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May 17, 2017

CES MMA 44: The Fallout

CES 44: The Fallout

Travis Lizotte

On Friday night May 12th CES MMA made its return home to Twin River Casino for the 44th event in the promotion's history following a brief stop on the North Shore for CES 43. The promotion brought out their big guns for this show including; Fan Favorite and the people's Featherweight Champion Matt “The Mangler” Bessette as well as Providence’s own slugging heavyweight Greg Rebello, both fighters looked to punch their tickets to the National Circuit with what turned out to be impressive wins at CES 44.CES has made quite a reputation of producing talent worthy of the UFC and the best could be yet to come with the likes of Bessette and Rebello waiting in the wings. Bessette would defend his Featherweight crown against the Texas finisher; Rey Trujillo who took the fight on short notice when Bessette’s original opponent; Jeremy Spoon, was forced out of the title fight just weeks before. Bessette defended in decisive fashion as he battered the Texan with an arsenal of strikes to the face and body that left Trujillo unable to answer the opening bell in round three. Rebello would make it six wins, in his last seven fights at the expense of Denver’s King Kevin Sears Jr. who survived an absolute onslaught of powerful strikes through the first two and a half rounds before falling victim of a Guillotine choke with just twenty seconds left in the fight.

On the topic of nationally-recognized fighters, two former UFC combatants also made their CES returns as Sean Soriano bounced back from a three-fight losing streak when he stopped New York’s Jacob Bohn with a leg kick that drew a verbal submission in the second round of their Featherweight battle. Also, former Ultimate Fighter contestant Jon Manley would throw down with Manny Walo in a Welterweight contender fight with the winner facing the CES Welterweight champion; Christopher Curtis. Walo was able to outlast and out strike the Manley MMA fighter; Jon Manley as he earned a Unanimous Decision victory and a showdown with Curtis. Also on Friday night’s stacked Main card; Light-Heavyweight star in the making Mike Rodriguez improved to 7-2 with his third consecutive first-round finishes when he TKO’d fellow Light-Heavyweight Alec Hooben out of New Jersey. Looking to keep his train rolling and his record unblemished; Undefeated Flyweight Carlos Candelario threw down with what ended up bring his third opponent since the fight was announced, as he submitted New York's Timothy Wheeler by Rear Naked Choke in the first round. Another exciting star in the making; Middleweight Contender, Justin “The Fort” Sumter followed up on his back-to-back first round Knockouts, to earn a hard fought decision victory over Brian Sparrow from Sandwich Massachusetts as they rounded out the main card which aired live on AXS TV. The undercard included three fights; including a female bantamweight matchup between undefeated Jennifer Norris from Baltimore Maryland and the fast rising star Scary Kerri Kennison from Team Link in Hooksett New Hampshire who made her Pro debut Friday night earning a decisive Unanimous Decision victory over the veteran Norris. Rounding out an exciting night of action Pawtucket’s Toby “TNT” Oden welcomed Philadelphia Pennsylvania's Paul Sims to the CES cage and to the Professional ranks as the fighters battled to a decision that went the way of the new comer Sims. Finally, in the opening fight of the night, Middleweight Reginaldo Felix Knocked out fellow Framingham native Adam Quitt in just thirteen seconds of the opening round. Here are some of the stories worth following after an exciting night back at Twin River Casino for CES 44.

Team Link Hooksett’s next star Kerry Kenneson, made her professional debut under the bright lights at CES 44, and does so in dominating fashion with a unanimous three-round decision victory over Baltimore's Jennifer Norris. Kenneson, who finished out her amateur career as the Gladius Fights Flyweight Women's Champion when she out dueled Elizabeth Van Der Horst at Gladius 24, stepped up to the ranks the professionals Friday night at Twin River Casino to take on the undefeated Norris, who's three Pro victories came outside of the United States and was making her first career appearance on American soil. Kerri used a dominating display of grappling as well overwhelming strikes and counter shots, picking Norris apart both on the feet and in the clinch. Kenneson was determined to use her angles and footwork to keep Baltimore's Norris off-balance all night long as she grinded her way to a unanimous decision victory, gaining 30-27 scores on all three judges’ scorecards. Kenneson’s long-awaited professional debut definitely lived up to its hype; as she has become one of the more talked about women fighters in the Northeast and she continued to build upon that hype with her dominating victory at CES. With such a thin women's roster in the Northeast and across most the United States, Kenneson could garner national attention after her first professional victory, if not she will look to return to the local cage and further her resume as she attempts to become the top flyweight in New England. Kerri trains under the tutelage of Coach Ed Carr at what has become one of the top schools in New England at Team Link Hooksett. Karri’s sparring and training partners include Welterweight Contender Nick Alley, Featherweight and Bellator veteran Walter Cotito-Smith as well as many other current or former standouts from the local scene. Kenneson is definitely training with some of the best at Team Link and that has shown in her early career as she continues to become a more polished fighter each time we see her. Kerri is content with making her Professional debut a successful one and looks to further her career by getting a shot at a national promotion. The sky is the limit for this talented Flyweight contender who has done nothing but impress us each time she steps into the cage.

CES Flyweight Superstar in the making Carlos Candelario improved his record to 6-0 after battling much adversity, including two late opponent changes to keep his professional record unblemished when he submitted Timothy Wheeler in the first round of his Main Card bout on Friday night. Candelario was originally supposed to face Shawn Mack from Michigan who was forced to back out just weeks before their fight with an injury, CES then tabbed former Bellator Flyweight Billy Giovanella as Carlos’ next opponent, however with just days left before the two were set to meet Giovanella suffered an injury of his own and was forced out of their contest in the 25th hour before CES 44. CES Matchmaker Pat Sullivan was then forced to find yet another opponent for the flashy Flyweight. Brooklyn New York's Timothy Wheeler stepped up to the plate and on just 48 hours notice stepped in to face Candelario with the opportunity to fight on National Television presented itself. “The Cannon” Candelario showed why he is such a highly-regarded fighter in the Flyweight division as he dismantled Timothy Wheeler ultimately taking Wheelers back on the ground where he submitted him with a Rear-Naked Choke just a minute and 12 seconds into the contest. When I spoke with Candelario following the fight he was grateful that CES was able to find him an opponent so that he could remain on the CES 44 fight card and thanked Timothy Wheeler for stepping up and taking the fight on such short notice. Candelario will likely look to keep his impressive winning streak alive soon at one of the upcoming CES cards. This was another very impressive win for the flyweight who continues to vault his name up the ranks in the New England Flyweight division. Ultimately Carlos would like to fight the best there is in the Flyweight division and would love to add a signature win to is already undefeated professional record his next time out. It is going to take some pretty gutsy matchmaking by the CES brass when finding the next opponent to put in the cage with the undefeated Carlos Candelario.

Providence’s Heavyweight Greg Rebello showed the world that he is undoubtedly the “cream of the crop” when it comes to Heavyweight contenders in the Northeast region. Rebello had his eyes set on his 14th knockout Friday night, when he faced Denver Colorado's Kevin Sears in a Heavyweight matchup that was more than worthy of the title of co-main event. Rebello's slick, technical striking was at the forefront of his offensive output in the first two and a half rounds of the contest, as he gave Sears all he could handle with some well timed body shots, along with many strikes and kicks to the head and legs. However, Sears was able to survive the onslaught of strikes and get the fight deep into the third round when Rebello turned to his grappling techniques to get Sears to the ground where he ultimately submitted the granite jawed Heavyweight with a Guillotine choke with just under 20 seconds left in the contest. For Rebello the ultimate goal was to win this fight in dramatic fashion in effort to punch his ticket to the UFC. Rebello, who’s striking techniques are overwhelmingly fast and accurate for the Heavyweight division, believes that his talents will translate well onto the national stage and into the most sought-after division in all of combat sports; the UFC's Heavyweight Division. Ultimately if the UFC decides that it is not Greg's time, he would be very interested in a rematch with Ashley Gooch who is the current reigning Heavyweight Champion under the CES banner and the last person to hand Rebello a loss. But at 32 years of age, Rebello feels like the time is now to make the jump into the most highly competitive arena in the world of combat sports with UFC. Rebello, who trains under Mark DellaGrotte at Sityodtong Boston, possesses some of the best striking abilities at any weight class and time and again has shown tremendous finishing abilities. Ribz ran an already impressive professional record to 22-7 with his victory over Sears, and hopes that victory number 23 will come inside the Octagon, on the sport’s grandest stage.

Speaking of the UFC Octagon; Matt Bessette, the most decorated champion in the history of CES, defended his title for the second time when he earned a TKO doctor stoppage victory over Texas’ Rey Trujillo and further cemented his resume, which deserves notice from the UFC. CES has made a name for itself in New England for being a launching point for many stars who end up in the UFC. For Matt Bessette, he would love to be the next CES champion to test his skills on the sports biggest stage in the UFC. Bessette who faced off against Rey Trujillo, gave Trujillo more of a fight than he could have ever anticipated, Bessette out struck Trujillo and over-powered the tough Texan through two grueling rounds, almost finishing the challenger with a huge right hand in the second round. Between rounds doctors ruled Trujillo unfit to continue and stopped the contest before the challenger could answer the bell for round three. A cut over Trujillo’s eye had opened up and was bleeding heavily; likely impairing his vision and his face looked like it had taken the brunt of most of Bessette’s offensive output in the first ten minutes. With the stoppage victory Bessette became the first Champion in the CES Promotion’s history to have successfully defended his title twice having done so each time in convincing fashion with TKO stoppages. UFC Hall of Famer and AXS TV announcer Pat Miletich mentioned that Bessette is likely the best fighter who is not yet signed to a UFC contract. At this point, the Featherweight is undoubtedly the best pound for pound fighter in all of New England and would love to showcase his talents in the Octagon. Bessette, like Greg Rebello, is now the owner of a 22-7 record, after reeling off seven straight victories and three straight stoppage wins in title bouts including his Submission of Joe Pingatore and subsequent back to back TKO stoppages in his two title defenses against both Kevin Croom and now Trujillo, a resume definitely worthy of recognition from the top fight promotion in the world; the UFC. If the UFC comes calling, Bessette will leave CES as one of the most beloved fighters in the promotions history as well as the promotions most celebrated Champion.

Stay in touch with us here at Western Mass MMA for all the news and matchups for all CES’s upcoming events, as well as news from all promotions and fighters throughout New England.