Titan FC is chugging along nicely.
The promotion recently signed Strikeforce and DREAM veteran Gesias Cavalcante to a deal and he will debut in June, Titan CEO Jeff Aronson told MMA Fighting on Wednesday.
Execs have also been busy putting together Titan 38, which takes place April 30 in Miami. Aronson said three new fights have been added to the card: Peter Petties vs. Caio Rocha, Jack May vs. Chase Sherman and Sid Bice vs. Pedro Nobre. The card will air on UFC Fight Pass.
Rocha trains out of the Blackzilians and American Top Team will also be heavily represented on the card. Titan plans on holding the majority of its shows in South Florida now, to tap into the rich talent pool there.
"Between ATT, Blackzilians and MMA Masters -- you name it," said Aronson, who lives in Florida. "And there's plenty of other smaller gyms. The level of talent out here is just so incredible, I said it makes no sense for us to be traveling around constantly and trying to find talent when I can go to the gyms here, I can scout, I can find them and I can sign them and really develop the best homegrown prospects and the best free agents on the market."
Aronson's plan is to develop fighters from the ground up while also signing well-known free agents. Titan might adopt the old Strikeforce Challengers idea of holding smaller events in MMA hot beds with some of the best fighters from those areas. The most impressive competitors on those shows will be signed to the main Titan roster. Daniel Cormier, among many others, got his start on Strikeforce Challengers. Aronson is eyeing the New York market for the first of those events sometime later in the year, he said.
"People really want to see real MMA," Aronson said. "They want to see real fights. They want to see real top contenders who are the guys in a couple of years are gonna be contending for that UFC strap or holding that UFC strap."
Cavalcante (19-8-1, 2 NC) will make his Titan debut at Titan FC 39 in June, Aronson said. The Blackzilians product, known to most as "JZ," has not fought since September 2014, but Aronson said he's back in the gym and healthy. Cavalcante, 32, was once regarded as one of the best lightweights in the world and Aronson thinks he can be back in that conversation again.
"When 'JZ' shows up, he is one of the most difficult guys to deal with in that 155-pound division," Aronson said. "I think it's gonna be an incredible 'JZ' that we're gonna see in June."
Titan FC 38 will feature a battle for the vacant welterweight title between former WSOF champion Steve Carl and Belal Muhammad. Also on the card, UFC veteran Yosdenis Cespedes meets Jason Novelli. Top bantamweight prospect Jose Torres will also compete.