As September 17th nears, the Goatshed Academy looks to put on another show for the Titan FC fans at Titan FC 72 in Miami.
Over the last year and change, the Goatshed has been one of the most successful gyms not only at Titan FC events, but worldwide. They may be known for the virality of their social media, but the quality of martial artists training at the gym is beyond high level. Head coach, Asim Zaidi, has brought in fighters from around the world and evolved them into future world champions. Not only is the Goatshed successful, but they are rarely, if ever, in boring fights. The gyms motto is make big promises and over deliver and it’s safe to say they've lived up to that well.
At Titan FC 71 last month, five members of the Goatshed strapped on the Titan FC gloves and put on a show for the fans. It started with dominant grappler, Sean Mora (2-0), putting on a wrestling clinic and earning a unanimous decision win. Then Gus Villamil (3-2) made his return to the cage and left it all on the line in a tough, entertaining scrap. Adrian Garcia (5-1), who is known to be one of the most improved members of the gym, was the third goat to step in the cage on August 6th. He, as well, put on a grappling clinic and earned the biggest win of his career. Richie Lewis (2-0) was the gyms fourth member on the card and absolutely brought the fireworks. He finished his opponent by TKO in the second round in what was most likely fight of the night. Lastly, captain of the Goatshed, Ryan Kuse (4-0), dominated a high level opponent finishing him late in the second round as well. This Friday at Titan FC 72, four Goatshed members will make their return to the Titan FC cage.
Ryan "Third Street Savage" Kuse (4-0)
Ryan Kuse is set to put on that trademarked ski mask and make his fourth walk to the Titan FC cage on Friday night. As the captain of the Goatshed, Kuse is asked a lot and over delivers every opportunity he gets. The 27-year-old is one of the most highly touted bantamweight prospects in all of MMA. In his four pro bouts he has three wins by way of TKO and has never lost a round in his career. There are very few weaknesses in Kuse's game; he's a versatile striker who pushes the pace and can also grapple at a considerably high level.
Kuse is generally a big, rangy bantamweight who manages distance very well. His jab is crisp and his kicks are insanely underrated. His front and teap kicks are crafty and his high kick is sneaky. The best part of Kuse's game is his grappling. He has out grappled everyone put in front of him and is known for mastering the Goatshed's "Smesh Grappling" techniques. Kuse will put you on your back, find his way to full mount and lay down strikes or force you to give up your back. Without a doubt you will see the “Third Street Savage” in a big organization relatively soon at this rate.
Kuse is taking on 13-fight veteran, Rob Fuller, on Friday night. As a fan favorite, Kuse will look to blow the roof off of the InterContinental Hotel in spectacular fashion at Titan FC 72.
Roy "The Unbroken" Echeverria (5-0)
Roy Echeverria is one of the most intriguing fighters on the planet right now. The undefeated flyweight prospect is a finisher who always puts on a show for the fans. This will be his sixth fight in a calendar year and he has yet to disappoint. In his first five fights, all with Titan FC, he has four first round finishes. In his last bout at Titan FC 70, he finished his opponent with a spinning heel kick. The 26-year-old Venezuelan, is arguably the best prospect on the Titan FC roster, along with Ryan Kuse. He grew up with martial arts in his blood, as his father is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and has dominated the fight game his entire career.
Echeverria is a problem on the feet for any flyweight on the regional scene; not only will he out box them, but he isn't afraid to mix in kicks or knees as well. Some of his best attributes are his patience, his fight IQ and his awareness. He picks his strikes and waits for an opening. I wouldn't test his grappling either because he's shown he can out grapple grapplers. He also is known for being one of the biggest gym rats at the Goatshed. This camp he did some training at Team Alpha Male as well. Alongside the entire Goatshed team, he spends time training with fellow Venezuelan and UFC featherweight, Omar Morales.
Echeverria has all the skills to be one of the best in the world at his weight class one day. It’s inevitable that he will be on the big stage soon however, it all starts with another statement win this weekend.
Jarret "Too Solid" Betancourt (2-0)
Broward County's own, Jarret Betancourt, is a force to be reckoned with. It's safe to say the 23-year-old is a walking highlight reel. In his two pro bouts he has two first-round finishes, a submission and a clean one punch knockout. In fact, his total cage time is 4:17, it's safe to say he doesn't get paid by the hour. Betancourt is a sniper on the feet, he will look for an opening and attack when he finds one.
The young prospect has the power to put any flyweights lights out with one punch. However, in his last bout he proved he can do just as well on the ground as he does on the feet. He performed his own variation of "Smesh Grappling" as he took down his opponent, patiently passed to mount, rained down strikes, took his back and choked him out. Betancourt's movement is something that most opponents will struggle with as well.
With the skillset he has, it's obvious he can be something special. It's Drilla season in Miami as he makes his third walk to the Titan FC cage to take on pro MMA debutant, Robert Presley, this Friday night.
Angel Alvarez (2-0)
The 10-time Cuban Judo national champion will make his third strut to the Titan FC cage this weekend. Alvarez is a blast to watch fight; his isn't afraid to stand and bang however, he tosses his opponents across the cage when he feels like it. He is a true showman and absolutely a fan favorite as he likes to talk to his opponents during the fight. In his last bout he fought a tough opponent, in James Hay, and dominated his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Grappling and Judo are obviously Alvarez's bread and butter, but his athleticism is something that should get more recognition. He is beyond just a grappler, his kickboxing is high level and his power is scary. Alvarez is a showman, he can throw flashy strikes including spinning and leaping kicks. His explosiveness might be his best attribute, aside from his Judo. Alvarez is a problem wherever the fight goes for any just about any regional lightweight prospect on the planet. He gets compared to Yoel Romero because of his athleticism, explosiveness and grappling prowess.
It’s not a bad bet at all to say Cuba might have its next superstar in Angel Alvarez. At 2-0, he has such a bright future ahead and it all starts this weekend against Xavier Graham.
By Coby Weinsier