STFC 43 is coming at you hard this coming Friday with some excellent matchups and an experience that only STFC can cultivate. The promotion is arguably the best regional promotion in Texas with constant events, excellent production and their ability to get fighters on the big stage.
Speaking of the big stage, one name that you will notice not on the fight card from the original poster is Luke Flores. After a long-awaited opportunity to fight on the biggest stage, Luke Flores will finally be able to showcase his talents in front of Dana White himself and possibly earn himself a contract. Truthfully, if you look at UFC’s current stable of fighters and Flores’ resume, there is no doubt this man should have been given an opportunity at least two years ago. Flores has been the most dominant fighter in South Texas for the past few years ever since Frank Trevino, his coach, moved up the ranks. It could even be argued that Flores has been the most dominant fighter in South Texas history(he certainly has a spot on my Mount Rushmore of Valley chingons) with his quick work of all his opponents with the exception of one that went to the judges. In hindsight, it’s a bit curious why Bellator didn’t scoop him up when he appeared on the undercard of the Bellator 143. You can catch Flores fight for a UFC contract on UFC Fight pass on Dana White’s “Tuesday Night Contender.”
Stepping in place of the original main event will be Leroy Martinez taking on Randy Villarreal. Martinez was scheduled to face Saul “El Mero Mero” Elizondo at STFC 32 but had to be removed from the card due to health issues that occurred while Elizondo was cutting weight. Martinez has that itch to let some hands go but Villarreal is a BJJ black belt so it will be intersting to see how this plays out.
Villarreal has been out of action for almost four years so ring rust could be a huge factor heading into this contest especially taking into account that Villarreal last win was in 2011. Villarreal is no stranger to the STFC cage. He has had five appearances against some great names such as DJ Fuentes, Saul Elizondo, and Jimmy Flick but has a record of 2-3 in the promotion. Martinez will be looking to make that record 2-4 come Friday. This will be Martinez seventh appearance for STFC who has quickly become one of the fan favorites of South Texas after putting together some wins. His last loss was against Elias Garcia when he stepped in as a last-minute replacement. I don’t hold that loss against him because it was on short notice against a high-caliber fighter and really isn’t indicative of Martinez career trajectory but more of his heart as a fighter. Before that loss, Martinez was riding a wave of momentum with a three fight win streak and then scored an impressive knockout win over Jeremiah Castillo after that loss.
Fabian Saldivar vs Stephen Perez (10 min NO-Gi Submission Match)
Former STFC featherweight champion recently posted on Facebook that his scheduled 3 round fight against Saul Elizondo has been scratched from the card. Saldivar stated that Elizondo sustained an injury and has pulled himself from the fight. To fill the void of the co-main event, STFC will feature for the first time a 10 min No-Gi submission match(Green Ghost doesn’t count) since a replacement opponent this close to the event is not feasible. Stepping up to the challenge Saldivar in this first ever STFC submission match will be brown belt, Stephen Perez.
Eli Rodriguez vs Gunner Coronado
In lightweight action, Saldivar’s stablemate, Eli Rodriguez, will be back in the cage this time welcoming the debuting Gunner Coronado. Rodriguez has made quite the name for himself ever since emerging to the fight scene. His fight with Peyton Burns of Austin could possibly be the best fight that has ever happened in an STFC cage. Rodriguez followed up that epic fight with a quick submission win over journeyman Jorge Cortez at STFC 41. The path to the STFC lightweight title is in sight for Rodriguez but he first must go through a game Coronado first.
The 19-year old Brownsville native who trains under Luis Vega has also made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. Since debuting in 2015 Gunner has finished all his opponents in quick fashion with a mix of TKO and submission victories. In his latest and first appearance in STFC(video below), he gave the crowd a small glimpse of what he is capable of by submitting Eric Aleman by guillotine in less than two minutes of the first round. Coronado is taking no shortcuts when it comes to his professional career as evident by his opponent. He could have taken on a journeyman to help pad his record while polishing his skills but instead signed the contract to battle one of STFC’s toughest competitors.
In other action, The Aguirre Brothers will be showcasing their ever-evolving striking game. Robert Aguirre fresh off a head-kick KO victory will be facing Robert Villalobos in a bantamweight contest. In featherweight action, Ruben Aguirre will be taking on Zachary Farrington. There will also be two amateur fights to open the show-up.
You can get tickets through your favorite fighter that is on the card, through the Mcallen Convention Center box office or Ticketmaster.
- Leroy Martinez vs Randy Villrreal (Main Event)
- Fabian Saldivar vs Stephen Perez (Submission Match)
- Eli Rodriguez vs Gunner Coronado
- Robert Villalobos vs Robert Aguirre
- Raul Ramos vs Fernando Ramirez
- Zachary Farrington vs Ruben Aguirre
- Aurelio Guerra vs Ramiro Zermeno (Amateur)
- Enrique Molina vs Ryan Childs (Amateur)