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May 5, 2018

Secor victorious in main event, but Gotti III steals the show with thrilling knockout win in Westbury

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[CES Press Release]

WESTBURY, N.Y. (May 4th, 2018) – CES MMA’s New York division, CES MMA NY, launched Friday at The Space at Westbury Theater in front of a sold-out crowd as nearby South Glens Falls native Matt Secor earned a much-needed win in the main event.

 A five-time Bellator vet and participant on Season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter reality series, Secor (10-5, 1 KO) scored his first win since August and first career victory by knockout, stopping Florida’s Adam Sepulveda (4-3) at 1 minute, 37 seconds of the opening round.

 Secor got the ball rolling with a quick takedown, then punished Sepulveda with unanswered strikes to the temple as his opponent cowered in the fetal position unable to defend himself.

 The showstopper Friday, however, was Oyster Bay welterweight John Gotti III (2-0, 1 KO), who brought the house down with a 32-second knockout win over Schenectady’s Eddie Haws (0-2) in his fight as a professional in his home state of New York.

 Gotti III opened by circling the cage with Haws, throwing a few leg kicks and feigns, before landing an overhand right that sent Haws crashing to the canvas. Gotti III immediately pounced and landed a series of hammerfists before the referee quickly stepped in and stopped the fight.

 After making his pro debut at “CES MMA 46” in Rhode Island with a first-round submission win over Johnny Adams, Gotti III faced the pressure of returning to New York in front of a sold-out crowd desperate to watch the hometown hero put on a show worth the price of admission. Gotti III did not disappoint, flattening Haws to a raucous ovation for his second win in as many fights.

 The co-feature also delivered as lightweights Kenny Foster (12-13) of Long Island and Le Roy’s Jacob Bohn (6-5) fought three hard rounds at an absolutely relentless pace, which, not surprisingly, ended in a split decision with Bohn earning a 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 win.

 The two traded everything from knees to the midsection, elbows, left hooks and right hands for 15 minutes with few breaks in the action except for the occasional mouthpiece flying across the cage. Bohn’s sturdy was on display for most of the fight as he walked through everything Foster landed and continued to push his own pace, bloodying Foster’s nose toward the end of the opening round.

 The middle rounds were difficult to score, but Bohn’s work to the body, particularly with his knees, down the stretch may have been enough to earn the narrow victory on the scorecards.

 In a battle between two familiar faces on the CES MMA circuit, Brooklyn flyweight Miguel Restrepo (5-4, 3 KOs) put on a clinic against Franklin, Mass., vet Billy Giovanella (5-6), earning a much-needed technical knockout victory 20 seconds into the third round.

 Having lost three consecutive bouts, including two showcase fights on “CES MMA 41” and “CES MMA 45,” Restrepo dominated the striking, switching between southpaw and orthodox to keep Giovanella off balance. A stiff jab sent Giovanella to the canvas in the opening round and a body shot dropped him in the second. He survived the first 10 minutes, but Restrepo finished him for good in the third, sending him to the canvas within seconds of the opening bell and pummeling him with unanswered strikes before the referee mercifully stopped the bout. Giovanella made his fourth appearance with CES MMA and first since 2014.

 Though it only lasted three and a half minutes, the middleweight showdown between Worcester, Mass., native Reginaldo Felix (4-2) and Tom Regal (2-1) of Amsterdam, N.Y., provided plenty of action as Felix showcased his exceptional ground game to hand Regal the first loss of his career.

 After early strikes by Felix opened a cut over Regal’s right eye, Felix scored a quick takedown and locked in the triangle choke to force his opponent to tap at the 3:28 mark. Felix has now won four in a row since losing his first two bouts as a professional.

 Brentwood, N.Y., heavyweight Jahsua Marsh (3-3) scored the biggest win of his career on the preliminary card, stopping previously unbeaten Maine native Ras Hylton (2-1) via technical knockout at the 3:27 mark of the opening round.

 Facing a significantly taller opponent, Marsh went for the legs right away and scored an early takedown on Hylton. From there, it was all ground and pound, which Marsh worked masterfully to the point where Hylton could no longer keep his guard up or defend, prompting the referee to stop the bout due to excessive, unanswered strikes.

 Bantamweight Walter Smith-Cotito (5-6) of Milford, N.H., suffered a tough-luck loss in his bout against New York’s Sergio Da Silva (7-9). Smith-Cotito dominated the first four and a half minutes with effective striking and hand speed, but was disqualified in the closing second of the opening round due to an illegal knee to the head while Da Silva was still on the canvas.

 From the opening bell, Smith-Cotito walked down his opponent and took advantage of Da Silva’s wild, looping punches with clean, efficient shots up the middle. Sensing the fight was heading in the wrong direction, Da Silva went for a takedown, which Smith-Cotito promptly stuffed, but as Smith-Cotito released from a potential guillotine choke, he drove his right knee into the side of his opponent’s head before Da Silva had a chance to get back to his feet. Da Silva was unable to continue, and therefore was ruled the winner by disqualification at the 4:27 mark due to the illegal strike.

 New York City bantamweight Al Jones (3-3) kicked off the event with his second consecutive win to even his record with a dominant performance against Elmira native Quentin Gaskins (1-5), earning a 30-27 unanimous decision on all three scorecards.

 Jones’ superior striking was the difference and it was clear from the opening bell Gaskins couldn’t survive trying to trade leather with his opponent. Gaskins attempted to stall Jones’ momentum by going for early takedowns, but Jones stuffed each of Gaskins’ attempts in the second and third round, rendering Gaskins unable to swing the rounds in his favor.