Although the card is titled FC 28, this is really the second card by the new iteration of the promotion. With the backing of CBS Sports Network, and a business plan that seems to focus on attracting eyeballs based on established names rather than building new ones, Titan is certainly going in a different direction than most other “regional” promotions. Titan FC 28 is the perfect example. In the six fights that will be aired on CBS Sports Network on Friday night, nine of the twelve competitors will be UFC veterans, with two of those remaining being Bellator vets. The only fighter who will be unfamiliar to North American MMA fans is probably the best prospect on the card, Gleristone Santos. The main event was originally intended to feature Jason Brilz (21-5-1) taking on Vinny Magalhaes, but like just about every main event in the past few months, that bout fell apart when Magalhaes suffered a staph infection. In his place, Raphael Davis (13-2) steps in to create a fight which is actually quite closely matched. Both fighters have the ability to stop fights with their strikes or submissions, but Brilz is certainly more accomplished against high-level fighters, so being in the spotlight may seem more at home to him. In a somewhat improbable heavyweight bout, Dave Herman (21-6) meets former UFC middleweight Kalib Starnes (16-8-1). Herman was cut from the UFC after four consecutive losses, and this is his first fight since that last defeat — which took place nearly a year ago. Starnes has been a bit up-and-down since being cut from the UFC back in 2008 following his infamous performance in the Nate Quarry fight. He’s gone 8-5 since that time, with the only losses coming to current or former UFC fighters. Starnes seems to have turned a corner lately however, winning four straight (three by TKO), including a victory over Tim Hague. Another heavyweight contest on the card features D.J. Linderman (15-7) and Walt Harris (5-3). Both fighters are on two-fight losing streaks and desperately need to get back on track. It’s still hard to know what to make of Harris as a fighter, since aside from two of his three losses going to decision, all of his fights have ended so quickly. Linderman has always been a fighter who has been tough to put away, so this could be the fight where we find out if Harris has more than an early KO in him. Another pair of UFC veterans square off in the welterweight division, as Brock Jardine (9-3) looks to end his two-fight skid against Daniel Roberts (14-5), who was last seen headlining War MMA 1 in a losing effort to Justin Baesman. That appearance was just under a year ago, while Jardine’s last bout was succumbing to a submission of the year candidate from Kenny Robertson last February. With the extended layoffs for both, it’s almost impossible to know how this one will play out. A bit of a change of pace on this card, welterweights Brian Foster (21-6) and Gilbert Smith (8-2) are both coming into this bout on three-fight winning streaks. Foster has always been an exciting fighter — having never gone to the scorecards — and would likely still have a roster spot in the UFC if it weren’t for a brain hemorrhage that resulted in him being released and taking a year away from the sport. There was also a ruptured testicle mixed in there as well. Smith has been undefeated since dropping down to welterweight, and is able to put his smothering grappling to good use at the weight. This clash of styles will be an intriguing one to watch. Kicking off the main card, Alvin Robinson (13-7) has the type of record which points to exactly what he does and how well he does it. He has 12 of his 13 victories by submission, but also six of seven defeats in the same manner. Against lesser competition, he’s going to take your back and submit you, against good competition he’s going to find a way to get submitted (or tap to punches, which he’s done twice). This fight is all about seeing how good Gleristone Santos (25-4) is. With it being the prospect’s first bout outside of Brazil, Titan FC gave him a solid, but not particularly difficult litmus test. All that’s left to see is if he’ll pass. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Titan FC 28 today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (CBS Sports Network, 9pm ET) Jason Brilz -160 Raphael Davis +120 Dave Herman -265 Kalib Starnes +185 D.J. Linderman -150 Walt Harris +110 Daniel Roberts -165 Brock Jardine +125 Brian Foster -260 Gilbert Smith +180 Gleristone Santos -315 Alvin Robinson +235 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: This is a bit of a tricky card to bet since so many of these fighters have been out of action for extended periods of time, fighting lesser competition, or just showing poor form, but I’ll give you what cogent thoughts I can anyways. I feel like this is a dog or pass type of fight. Jason Brilz is the bigger name and has fought the better competition, but he’s also 38 and never had a particularly good chin. He might be able to control this fight with his wrestling, but Davis has a solid ground game, has improved his striking greatly and is the less beaten up of the two fighters. A few big concerns about betting Davis would be his generally inactive schedule and the fact that he’s also 37. To me, it’s a pass unless we see the public take another line way higher than it should be. Even though Starnes is going to be at a huge size disadvantage here, I’m actually leaning towards him if I bet anything in this fight, as we all know it only takes one shot to put Herman away, and he’s terrible defensively. Still, Herman will be bigger, he’ll likely be faster too. He’s the better wrestler and better offensive striker. Of course, that all goes out the window because he’s Dave Herman and he blows fights he has no business losing. Probably another pass, but I really want to fade Herman. Another fighter who could be worth a fade is Walt Harris. As I said earlier, he’s never proven that he’s got more than a few minutes to finish a fight, and D.J. Linderman is a very difficult fighter to finish. It’s possible that Harris ends things early, but the more likely scenario is that Linderman takes over in the second and third rounds to take a victory. At a pick em price or better, this could be a play. The Roberts/Jardine fight could play out in similar fashion. Roberts has an excellent submission game in the first round (9 of 14 wins in the first), but fades badly after that. The difference is that I feel Roberts has a better chance of landing that early sub than Harris has of getting the early KO. Jardine has been outgrappled in his past two fights, and even though Roberts doesn’t have the overall skills of Rick Story or Kenny Robertson, he does have the skills to replicate some of the success those two had. Gilbert Smith is very much in the Kevin Casey mold of continuously being disrespected because he gassed during some of his UFC appearances. He has dropped a weight class and improved his cardio since being cut, and his wrestling could prove a useful asset against Brian Foster, who has historically fought with a kill-or-be-killed type mentality. I think we may see Foster go to decision for the first time here, as Smith will likely have to survive the onslaught in the first round, and may not have the energy to finish in the 2nd or 3rd. I’m hoping that Smith doesn’t get much respect again in this fight, because he could repeat the type of performance he had against Jason South in his last bout. I’m interested to see how Gleristone Santos looks outside of Brazil, and against an opponent who will offer a decent measuring stick. The Brazilian will have a significant striking advantage over Alvin Robinson, and the grappling should be fairly even. I think the price is a bit high given how unproven Santos is, but I fully expect him to come through in this spot.