UFC Vet Santiago Meets Countryman Pecanha in Titan FC 21 Headliner


Jorge Santiago will return to the cage for the first time since exiting the UFC when the Brazilian locks horns with countryman Leonardo Pecanha in the headlining attraction of Titan Fighting Championship 21.

Also featuring appearances by prospects Joe Ellenberger and Anthony Gutierrez, Titan FC 21 goes down at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., on March 2. The event airs live on HDNet, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Santiago (Pictured) has not competed since dropping back-to-back contests to end his second run in the UFC. Prior to his defeats last year to Brian Stann and Demian Maia, Santiago had won 11 of 12 fights, capturing the Sengoku middleweight title in 2009 and defending it twice successfully before departing Japan for the UFC.

“I can’t wait to fight for Titan on March 2 and to show everybody that ‘The Sandman’ is back and more dangerous than ever before,” said Santiago in an official release. “I train with the best coaches and some of the best fighters in the world. I’ve never felt better or more ready, and at Titan Fighting 21, I’m going to make a fight nobody will forget -- especially Leonardo Pecanha.”

Two years younger than his opponent, 29-year-old Pecanha is a two-time Titan veteran, having earned a pair of wins for the Kansas-based promotion in 2007. The Nova Uniao representative made his Bellator debut in 2010, falling by rear-naked choke to Tyler Stinson at Bellator 22. A winner in six of his last seven outings, Pecanha was last seen submitting Matias Ezequiel Lemon with an armbar in May 2011.

“I am honored to be headlining Titan Fighting 21, and I look forward to finishing Jorge Santiago live on HDNet for all the fans watching at home,” Pecanha stated. “There’s isn’t anything that Santiago has over me. I’m better on the ground and more vicious standing up, so there’s no way I’m letting this fight go to the judges’ scorecards. I’m going to finish him, and fast.”

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