PUEBLO * The only problem with Jordan Titoni’s performance Saturday night was he couldn’t land the finish.
But it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Other than that, the Pine Creek graduate was nearly flawless in winning a unanimous decision over Jake Mendez in a featherweight rematch bout on Saturday at Massari Arena in Pueblo at Rubicon V, put on by Top Shelf Entertainment.
Titoni, a state runner-up in the 2006 Colorado high school wrestling tournament, is on his first win streak as a pro and the first since sandwiching an amateur win over Mendez between wins over Marco Ambriz and Allen Washington from 2014 to 2015.
“It’s been three years since I got a win streak,” said Titoni. “It’s extremely gratifying. The amount of work that goes into this, when it pays off two fights in a row like that you see the hard work and you see it all coming to fruition. There’s no better feeling.”
Titoni’s first takedown led to him landing a number of elbows both to Mendez’s head and side.
Titoni submitted Mendez in the first round in an amateur bout in 2014. The fact that Mendez (1-3) wanted a rematch rubbed Titoni the wrong way.
“I honestly take it as a little bit of an insult that he thinks he's gotten that much better that he can beat me now,” he told The Gazette before the fight.
Titoni, a crowd favorite after growing up in Pueblo, nearly pulled off a couple of armbars. He tried a kimura. He almost had a rear naked choke. He went to the ground and pound multiple times en route to his second consecutive victory.
“A couple things seemed like they were right there,” he said. “But he did just the right thing at just the right time and wriggled out.”
Mendez’s best chances came in the third round when he landed a couple of big shots. But Titoni immediately shot in and scored another take down, then dominated on top. He also slipped an attempt by Mendez to gain the back and reversed it to gain control.
“I feel like he didn’t do a single thing to me the whole fight,” Titoni said. “I beat him up on the ground for two rounds. Third round we kind of exchanged a little bit at the beginning, and I felt I got the better of that too.
“… I really wanted to finish him again to show him he’s not in my league.”
Titoni said the win streak opens up more opportunities in terms of opponents to face. One he’d like to face was in the cage as a coach on Saturday, Andrew Tenneson, Titoni’s last loss. That’s a rematch he definitely wants.
“I dream about that every day,” Titoni said. “He’s a tough opponent. I really like the guy, but I think I can beat him. I know I can beat him.”
And how to celebrate Saturday’s win?
“It’s my father’s birthday tomorrow (Sunday),” he said. “We’ll eat pasta and maybe I’ll dip out to the (Pueblo) reservoir. I brought my diving gear.”