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November 11, 2016

CES MMA closes out 2016 with special Thanksgiving Eve event

[CES Press Release]

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Nov. 10th, 2016) -- The most wonderful time of the year is finally here, and CES MMA is closing out its 2016 Twin River Casino Fight Series with a special pre-holiday bash.

New England's premier combat sports promotion returns to Twin River on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, Nov. 23rd, 2016 with "CES MMA 40," featuring the region's top talent, including lightweight Nate Andrews (9-1, 5 KOs), former featherweight title challenger Joe Pingitore (6-2-1, 1 KO) and the long-awaited return of bantamweight Dinis Paiva (7-6, 4 KOs).

Tickets for "CES MMA 40" are priced at $40.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $100.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at,, or, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

The Providence, R.I., native Andrews, coming off three consecutive wins since suffering his first career loss in 2014, battles power-punching Newport News, Va., vet George Sheppard (15-11, 9 KOs) in the main event. Andrews headlined "CES MMA 36" in June with a submission win over Luis Muro while Sheppard makes his second appearance with CES MMA and his first since battling former welterweight title-holder Gil de Freitas at "CES MMA 25."

Pingitore, a Johnston, R.I., native, steps back into the cage for the first time since losing to veteran Matt Bessette at "CES MMA 37" for the promotion's vacant 145-pound title. Pingitore stepped up in on short notice to battle Bessette and stunned him several times with his efficient striking before eventually losing via second-round submission. On Nov. 23rd, Pingitore takes on Honolulu, Hawaii vet Spencer Higa (4-6, 1 KO), who has won his last two fights.

"CES MMA 40" also marks the long-awaited return of Paiva, the East Providence, R.I., vet who last fought at "CES MMA 31" in October of 2015 in a hotly-contested loss to former title challenger Kody Nordby. The loss snapped Paiva's four-fight win streak. He returns Nov. 23rd to battle Las Vegas' Zane Behrend (2-1, 1 KO), who also makes his first appearance in more than a year.

Also on the undercard of "CES MMA 40," Cranston, R.I., welterweight Gary Balletto Jr. (1-1) aims for his second consecutive win when he faces Watertown, N.Y., vet Montoyia Swilling (0-3). The 21-year-old Balletto Jr. lost his professional debut in August of 2015, but rebounded with a win over Cruz Johnson at "CES MMA 33," submitting his opponent with a heel hook in the opening round.

Norwood, Mass., featherweight Ruso Khubejashvili (2-2) looks to snap a two-fight losing streak when he faces Hollis, N.H., vet Dylan Lockard (1-0). Khubejashvili stepped up to face then unbeaten Kyle Bochniak, now an Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) contender, at "CES MMA 26" in 2014 and hasn't fought since while Lockard scored his lone win over New Yorker Mak Kelleher on the preliminary card of "CES MMA 37."

Looking to build on his pro debut win at "CES MMA 38," Milford, Mass., bantamweight Kris Moutinho (1-0) returns Nov. 23rd to battle Michael Karam (0-1) of New Hartford, N.Y.; while fellow Milford bantamweight Richard Santiago (2-0) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Quebec native James Mancini (2-2) just 19 days after beating Devin Pilkington at "CES MMA 39" in Plymouth.

Rounding out the stacked "CES MMA 40" fight card, Pawtucket, R.I., bantamweight Joe Reverdes (2-3) returns for the first time in more than two years to battle newcomer Rich Hazard of Fort Wayne, Indiana (by way of Providence). Reverdes last fought on the undercard of "CES MMA 24," scoring a knockout win over Randy Campbell.

Visit, or for more information, follow CES MMA on Instagram at @CESMMA and use the hashtag #CES40 to join the conversation.

-- CES --