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June 2, 2011

Yet Another CES Press Release


Parting shots

Karalexis, Howard brimming with confidence as main-event showdown nears

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 2, 2011) – Neither Alex Karalexis or Tiawan Howard will make a prediction on the outcome of their showdown Friday, June 10th, 2011 at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I., except for the obvious.

“No matter what, both of us are going to get beat up,” Karalexis said. “He brings it and I bring it.”

Fighting for the first time since April of 2010 – and for the first time since signing a promotional agreement with Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports – Karalexis (10-5, 5 KOs) will face Howard (8-7, 3 KOs) in the welterweight main event of CES’ “Nowhere To Hide” cage fighting show.

June 10th is also a homecoming of sorts for Karalexis, a Boston native and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) contender, who hasn’t fought in New England since beating Josh Lydell in New Hampshire in 2006. More importantly, next week’s showdown against Howard marks Karalexis’ long-awaited return to the 170-pound division, where he built an 8-2 record before losing three of his next five fights in the 155-pound (lightweight) weight class while making the transition to the WEC.

A successful CES debut next Friday could be the launching point for Karalexis’ comeback. For good measure, he’ll have former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in his corner; he and Liddell met during Karalexis’ appearance on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television series in 2005.

“I’m excited to get back in that cage again,” Karalexis said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve fought. I even contemplated retiring, but now I know not retiring is the best decision I ever made.

“Taking time off is the best thing I could’ve done for my career. I was always chasing injuries and trying to come back too soon. I was cutting weight down to [155 pounds]. Everything kind of snowballed and things got out of control real fast. Now I’ve moved back to Boston full-time and I have peace of mind. I’ve set my priorities. I actually enjoy going to the gym again. I’m excited to have even more opportunities like this in the future.”

A Cleveland native with a strong background in mixed martial arts, Howard might have just enough savvy and determination to spoil Karalexis’ CES debut. Although five of his eight wins have come by submission, Howard says that’s a by-product of his strong stand-up game, which leaves his opponents with no alternative other than to take the fight to the ground to avoid getting knocked out.

“Calling me a grappler, I take that as a compliment,” Howard said. “I’ve got one win as a pro kickboxer and I’m 25-4 as an amateur. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I actually didn’t start grappling until about five years ago. The reason so many of my wins are by submission is because when I strike, my opponents usually take me down. I actually like to stand up and bang.”

Howard also tried to trade blows with Providence, R.I., native Greg Rebello in their match-up on Dec. 2, 2010 at Twin River, a fight Howard lost by unanimous decision.

“I didn’t take it to the ground – Greg did,” Howard said. “He didn’t want any part of the striking.”

Unlike previous opponents, Karalexis will be more than willing to stand toe-to-toe with Howard. Five of Karalexis’ 10 wins have come by knockout and he’s rightfully proud of his stand-up ability – “I can knock out anybody,” he said after signing with CES in March – a trademark that took center-stage when he demolished Josh Rafferty 1 minute, 40 seconds into the opening round of their “The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale” showdown six years ago.

With such notoriety – both positive and negative – Karalexis will undoubtedly become the target of both veterans and up-and-comers looking to derail his potential return to the sport’s biggest stage, a challenge he welcomes with open arms.

“I should have a target,” he said. “It’s not very often a guy that’s fought at this level comes around here. I have no problem with that. I have no problem stepping in there with anybody. The thing I have a problem with is all the guys who ran their mouths when they knew I was under contract with the UFC. Let’s see how tough they are.”

Other than the realization that both fighters will likely be sore the following morning, Karalexis is simply predicting a tough fight against a quality veteran eyeing an upset victory in his backyard. Howard considers it equally “foolish” to predict the outcome of next week’s match-up, though he’s certainly not expecting to lose.

“MMA is like the NFL,” Howard said. “On any given Sunday, a team can win or lose. That’s how MMA is. I’m going to fight my [butt] off and bring everything I can bring to the table. This is not the first big name I’ve fought, and I’m not traveling all the way across the country to be someone’s stepping stone.”

Added Karalexis: “He’s not coming here to throw in the towel, and I’ve never taken fights like that. I never will. I have a reputation to uphold, and he fits the mold.”

Alexandre “Vaca” Moreno (11-2, 10 submissions) of Manchester, N.H./Team Link will face Roger “The Leprechaun” Carroll (10-3, 10 submissions) of Claremont, N.C., in the middleweight co-feature, while Cody “The Wolverine” Stevens (8-1, 2 KOs) of Mansfield, Ohio will face highly-regarded Brazilian grappler and Framingham, Mass., veteran Saul “The Spider” Almeida(8-1) at a catch weight of 157 pounds on the undercard of “Nowhere To Hide.”

Also joining the undercard is former “The Ultimate Fighter: Season 12” competitor and Strikeforce veteran Marc Stevens (13-6, 6 KOs) of Lorraine, N.Y., in a lightweight bout against Abe “Thumper” Pitrowski (5-0, 1 KO) of Pawtucket, R.I./Tim Burrill Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Providing even more local flair, Damien Trites (5-4, 1 KO) of Allston, Mass., will face Jeff “Candyman” Anderson (8-4, 2 KOs), a Lincoln native out of B+F Boxing, in a welterweight bout.

Also on the card, light heavyweight Dan McGuane (2-0) of Lincoln will fight Fall River, Mass., native Kenny Hazzard (2-3, 2 KOs); Ralph Johnson (4-3, 3 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., will face welterweight Tim O’Connell (3-3, 3 KOs); and Dinis Paiva Jr. of East Providence, R.I., will make his professional debut against Springfield, Mass., lightweight Jon Marcheterre (0-1). All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets for “Nowhere To Hide” are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $200.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at or, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Nowhere To Hide.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)

– CES –

The Artist was so excited about covering this event for you guys he was ready to go this weekend!!!  He promises to get some photos of Chuck Liddell and stay tuned for our newest WMASSMMA member, who is going to write us an awesome review of the CES for us all!!