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January 25, 2012

CES Press Release--Teetering on the brink--

Rebello hoping to stay the course on Feb. 3 as he closes in on major payday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Jan. 25, 2012) – The last time Greg Rebello stepped inside the cage, he left covered in blood. You should’ve seen the guy who lost.

The Providence, R.I., native put a bloody end to his Sept. 9 bout against Cody Lightfoot with a sneaky, left kick to the forehead, opening a cut above Lightfoot’s eye that eventually prompted referee Kevin MacDonald to stop the fight in the second round.

“I knew he had a good chin and would be difficult to stop, so my plan was to cut him up,” Rebello said. “It worked out better than I thought it would.”

The win kept Rebello (13-3, 7 KOs) – ranked No. 1 in the northeast among light heavyweights – on the cusp of earning a lucrative bout with one of mixed martial arts’ premier organizations, a spot he hopes to hold onto Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 when he faces White Plains, N.Y., native Mike Stewart (5-3, 2 KOs) on the undercard of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Extreme Measures” show at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.
Each victory adds more pressure as Rebello works continuously to maintain a balance between focusing on the task at hand and acknowledging the importance of each fight, knowing one slip-up could knock him off the radar.

“Though it’s kind of hard not to, I don’t think about it at all, to tell you the truth,” Rebello said. “I’m just thinking about going in there and performing my best. More importantly, I’m trying to listen to what my coaches are telling me to do.”

One particular piece of advice Rebello has taken to heart is to get off to a faster start in each fight. A slow starter by nature, Rebello admits to trying to test himself at times instead of following the logical game plan; for example, he tried to out-wrestle Lightfoot – a standout, collegiate wrestler at Norwich University in Vermont – in the opening round of their showdown in September.

“I’m kind of a knucklehead like that,” he quipped.

Once the second round began, Rebello leaned back on his kickboxing ability and subsequently ended the fight in a matter of minutes, as evident by the bloody gash on Lightfoot’s forehead. To be fair, the slow starts aren’t always a byproduct of Rebello’s stubbornness; sometimes, the pattern develops in training camp.

“I’m a big believer in that you fight like you train,” he said. “I’m a relaxed guy, and I’m a lefty, too, so I’m a counter-striker. The guys I spar with like Mike Campbell andTodd Chattelle come right at you, which causes me to be slow and elusive.

“It’s the same thing at Sityodtong [in Boston]. They’re aggressive. They don’t give you a chance to set anything up or set a tone, and it’s caused me to be an elusive fighter. It’s made me more relaxed, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, in my fights, I tend to go right to that same place and wait for guys to strike first.”

Other than the familiarity with his wrestling background, Rebello is uncertain how Stewart will approach their light heavyweight showdown on Feb. 3. Stewart trains out of Bombsquad MMA in Ithica, N.Y., where current UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championships] light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones got his start.

“Mike’s a smart fighter,” Rebello said. “I’ve seen him go right after guys when he knows he can outwrestle them, and I’ve seen him fight against strikers and use his footwork to set things up. He’s got great timing and tries to get guys to commit to him.

“His approach depends on who he’s fighting. Obviously, I know his strengths and what he’s best at; he’ll always go back to his wrestling and submission game, but as far as what he’ll do [on Feb. 3], I really don’t know.”

The element of surprise won’t faze Rebello in the quest for his 13th win in 14 fights, nor will the pressure of knowing what’s at stake, along with what could loom on the horizon with another victory. He’s adopted the customary “one fight at a time” approach, yet he still has his ear to the streets; he hears the feedback, both positive and negative, and knows what’s expected of him in order to reach the top of the mountain in mixed martial arts.

“A lot of people go right after the bad things rather than focusing on the good stuff,” Rebello said. “I beat Cody, but a lot of people said, ‘Oh, he lost the first round and was losing the second round, too.’ I didn’t even get hit in that fight. I took a lot of crap after that. They wanted me to give him a rematch. They said the stoppage wasn’t fair. I mean, I put a hole in his head.

“Sometimes, the criticism is good. I’ve been criticized in the past for grinding out decisions, which is fine. I listened and said to myself, ‘They’re right.’ That goes back to me being more aggressive. The bottom line is the big organizations want to see big finishes. If I go out there thinking, ‘I can’t screw up,’ and I stall and wind up getting a decision, that doesn’t help me.”

All eyes will once again be on Rebello Feb. 3 when he faces Stewart, and some of those eyes might belong to the decision-makers who determine who gets the call to fight for one of mixed martial arts’ upper-echelon organizations.

Rebello knows they’re watching. Now it’s up to him to make it worth their while.

“I just need a couple more wins,” he said. “At this point, a lot of it has to do with being in the right place at the right time. Guys get injured, so who’s to say there won’t be a 185- or 205-pounder that won’t get hurt in the near future? As long I keep winning, it’ll happen. I just need to take it one fight at a time.”

“Extreme Measures” will be headlined by a heavyweight co-main event featuring Josh Hendricks (18-8, 5 KOs) Mansfield, Ohio, facing Josh Diekmann (12-3, 8 KOs), a Westerly, R.I., native who now lives and trains in Groton, Conn.; and Eric Bedard (3-0, 1 KO) of Providence facing Tyler King (3-1, 1 KO) of Norwood, Mass. Bedard and King are ranked No. 6 and 8 in the northeast, respectively.

“Extreme Measures” also features another top-ranked fighter in the northeast as Saul Almeida (11-1), the No. 1-ranked featherweight from Framingham, Mass., will battle Pawtucket, R.I., veteran Jeff Anderson (10-5, 2 KOs). Pawtucket’s Pete Jeffrey (4-4, 2 KOs) will fight for the first time in 15 months when he faces Lionel Young (6-9, 1 KO) of Boston in a lightweight bout.

Two fighters will make their professional debuts, including Brennan Ward of New London, Conn., facing Lowell Zangri (1-0) of Manchester, N.H.; and Joe Pingitore of Johnston, R.I., facing featherweight Pedro da Silva (1-3, 1 KO) of Lowell, Mass. Undefeated lightweight Andres Jeudi (3-0, 1 KO) of Dorchester, Mass., will face Tim O’Connell (4-3) of Wakefield, R.I.; Sean Soriano (4-0), a featherweight out of Providence, will put his unbeaten record on the line against Lee Metcalf (5-5, 2 KOs) of Rockland, Mass.; welterweight Shawn Summey (2-0, 2 KOs) of Dedham, Mass., will battle Kevin Horowitz (3-4) of Queens, N.Y.; and Andre Soukhamthath (0-1), a bantamweight from Woonsocket, R.I., will aim for his first professional win against Gilvan Santos (0-2) of Framingham.

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, 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 “Extreme Measures.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)

– CES –

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