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January 3, 2012

CES Press Release--Heavyweights take center stage for CES

An awesome press release from CES which features my favorite weight class...the heavies!!

Well worth the ‘weight’

Heavyweight showdowns highlight CES MMA’s 2012 debut at Twin River

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Jan. 3, 2012) – Coming off an award-winning year in 2011, New England’s No. 1 combat sports promotion is breaking out the big guns for its 2012 debut. 

Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports – voted No. 1 among its peers by the Boston Herald – returns to the cage Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 with “Extreme Measures,” featuring two heavyweight showdowns at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.

Undefeated Eric Bedard (3-0, 1 KO) of Providence, R.I., will face former University of Connecticut standout and National Football League veteran Tyler King (3-1, 1 KO) of Norwood, Mass., while former Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) contender Josh “Heavy” Hendricks (18-8, 5 KOs) of Mansfield, Ohio, will face hard-hitting veteran Josh Diekmann (12-3, 8 KOs) of Groton, Conn.

“Whether it’s boxing or mixed martial arts, there’s nothing fight fans love more than watching two heavyweights stand toe-to-toe, and we’ve got two exciting heavyweight bouts on tap for Feb. 3rd,” Burchfield said. “This is our first show of the year, and we’ve set the bar incredibly high, so our goal, as it is every show, is to bring our loyal fans the most stacked lineup you’ll see anywhere in mixed martial arts.”

“Extreme Measures” also features two of the top-ranked fighters in the northeast as No. 1-ranked featherweight Saul Almeida (11-1) of Framingham, Mass., will battle Pawtucket, R.I., veteran Jeff Anderson (10-5, 2 KOs), and No. 1-ranked light heavyweight Greg Rebello (13-3, 7 KOs) of Providence will return to the cage for the first time since beating Cody Lightfoot at Twin River last September in one of the bloodiest battles of 2011. Pawtucket’s Pete Jeffrey (4-4, 2 KOs) will also be featured on the undercard.

The sparks will fly when Bedard faces King in the first of two heavyweight showdowns on Feb. 3. King, the No. 8-ranked heavyweight in the northeast, has accused No. 6-ranked Bedard of trying to avoid him in the past while setting unreasonable terms for potential bouts, including a catchweight of 225 pounds, which both sides have agreed to for this upcoming fight.

“We’re heavyweights. Why would we have to fight at a catchweight?” King said. “I’ve been trying to fight him for a while, but he hasn’t wanted to fight me. He’s backed out of fights before.

“I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get this fight. It just grinds my gears a little bit.”

In reference to the catchweight for the Feb. 3 bout, Bedard said it’s part of his plan to eventually fight all of his future bouts at 205 pounds – “It’s a career move,” he said – while noting that all prior requests to fight King were made on short notice.

“I knew he’d say that [I’ve been avoiding him],” Bedard said. “I was literally asked to fight him two or three days before a fight in which I had been training for somebody else. Now I’m supposed to fight a 6-foot-5 blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu? Who I’m fighting isn’t just my decision; I get told by [my manager] Tim [Gillett] who I’m fighting.

“[King] can call it ducking. On Feb. 3, we’ll step into the cage and we’ll see who’s ducking who.”

Both King and Bedard are relatively new to mixed martial arts. King’s career began in the NFL as a defensive lineman, spending parts of the 2006 season with Jacksonville, San Diego and St. Louis. An avid fan of mixed martial arts, he later worked at a loan modification company in Norwood before deciding to train at the nearby Connors MMA Training Academy as a way to “relieve stress.”

“I really started to get into it when I watched ‘The Ultimate Fighter 3’ with Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz,” King said. “I remember watching Michael Bisping fight Matt Hamill in England and thinking, ‘This is really good stuff!’

“I just love to train and compete. Some people play softball or join a recreational basketball league. I’d rather compete in the cage.”

After winning his first three fights, King lost a five-round unanimous decision to Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Randy Smith in June. King is one of several former professional football players to make the transition to mixed martial arts, including Herschel Walker, Johnnie Morton and Marcus Jones. While the results have been mixed for other NFL vets – Jones is 4-2 as a pro while Morton lost his first and only fight by knockout – King is hoping to change the perception that athletes from other sports can’t succeed in the cage.

“I take tough fights and I fight with a lot of heart,” King said. “I put it all on the line. You can say what you want about guys like Marcus Jones, but he went out there and fought his butt off.

“I have a lot of heart and a good chin. Those things have helped me, and they’ve probably covered up some of the little mistakes I make along the way.”

Bedard’s athletic background began with youth wrestling, where he won two state titles, and ended shortly thereafter. He didn’t wrestle in high school, nor did he attend college, though he spent time as a youth wrestling coach. After his weight ballooned to 305 pounds in November of 2008, Bedard decided to change his lifestyle.

“I saw pictures of myself and said, ‘That’s not me,’” he said. “I was fat, out of shape, and I looked like crap.”

Bedard began training at Gillett’s MMA in Fall River, Mass., where he learned Gillett’s PCS5 system, a simplified grappling program using five dominant positions. He showed enough promise to convince Gillett to train him for a professional bout. Three fights into his brief career, Bedard has cracked the Top 10 in the northeast rankings with wins over Brian Kononchik, Dan Grove and Marcelo Pereira, the latter which occurred at CES’ “Undisputed” show on Nov. 18.

“I’ve used it to submit a black belt [Pereira],” Bedard said, “so the system definitely works.”

The self-proclaimed “fat kid” his entire life, Bedard considers himself a stand-up fighter who has just enough experience in wrestling “to where it won’t screw me up on the ground.”

“Lay and pray is not my style,” he said. “If I get you on the ground, I will hit you and submit you.”

The second heavyweight showdown between Diekmann and Hendricks features two 35-year-old fighters with impressive resumes. Diekmann, a winner in three of his last four fights and the No. 4-ranked heavyweight in the northeast, is a former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) veteran who has also faced two UFC fighters within the past five years – Justin Eilers in 2006 and Christian Morecraft of Plymouth, Mass., in of 2009. Prior to his fight against Morecraft, Diekmann handed Plymouth’s Pat Schultz the first loss of his career via first-round knockout, and also defeated Smith in March.

During a two-year stretch between 2005 and 2007, Hendricks won 10 of 11 bouts to set up a showdown against current No. 1-ranked heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga of Ludlow, Mass., on the undercard of UFC 91 in Las Vegas. Hendricks also faced UFC veteran Chris Tuchscherer and owns victories over UFC competitors Geza Kalman and Todd Brown, in addition to an appearance at King of the Cage 34 in 2004, where he beat Jonathan Westfall by submission.

Tickets for “Extreme Measures” are $35.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 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 “Undisputed.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)

– CES –

Can't wait for this card...get your tickets early before it sells out!!

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