STFC returns with a big “7-Year Anniversary” card at the McAllen Convention Center. STFC 33 will be the promotion’s first event in 2015, and it will feature two great championship showdowns. In the co-main event, Luke Flores (3-0) of Mission will be taking on Victor Martinez (4-2) of Pharr for the vacant STFC Texas lightweight title. In the main event, Santa Rosa’s Fabian Anthony Saldivar (5-1) will defend his STFC Texas featherweight crown against Saltillo, Mexico’s Eduardo Bustillos (4-0).
Saldivar will be making his sixth appearance in the STFC promotion with this title defense. He has only ever fought in the STFC during his mixed martial arts career. In his promotional debut at STFC 21 (7/13/12), Saldivar lost to Joseph Tipton via split decision. Saldivar bounced back by defeating Mark Beltran at STFC 23 (12/7/12) with the aid of a nasty bodykick that secured the TKO win for him at 0:52 of the second round. Saldivar racked up another finish via strikes when he used his elbows to beat George Powery at 1:18 of the second round at STFC 24 (2/22/13). At STFC 23 (9/6/13), while on Kirk Hubble’s back, something happened that forced Hubble to verbally submit at 2:53 of the first round. It appears like it was an injury that led to that submission victory. His second submission in a row came at STFC 28 (3/1/14) when he finished Sonny Luque via D’Arce choke at 2:09 of the first round.
His latest, and biggest win came at STFC 31 (9/5/14). Fighting against STFC Texas featherweight champion Javier Obregon, Saldivar got hurt in the second round. He came back strong within that same frame, and managed to finish on top, going for an armbar. He kept the momentum going until he forced Obregon to submit to a rear-naked choke at 1:13 of the fourth round. It’s his third submission in a row.
Bustillos will be making his fifth STFC appearance with this title shot. None of the professional fights he has had have gone to the third round. His promotional debut was at STFC 25 (5/24/13), where he beat Manny Soria via submission by guillotine choke at 2:26 of the first round. He returned at STFC 27 (11/1/13) and STFC 29 (5/16/14) where he won with a pair of rear-naked chokes against George Powery and Raul Ramos, at 2:14 of the first round, and 1:07 of the second round, respectively. His most recent win came at STFC 32 (11/7/14), when he ran through Fabiano Rodrigues, defeating him via TKO at 2:38 of the first round.
How will Saldivar handle the aggression that Bustillos brings to the table? Will Bustillos be good to go if the fight goes past the third round? Should be exciting to watch, and see what unfolds.
Martinez first stepped inside the STFC cage at STFC 18 (11/11/11), coming up short against Agapito Perez, losing via TKO at 2:07 in the second round. He suffered his second, and last loss at a UWF event (5/26/12) when he was submitted by Sonny Luque by guillotine choke at 2:49 of the second round. He has come back strong since those losses in 2011 and 2012, and is currently riding a four fight win streak. It started with a pair of TKO wins against Juan Piña at STFC 26 (9/6/13) and Michael Lytle at STFC 27 (11/1/13), in the 1:59 mark in the second and third round, respectively. He went the distance with Mike Bustos, winning via unanimous decision at STFC 29 (5/16/14). At STFC 32 (11/7/14), he TKO’d Delis “Cuba” Borges at 2:10 of the first round.
Flores has yet to have a fight go past two minutes. His first appearance in the STFC was at STFC 27 (11/1/13) when he beat Yail Elijio by TKO in only 12 seconds. He fought at a Best of the Best/Hero FC card (2/1/14), beating Justin Salinas via knee bar submission at 1:59 of the first round. He choked out George Powery at STFC 28 (3/1/14) in only 17 seconds.
Seeing how both fighters love to finish, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a short, but spectacular fight on Friday. It could very well end quickly, with a wild KO or submission.
We will have a second article tomorrow covering the undercard, along with an exclusive interview with Fabian Saldivar.