STFC 31 is bringing the Valley’s premiere mixed martial arts organization back to the McAllen Convention Center on Friday night, September 5th. The main event will be a five round championship clash between featherweight titlist Javier Obregon (7-8) of Dallas, and Santa Rosa’s Fabian Anthony Saldivar (4-1).
Obregon, a veteran of many promotions including Bellator and Legacy, will be making his third appearance in the promotion since his RGV debut back at STFC 25 (May 24, 2013). Originally it was supposed to be DJ Fuentes vs Luis Vega, but Vega was forced out of the bout due to a rib injury. In stepped in Obregon ready to take on Fuentes, the STFC featherweight champion at the time. In what was a competitive five round bout, Obregon unseated the then featherweight kingpin via split decision. Obregon returned to the McAllen Convention Center and STFC cage 10 months later to take on David Armas at STFC 28 (3/1/14). In an exciting affair, Obregon locked an armbar during a scramble to get the submission win at 4:20 of the third round.
Saldivar has come a long way from his first fight, at STFC 21 (7/13/12). Losing to Joseph Tipton via split decision in his debut, Saldivar had no excuses and felt like Tipton had done enough to be announced as the winner that night. He came back stronger, beating Mark Beltran at STFC 23 (12/7/12) with a brutal bodykick that led to a TKO finish at 0:52 of the second round. At STFC 24 (02/22/13), Saldivar kept evolving as he used elbows to defeat George Powery at 1:18 of the second round. His next fight at STFC 26 (9/6/13) had a strange and unfortunate ending. While Saldivar worked towards finishing Kirk Hubble, something happened that forced Hubble to verbally submit at 2:53 of round one. It appeared to be some type of injury that led to the finish and Hubble had to be helped from the cage. While Saldivar was happy with his performance, he did feel it was a shame that Hubble got hurt and that the fight ended in this manner. His latest performance at STFC 28 (3/1/14) showed that Saldivar is a totally different fighter from when he first came into the promotion in 2012. Fighting Sonny Luque, Saldivar finished him quickly with a D’Arce choke at the 2:09 mark of the first round.
Speaking of the 209, Saldivar trained briefly at the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu gym after his win over Luque. Other than that stint, he’s trained at Ultrafit MMA in Harlingen and Cinco MMA Elite in Weslaco. Obregon has trained at Travis Lutter’s BJJ gym in Dallas.
If Saldivar wins, he can truly break out from the pack to become the face of the STFC. If he keeps improving, and working towards building a respectable resume here in South Texas, he can hopefully one day join former STFC fighters like Erik “Goyito” Perez, Frank Treviño, and Carlos Diego Ferreira in the UFC. If Saldivar loses, it’s a setback, but one that will hopefully help Saldivar grow into becoming a better, more well rounded fighter in the near-future.
The co-feature involves Melvin Jordan (3-2) taking on Rashid Abdullah (4-9) in welterweight competition. Both fighters have fought for Legacy in the past, and will be making their STFC debut.
A women’s bout between Maylene Bellino (0-0) and Yadira Anzaldua (2-3) has been inked. Anzaldua last fought in 2011 with Carla Esparza, a quality fighter who has performed in Bellator and Invicta in the past.
Amador Ramirez (4-2) returns to the STFC cage to fight against promotion newcomer Josh Montalvo (2-2) in featherweight competition. Ramirez was last seen defeating Miguel Vega at STFC 28 (3/1/14) via submission.
Luke Flores (3-0) plans to continue his three-fight winning streak, as he steps in to fight against Albert Martinez (0-4). Flores has finished every single one of his opponents since his debut in 2013.
Salvador Gonzalez (1-1) takes on Travonne Hobbs (2-2) to see who moves up the lightweight ladder. This will be Gonzalez’s third bout in the STFC. Gonzalez won his last bout via submission (triangle choke), while Hobbs won his via TKO.
Orlando Rodriguez (1-0) competes against Yail Elijio (2-2) in a lightweight bout between two fighters who have competed in the STFC in the past. Rodriguez won his last fight against Julio Villarreal, while Elijio lost his last fight to Luke Flores.
Both David Lopez and Cristobal Hernandez will be making their professional debuts in a bout contested in the STFC welterweight division.