There’s been a big change at the top of this month’s Titan FC 29 card. UFC vet Matthew Riddle (8-3) has been forced out with an injury, and 40-year-old veteran Brazilian Jose Landi-Jons (28-15) will step in to meet Ben Saunders (16-6) for Titan’s vacant welterweight title. A Titan official confirmed the change to MMAjunkie on Monday after an initial report from MMA Fighting.
Titan FC 29 takes place Aug. 22 at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. The evening’s main card airs on CBS Sports Network at 10 p.m. ET following prelims that stream on CBSSports.com at 9 p.m. ET.
“Pele” Landi-Jons is a PRIDE veteran who has been a fixture in Brazil’s MMA scene for years. The Chute Boxe-trained fighter has won five of his past six fights after a stretch that saw him lose 10 of 14 fights.
He’s been in the cage with the likes of Jake Ellenberger, Thales Leites, Travis Lutter, Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Chuck Liddell. But most notably, he holds a knockout win over UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes in 2001, a TKO win over UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich in 2000 and a pair of decision wins over Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko. A total of 24 of his 28 wins have come by stoppage with a perfect mix of a dozen knockouts and a dozen submissions. But he’s fought just six times since 2009, once each the past four years, and not yet in 2014.
Saunders, who was 4-3 in the UFC and 7-3 for Bellator MMA, will fight for the first time for Titan. He’s coming off a knockout loss to Douglas Lima at Bellator 100, his second knockout loss to Lima, who now is that promotion’s welterweight champion.
In February, Riddle fought outside the UFC for the first time and submitted Michael Kuiper with a second-round guillotine choke at Titan FC 27.
The latest Titan FC 29 lineup includes:
- Jose Landi-Jons vs. Ben Saunders – for vacant welterweight title
- Mike Ricci vs. George Sotiropoulos
- Kurt Holobaugh vs. Lloyd Woodard
- Mike Bronzoulis vs. Keith Johnson
- Tyler Minton vs. Blaine Thomas
- Mike Bruno vs. D’juan Owens
- Luciano Santos vs. Jeremy Severn
- Bristol Marunde vs. Micah Miller
(Pictured: Ben Saunders)