Kansas City, KS - Two last-minute, high-profile withdrawals from this Friday's Titan Fighting Championship 18
(www.TitanFighting.com) event have sent organizers scrambling to re-stock the card. However, the efforts of Titan officials have led to the last-minute additions to a rising brother act in the sport of mixed martial arts in former Oklahoma State wrestling standouts Jake Rosholt and Jared Rosholt.
The decision to add the high-profile Rosholt Brothers to the card was necessitated after Titan officials were recently informed that both Rory Markham and Drew McFedries would be unable to compete this Friday on the HDNet (www.HD.net) televised card (starting at 10 p.m. ET) as had been previously scheduled.
Titan officials were notified late Monday night that McFedries had been hospitalized due to an infection and that Markham, who is pursuing a full-time career in film, had been offered a high-profile role that would require him to leave the country and report to the set in advance of Friday's event.
"We were extremely disappointed when the management for Drew and Rory informed us of the news. However, this is the fight business and having promoted fights since the age of 24, I've dealt with a lot of hurdles in promoting shows," said Titan CEO Joe Kelly. "While losing Drew and Rory from the show hurts, we took the news in stride I am very excited that the fans in attendance at Memorial Hall and those watching live on HDNet are going to see two future stars in this sport step up on short notice and test themselves."
The two future stars that Kelly references are former three-time NCAA heavyweight champion Jake Rosholt and his younger brother, former NCAA finalist Jared "The Big Show" Rosholt.
Twenty-eight year old Jake Rosholt began his MMA career after not only winning three NCAA titles in two separate weight classes, but also having earned a Big 12 Conference Championship in 2004 and earning All-American honors every season during his four-year tenure at OSU. His remarkable NCAA credentials made him one of the highest profile prospects to ever enter MMA.
Despite having less than a year of training under his belt, Rosholt began his MMA career with a perfect 4-0 record and received a lucrative contract from the Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting promotion. After going 1-0 in the WEC, Rosholt joined the UFC after the two promotions merged.
Upon entering the UFC, Rosholt's inexperience began to show as he compiled a 1-2 record against veteran competitors who had the advantage of possessing years of training and competition experience in MMA. Since departing the UFC, Rosholt's obsession has been to gain more in-cage experience and victories in order to return to the big show.
Having gone an impressive 4-0 in 2011 with all four victories coming by way of early stoppage, Rosholt is reportedly on the cusp of accomplishing his goal of returning to the UFC. Standing in Rosholt's way of returning is John Ott, another college wrestling standout that made national headlines in March after going up in weight yet still going the distance with former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley.
Meanwhile, the younger Rosholt is quickly following in his brother's footsteps. A multi-time All-American while wrestling at Oklahoma State, Rosholt is currently 2-0 with two submission victories since transitioning to MMA. Additionally, the 24-year old won the Adu Dhabi Regional Trials in California earlier this year and will be participating in the Abu Dhabi Combat Championships -- the premiere No Gi submission grappling championship in the World -- in the United Kingdom later in the year.
Despite having only trained less than a year in MMA, Jared Rosholt has already earned the distinction of being named BloodyElbow.com's sixth-best rated unsigned heavyweight prospect. Another win on Friday night would only serve to send his already fast rising stock through the roof.
"When you look at brother acts in MMA, it's clear that Ken and Frank Shamrock are the best brother-tandem to have ever grace this sport," Kelly remarked. "However, when the respective MMA careers of the Rosholt Brothers have come to an end, I have no doubt in my mind that Jake and Jared will surpass the Shamrocks as the greatest brother duo in MMA history. I believe that Jake Rosholt will return to the UFC and eventually claim the middleweight title and those that I know who have seen Jared Rosholt train tell me that he is going to be a future UFC heavyweight champion. Having two future UFC champions compete together on national television so early in their respective careers is going to be special."
Tickets for "HDNet Presents: Titan Fighting Championship 18: Pulver vs. Davidson" are still on-sale at Ticketmaster.com, all local Ticketmaster outlets, as well as the Memorial Hall box office. The main televised card will begin at 10 p.m. ET this Friday with the non-televised undercard start at 7:00 p.m. CT.
Weigh-ins are scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, May 26 at the Constellations Room at the Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in Kansas City, MO and will be open to the public. Sponsors for the event include Combat Sports International (www.CombatSports.com), Monster Energy Drink (www.MonsterEnergy.com), Ink'd Out Apparel (InkDOutApparel.com), Supremacy MMA by 505 Games (watch the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O4c_4RQokE) and the Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa (www.StayArgosy.com).
The current card for Titan Fighting Championship 18 is as follows:
- Jens "'Lil Evil" Pulver (24-14-1) vs. Brian "Mr. D" Davidson (6-3) at 140 lbs.
- Jake Rosholt (11-3) vs. John Ott (8-8) at 200 lbs.
- Darryl Cobb (6-2) vs. Rudy "Bad News" Bears (12-7) at 185 lbs.
- Jared Rosholt (2-0) vs. Kirk Grinlinton (2-2) at 265 lbs.
- Joe "The Nose" Wilk (11-5) vs. Jesse Zeugin (5-1) at 145 lbs.
- "Super Duper" Bobby Cooper (5-3) vs. Nick Budig (5-1) at 155 lbs.
- Sean "P-Town" Wilson (27-15) vs. Deryck Ripley (11-19) at 155 lbs.