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July 24, 2014

Gonzalez withdraws, forcing Rosa to prepare for new opponent at CES MMA XXV

[CES Press Release]

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 24th, 2014) -- With Nick Gonzalez forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against featherweight Charles Rosa due to injury, Rosa has resorted to Plan B, preparing for a dangerous wrestler instead of a slick boxer.

The undefeated Rosa (8-0, 3 KOs) will now face Springfield, Ill., vet Jake Constant (5-4, 2 KOs) Friday, Aug. 8th, 2014 at Twin River Casino on the main card of "CES MMA XXV" live on AXS TV.

Constant brings an entirely different skill set to the table. A former high school All-American and Division II collegiate wrestler at McKendree University in Illinois, the 5-foot-7 Constant may be more inclined to take the fight to the canvas, unlike Gonzalez, a 30-fight veteran with additional experience as a professional boxer.

"Tough kid, but I don't think he's as skilled as Gonzalez," said Rosa, a Peabody, Mass., native now living and training in Delray Beach, Fla., at American Top Team. "Either way, I'll be ready for him. I'm training for this fight as if it were a [Ultimate Fighting Championships] fight. I'm ready for anybody."

Though he's more commonly lauded for his wrestling background, Constant won his last fight by knockout 24 seconds into the opening round, stopping Gustavo Rodriguez in April. He jumped at the opportunity to face an undefeated prospect on national television, a fight that could help launch his own career.

"Show up, blow up," Constant said. "You don't get an opportunity like this every day. I've been around long enough to know any opportunity to improve where you're at in this sport is something you need to grab hold of. I immediately said yes.

"Charles is a tough kid, but so am I. I'm excited to se if I can come here and add a loss to his record."

Constant trains out of The Kennel Fight Club in Springfield, also the home of light heavyweight Corey Anderson, who recently won Season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter.

To help prepare himself for the new game plan, Rosa has already confided in a few of his teammates in Florida who are originally from Illinois and have seen Constant fight. He's also spending more time working with his wrestling coach Mike Brown, a five-time UFC vet born and raised in Portland, Maine, who wrestled collegiately at Norwich University in Vermont.

"I actually hope he tries to wrestle with me. He'll be in trouble," Rosa said of Constant. "I'm a brown belt in jiu-jitsu. I don't think he'll be able to take me down. The thing about Jake is I don't think he's better than me anywhere.

"I'm looking forward to putting on a good show. This is on TV, so, obviously, I want to be impressive. I'll be ready."

For Constant, Aug. 8th is not only an opportunity to make a big splash on network television, but also a chance to learn a lot about himself as a fighter, win or lose. Accepting the challenge was a no-brainer. The rest is up to him.

"I always feel like you hear about all of these fighters who make it to the UFC who are 8-0, 9-0, 10-0, and they go 0-2 or 0-3 and lose their shot to compete on the biggest stage possible," Constant said. "That has to do with people shying away from tough competition.

"The one thing I'm trying to do is fight the best that's out there. If I can't beat these guys on these regional shows, then I don't deserve to fight on the big show."

Tickets for "CES MMA XXV" are on sale now at $40.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at or or by phone at 401-724-2253/2254. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

The live network broadcast also features the return of Providence's Luis Felix (11-7, 4 KOs) who will face former Ultimate Fighter contestant Julian Lane (7-2-1, 1 KO) for the vacant CES MMA lightweight title in a five-round bout.

In addition to Felix-Lane, the main card features the return of Brazilian lightweight Gil de Freitas (16-5, 5 KOs) of Ludlow, Mass., in a three-round bout against Newport News, Va., vet George Sheppard (15-7, 9 KOs); along with No. 1-ranked middleweight Chip Moraza Pollard (8-6, 3 KOs) of Plymouth, Mass., facing No. 2 Harley Beekman (6-2, 3 KOs) of Amsterdam, N.Y.

On the preliminary card, Providence welterweight Eric Spicely (4-0, 1 KO) puts his undefeated record on the line against 37-fight veteran Nuri Shakir of Nashua, N.H.; Providence lightweight Keenan Raymond (2-0) battles Jay Bakanowski (1-1) of Northboro, Mass.; welterweight Tommy Venticinque (1-1) of Warwick, R.I., faces newcomer Wayne Alhquist of Nashua; and flyweight Billy Giovanella (5-1, 2 KOs) faces Andy Aiello (3-1, 2 KOs) of Bridgewater, Mass.

Middleweights Raphael Correia (2-1) of Danbury, Conn., and Terrell Clark (1-1, 1 KO) of Framingham, Mass., battle in a three-round bout; fan-favorite Tateki Matsuda (8-4, 3 KOs) of Boston faces Robbie Leroux (5-2, 4 KOs) of Fall River, Mass., in a bantamweight bout; and East Providence, R.I., welterweight Nate Andrews (6-0, 3 KOs) faces his toughest test to date in a three-round bout against Philadelphia's Gemiyale Adkins (8-8, 3 KOs).

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