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January 29, 2017

CES 41: Bessette v. Croom; The Fallout

CES 41: Bessette v. Croom; The Fallout!

What we've concluded from an exciting night of action at CES 41!

Travis Lizotte:
Light Heavyweight Mike Rodriguez sets the mark for the fastest Knockout in CES history with a Frontkick of Hector Sanchez.

CES kicked off its 2017 slate on Friday night with what would go down as one of the most historic fight cards in its history and quite possibly one of the most memorable fight cards in all of New England MMA to date. CES made sanctioned MMA history with its co-main event of the evening when grappling gurus; Pat Walsh (9-2) and Kevin Haley (6-3) met in the first ever sanctioned MMA fight in the Cruiserweight Division. Cruiserweight being the class between Light-Heavyweight and Heavyweight with a weight range of 206-230 pounds is much better known in the world of boxing has now made its debut in the MMA world. Walsh showed that he was the superior grappler in this one and his much larger physique made it nearly impossible for Haley to mount any kind of offensive attack leading to a second round Guillotine submission. That was not the only piece of history the CES fans had the opportunity to witness Friday night at Twin River, the third fight of the evening delivered the fastest knockout in the promotions history. Former Middleweight contender Mike Rodriguez (5-2) was looking to bounce back from a loss to the aforementioned Haley, it took Rodriguez just seven seconds and a violent front kick to dispatch Hector Sanchez (3-13) at Light-Heavyweight in the fastest knockout the CES cage has ever seen. With all the history going on Friday night, here are some of the most memorable moments I took from Friday night’s fight card:

Kris Moutinho is one of the fastest rising Bantamweight fighters in the region currently. Since his last loss, which came as an Amateur, more than two years ago, against highly regarded Manny Bermudez (8-0) Moutinho has reeled off five straight wins, including three straight to kick off his professional career. Following two decision victories to start his pro campaign, Kris was looking for a statement victory to solidify his rising star status and he did exactly what he set out to do Friday night. Moutinho used a perfectly placed high kick to the jaw of Ohio’s Jason Rine (0-2) that put Rine’s lights out just ten seconds into their Bantamweight contest. All three of Kris’ professional wins have come under the CES banner and he continues to face tough competition fight after fight including what was a pretty one sided decision last time out against New York's Mike Karam at CES 40. The CES Matchmakers will have to do their homework with his next matchup, but in my opinion Moutinho deserves a top name in the Bantamweight division in his next contest, a win against another top contender should give him the opportunity to solidify his name as one of the Northeast’s most Badass 135ers. Also, at just 24 years of age, Kris could find himself gaining National attention before years end!
Bantamweight Kris Moutinho; Post Fight

Greg Rebello continues to show that he is the class of the Northeast in the Heavyweight Division. Greg shows time and time again that he has no problem standing across the cage from some of the baddest men in the Heavyweight division both regionally and nationally, with recent wins against the likes of Keith Bell, Tyler King and Mike Mucitelli. “Ribz” took to the cage Friday night with intentions of bouncing back from a submission loss to Ashley Gooch for the CES Heavyweight title. The fans found out very quickly Friday night that "Ribz" was going to make good on those intentions and that they were indeed bad intentions. Greg used a high volume of technical striking to dismantle Minnesota’s Danyelle Williams (8-5-1), who has been known to be a finisher in his own right. Williams showed that he could match Rebello’s power but could not account for the sheer volume of strikes in Greg’s arsenal. Rebello dropped Williams in just a tic under the three minute mark of the very first round in a victory that I believe should put him right back in the Heavyweight title picture. Rebello who is a veteran of 28 professional contests has been caught from time to time in his career but has more often than not shown when he is on his game, he is without a doubt atop of the Northeast’s Heavyweight division and more than worthy of another shot at the belt.

Kody Nordby has shown that he belongs in the discussion of top Northeast Bantamweights, which makes a possible move to Flyweight a scary thought for the Northeast’s top 125ers. The “Norwegian Assassin” has shown throughout his 12 fight professional career that he has the ability to out-wrestle anyone who is locked inside the cage with him. Illinios’ David Garcia’s lengthy frame gave Nordby some trouble early but Kody’s powerful wrestling proved to be too much for Garcia to handle. Kody used impactful takedowns including an impressive suplex to lead to a second round Ten Finger Guillotine choke victory against Garcia Friday. During the television interview following the second round submission, Nordby was asked “what was next for him?” his answer was one that put an entire new weight class on watch; “I’m going down to 125” replied the victorious Nordby. Nordby has already shown that his wrestling and strength is second to no one in the Bantamweight division, a move down to the Flyweight division could turn the entire 125 roster on its head. Kody has to have made himself an immediate favorite for a Flyweight title fight in his next fight or two. Nordby told me after his announcement that he and the DellaGrotte camp see; “the Flyweight division as his best ticket to his dream of fighting in the UFC.” If Kody can keep up his winning ways in the Flyweight Division, those dreams could come true sooner than later. 
Kody "The Norweign Assassin" Nordby; Post Fight.

Matt “The Mangler” Bessette verse Kevin “The Hard Hitting Hillbilly” Croom for Bessette’s Featherweight Title, is my early favorite for Fight/Knockout of the year. CES Fan Favorite Matt Bessette (20-7) called out Albuquerque’s Kevin Croom (17-7) after winning the CES Featherweight title at CES 37 against Joe Pingatore. Croom was not surprised to hear that Bessette had called him out, saying that Bessette has been on his radar for some time now. The battle tested Croom vowed to be one of Bessette’s toughest matchups to date, a moniker which “The Hard Hitting Hillbilly” definitely displayed. Bessette, however, was defending his home turf and made a vow of his own when he said he would “Not leave Twin River Casino” without his belt. In the first round Croom proved that he belonged in the cage with the champ; using heavy pressure on the cage and some nice counter strikes to in my estimation win the first round of what was scheduled to be a five round fight. Bessette came off the stool in the second round with a different look in his eye, clearly hurting Croom early in the round and opening a nasty cut around Croom’s left eye that required doctor’s attention between the second and third rounds, Bessette verbally requested for the doctors to let Croom continue to battle into the third round. Although Bessette was obviously getting the better of Croom, Croom never stopped coming forward showing his willingness to push the pace and put on a show. At the beginning of the third round Matt delivered a textbook knee to the body followed with a clean headkick and a barrage of punches that finally caused Kevin’s legs to fail him. Croom collapsed into the fence with his hands down and was saved from any further punishment when referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in and stopped the fight at 32 seconds of the third round. Both of the fighters had lived up to their word; Croom proved to be the tough opponent he had promised, showing that his heart can never be questioned and his chin is made of granite. Bessette proved that he is a true Champion, surviving a tough first round and letting his stylish striking speak for itself successfully defending his home turf in the CES cage much to the delight of the packed house at Twin River Casino.     
And Still; Featherweight Champion Matt "The Mangler" Bessette.
Kevin "The Hard Hitting Hillbilly" Croom; Post Fight.