how he often does, with ground and pound. Sojo seems like he will be the aggressor in this fight, considering his style and reach disadvantage. Stylistically, these two match up well with each other and it’s a tough one to predict. Without a doubt these two will put on a show and one will wrap gold around their waist.

 

Jarret Betancourt (1-0) vs. Michael Polanco (1-1)

 

This flyweight main card bout has fight of the night potential. Jarret “Too Solid” Betancourt is one of the most intriguing prospects on the Titan FC roster. The former two division amateur champ is nothing short of a knockout artist. In his pro debut he put Nekoro Bunsie to sleep with a singular check left hook just 1:42 into the fight. Training out of the Goatshed Academy, he is part of a new wave of talent that has had extreme success. It’s not often you see a flyweight with one-punch knockout power like Betancourt has.

 

Michael Polanco steps into the Titan FC cage for the first time on Friday. Polanco is a karate-based striker, but has experience in kickboxing and grappling as well. Polanco has quick hands and pieces combinations together nicely. His quick head movement is a huge part of his defensive game. In this clash of flyweight strikers, don’t blink it could end at any point.

 

 

Oscar Sosa (13-2) vs. Luis Mendez (1-1) Heavyweight Kickboxing Match

 

Oscar Sosa is one of the highest ranked light heavyweights and heavyweights in the entire Caribbean. Although he is 13-2 in MMA, seven of his win have come by knockout. Sosa has quite a few wins by head kick as well and is a powerful kickboxer. This will be Sosa’s first fight since May of 2018. His opponent, Luis Mendez, stepped in on short notice for Steve Berbin. Mendez has fought the likes of Carlos Matos, Isidro Rodriguez and Davon Duncan and held his own. His lone victory is over Orlando Peralta in 2017. Mendez will be taping up the gloves and stepping into the cage for the first time since 2019. It’s fair to say this fight is pretty unpredictable considering the layoff for both fighters however, you can’t miss a heavyweight kickboxing fight.

 

Devon Dixon (2-0) vs. Oscar Diaz (2-2)

 

Undefeated two-time Titan FC veteran, Devon Dixon, returns to the Titan cage on Friday night. Dixon is another highly touted prospect signed to Titan FC and proves that time and time again. In his last bout, he finished Mike Olaya in under a minute and a half into the first round after landing constant heavy leg kicks. Dixon, training out of Sanford MMA, is a well-rounded martial artist who finishes fights. In 11 pro and amateur fights, he has never been to a decision. In fact, Dixon has only been out of the second round once. Dixon’s aggressive style is for sure one to watch and his skillset is deep and ready for war.

 

Diaz is a big and powerful welterweight. As he is very well-rounded as well, he only has two out of his ten pro and amateur wins by finish. In his last fight he landed a clean left hook putting his opponent, Andres Sanchez, to sleep just 1:10 into the fight. In this fight both fighters pose a threat to the other. Dixon is dangerous everywhere therefore, Diaz will have to check leg kicks, find out where he is most comfortable and work from there. Dixon will have to avoid the power of Diaz and do what he does best by pushing the pace and being a menace offensively.

 

 

 

Prelims on Facebook at 7pm:

 

Sean Mora (0-0) vs. Luis Peralta (4-2)

Ty Kalista (4-4) vs. Mike Olaya (0-4)

Luis Rodriguez (9-2) vs. Ronald Vasquez (0-0

 

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