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April 11, 2012

CES Press Release--Time’s on his side

Healthy, rested Jeffrey looking to unleash Friday night against Moraza-Pollard

LINCOLN, R.I. (April 11, 2012) – The last time Keith Jeffrey fought, he was still dealing with the remnants of an ill-timed stomach bug that left him physically drained and tentative to push the pace in fear of wasting all his energy too early.

He still won.

Five months later, he’s fully healthy and finally ready to showcase his true talent Friday, April 13th, 2012 when he faces dangerous striker Chip Moraza-Pollard (6-3-1) on the undercard of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ mixed martial arts show, “Never Surrender,” at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.

“I didn’t feel like it was me out there,” said the Pawtucket, R.I., welterweight in reference to his Nov. 18 win over Kevin Horowitz. “I found myself out of whack and it really put a damper on the way I felt that night.

“This time, everything is going much smoother. I’m excited about putting on a show for the fans.”

Though he feels much stronger physically, Jeffrey (6-2-1) will still have to account for the significant increase in the quality of his opponent Friday night.

Moraza-Pollard (6-3, 4 KOs), a powerful striker from Plymouth, Mass., has only been stretched to three rounds twice in his career and has fought on various noteworthy promotions, including Reality Fighting and King Of The Cage. This appears to be a contrast in styles considering Jeffrey’s exceptional ground game, but both fighters are preparing for the element of surprise while adhering to the strategy and principles that have carried them throughout their careers.

“He might try to strike,” Moraza-Pollard said, “but at some point, I’m expecting to defend takedowns – same as every fight. If it were up to me, we wouldn’t touch the ground. My opponents always want to take me out of my element, but I’m no slouch on the ground. You guys haven’t seen it because I haven’t had a chance to show it off, but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve if it goes there.”

“I know he really doesn’t want to go to the ground with me,” Jeffrey countered. “Most people see this as a grappler versus a striker, but I’m confident with my hands and kicks. I’m confident no matter where the fight goes.”

Jeffrey trains at Tri-Force MMA in Pawtucket, which he and his brother, Pete Jeffrey, started several years ago in a vacant space inside of Manfredo’s Gym and have built into the premier mixed martial arts training facility in the northeast. He’s been working exclusively with Muay Thai coach William Soukhamthath, the father of Woonsocket, R.I., bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath, and David Keefe, the former trainer of undefeated Providence, R.I., middleweight boxer Demetrius Andrade.

“We’ve got a great squad underneath us,” Jeffrey said. “These guys have me focused. Honestly, it’s a group effort. Even though it’s just you inside that cage, if you don’t have the right people behind you, you won’t go anywhere.

“I’m excited to test myself.”

Moraza-Pollard, ranked No. 8 among welterweights in the northeast, is also relishing the opportunity to climb the ladder against a quality opponent, particularly after losing to New Jersey’s Greg Soto via submission in December. He actually had offers to fight on other shows this month, but chose Friday’s undercard after witnessing the atmosphere at Twin River while cheering on Providence native Greg Rebello in February.

“I was really impressed with the show,” Moraza-Pollard said. “They have a great setup.”

Now “The Surgeon,” a self-professed “student of the game,” will have an opportunity to win over a new audience Friday in front of what will likely be a pro-Jeffrey crowd.

“I learn a little bit every single fight. No matter how good you are, you can always get better,” Moraza-Pollard said.

“Since I was five or six, I’ve been training in mixed martial arts, and even back then, without anyone telling me to do so, I used to sit down while others were competing and watch all the other kids so I could pick up on what they do and then pick them apart when I fought them. My teacher called me a surgeon, and so I decided I might as well stick with the nickname that applies to me the best.”

Jeffrey’s goal is to defend his home turf and take another step toward the top of the welterweight division. This time, he has his health – and endurance – on his side.

“I’m ready to go,” Jeffrey said. “I’m not worried about gassing out or anything like that anymore. Whoever dictates the pace of this fight will have the edge, and that’s what I’m looking to do.”

“Never Surrender” also features the ground-breaking, five-round main event between Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight and CES MMA champion Todd “The Hulk” Chattelle and former Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) veteran John “Doomsday” Howard.

Tickets are $35.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesmma.comor, 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.

The undercard also features a dynamic light heavyweight showdown between two of the Top 3 fighters in the northeast, No. 1-rankedMike Stewart (6-3, 2 KOs) of White Plains, N.Y., and No. 3-ranked Cody Lightfoot (6-2, 4 KOs) of Somersworth, N.H.

Pawtucket lightweight Tom Evans (2-0, 1 KO) will battle Dominic Warr (1-2) of Maynard, Mass., and middleweight Brennan Ward (1-0, 1 KO) of Providence, a former Johnson & Wales University wrestling standout, will face his toughest test to date against unbeaten Amsterdam, N.Y., veteran Harley Beekman (4-0, 2 KOs).

Pete Jeffrey (5-4, 2 KOs) of Pawtucket will face Lucas Cruz (3-0) of Boston in a lightweight bout. The undercard also includes a battle between 175-pounders Abe Pitrowski (5-1, 2 KOs) of Pawtucket and Brett Oteri (8-3, 1 KO) of Dedham, Mass.; and Zach Costello (1-0) of Scituate, Mass., will face Leon Davis (1-0) of Springfield, Mass., in a welterweight bout.

Bantamweight Dinis Paiva Jr. (1-2) of East Providence, R.I., will take on Boston newcomer Sergio Cabrara and Carlos Rivera (1-3, 1 KO) of Meriden, Conn., will battle Bob Burton (1-1) of Brockton, Mass., at a catch weight of 195 pounds. For more information,

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Never Surrender.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance).

– CES –

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