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July 25, 2019

CES MMA 57: Rebello v. Haley Preview

CES Heavyweight Championship

Travis Lizotte

Lincoln, Rhode Island, July 26, 2019; just a week removed from the heaviest heatwave to hit the region this year; CES MMA returns to Twin River Casino Event Center Friday night with some serious heavy heat of their own as “New England Heavyweight King” Greg “Ribz” Rebello (24-9) puts his coveted CES Heavyweight Title on the line in the Main Event against fellow New Englander; Kevin “The Northwoods Nightmare” Haley (6-5). CES fan favorite; Rebello makes a highly anticipated return to the CES cage following a brief retirement which allowed “Ribz” to recover from both hand and knee injuries accumulated in his loss to Josh Parisian (8-3) on Dana White’s Contender Series last June, as well his round one TKO of Travis Wiuff (76-22) last February at CES 48. The heavy handed Rebello will be right at home as the Providence, Rhode Island native headlines yet another CES MMA card in his own backyard against New Hampshire’s Haley. Hailey is no stranger to adversity however, “The Northwoods Nightmare” cut his teeth against some of the fiercest competition in the Northeast across his six year professional career squaring off against UFC veterans Eric Spicely and Pat Walsh and holding a win over current UFC Light-Heavyweight; Mike Rodriguez (10-4) along the way. 
In the Co-Main event CES MMA’s Bantamweight Title Challenger; Kris “The Soul Snatcher” Moutinho (7-3) looks to bounce himself back into title contention following a loss to heavily favored CES Bantamweight Champion; Tony Gravely (18-5) at CES 54 in January. Moutinho returns to fight New England mainstay; Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell (17-12) in an exciting contrast of old school and new school. Campbell has been competing as a professional since Moutinho’s Junior year at Milford High School, Campbell will be making just his third walk to the CES cage, in what will be his 30th career pro fight. On the other hand Moutinho has competed ten times for CES since turning pro in 2016 and looks to show the veteran Campbell that the CES Bantamweight division will soon belong to “The Soul Snatcher.” Rhode Island native and former UFC rostered Sean Soriano (11-6) makes his fifth straight appearance for his hometown organization as he welcomes back ten fight CES veteran Featherweight; Saul “The Spider” Almeida (20-10) in what will be Soriano’s first fight since losing the Vanant CES Featherweight Title to Bruce Boyington (17-11) last August. Soriano looks to vault his name back into title talks in the CES Featherweight division as he draws the tough task of solving the unique style of Saul Almeida.
The Pride of East Providence Rhode Island; “The Portugese Man of War” Dinis “Sweetbreat” Paiva Jr. (11-7) will end a layoff of over 13 months when he enters the cage with his sights on Ohio’s Antonio “The Mexican Muscle” Castillo Jr. (10-12). Paiva will have his eye on the CES Featherweight strap if he can put away Castillo in dramatic fashion and return to his winning ways that saw “Sweetbread” reel off four straight wins before his third round loss to Champion Andre Ewell at CES 50 for the belt last June. Former UFC Flyweight; Boston’s Tateki “Tech” Matsuda (14-9) looked sharp in his decision victory over Josh Ricci (4-2) at CES 54 and looks to further stamp his place amongst the best Flyweights in the Northeast as he squares off with Submission hungry New Yorker; Matt Almy (4-2). Almy stunned CES fans in his last start, needing just 55 seconds to dispatch then undefeated Richie Santiago (7-2) by D’arce Choke at CES 49. 
Top training partner of newly minted UFC Heavyweight Yorgan DeCastro; Regiment Training Center’s Pat McCrohan (4-2) will make his sixth career trip to the CES cage (3-2 in five fights) and this time he welcomes CES newcomer and fellow Middleweight; Florida’s Andre “Rumble” Hall (3-1). Four preliminary bouts are due to set the stage Friday night as Peter San Antonio (2-2) takes on Brazilian; Moses Monteiro (1-4) at Lightweight, Welterweights Sanad Armouti (Debut) and Rodolfo Rocha (1-2) meet in their CES debuts, Lightweights Rob Best (0-2) and Arslan Otchiyev (0-1) both search for their first professional victories and Strawweight Prospect Hilarie Rose (3-1) looks to run her winning streak to four straight as she welcomes Kaiyana Rain (1-4) back to New England for her second straight CES appearance. Opening bell for CES 57 is due to sound at 7 pm Eastern time from the Events Center at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island and will be broadcast live on UFC Fightpass.  
*Weigh in photos courtesy of CES MMA Facebook page.*

Peter San Antonio (2-2) v. Moses Monteiro (1-4)

Peter San Antonio
Fighting out of: North Andover, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Mohawk Valley MMA 
Record: 2-2 (1 knockout, 1 submission)
Last fight: Round one TKO (retirement) of Nick Alley at Combat Zone 65.

Moses Monteiro
Fighting out of: Quincey, Massachusetts by way of Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina
Affiliation: Trifecta MMA  
Record: 1-4
Last fight: Loss to Luis Rafael Laurentino at Catarina Regionals in 2013.

Breakdown: North Andover’s San Antonio has been a mainstay on the New England scene for nearly a decade competing in both Lightweight and Welterweight divisions predominantly for the New Hampshire promotion Combat Zone. The 32 year old veteran submission artist will be looking to crack the .500 mark in his pro career as he welcomes the Brazilian Moses Monteiro state side for the first time in his career. Monteiro has not competed since 2013 having gone just 1-4 in five professional bouts in his native Brazil, now training with Trifecta MMA Monteiro hopes that the move to Massachusetts will help him resurrect his pro career. Monteiro is on a current three fight losing streak, his opponents record over that span however is an astounding 31-3.

Rob Best (0-2) v. Arslan Otchiyev (0-1)

Rob “The Beast” Best
Fighting out of: Utica, New York
Affiliation: Mohawk Valley MMA 
Record: 0-2 (12-13 as Amateur)
Last fight: First round TKO loss to Brendon Marotte at Combat Zone 67

Arslan Otchiyev
Fighting out of: West Haven, Connecticut
Affiliation: Fighting Arts Academy
Record: 0-1 (4-4-1 as an Amateur) 
Last fight: First round Knockout (Knees and Punches) loss to Brendon Marotte at CES 50: Paiva v. Ewell.

Breakdown: United States Air Force Veteran Rob Best is a traditional fighters fighter, Best doesn’t care who is standing across the cage from him, he will throw down with anyone at anytime. Best is a grinder who possesses finishing ability, five finishes in 12 Amateur victories, however the New York native has endurance and athleticism to go all 15 minutes every night if necessary. Best will be looking to notch his first professional victory, in his CES debut against six-time Turkmenistan Chess Champion and Combat Sambo based fighter Arslan Otchiyev (0-1). Otchiyev made his professional debut for CES in June of last year against prospect Brendon Marotte, Otchiyev was finished in the first round by Marotte and was really unable to implement his game plan against the highly touted Marotte, Otchiyev goes back to the drawing board as he seeks his first pro win in what could be a WAR against the hard nosed Rob Best. 

Sanad Armouti (Debut) v. Rodolfo Rocha (1-2)

Sanad Armouti
Fighting out of: Boston, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Florian Martial Arts Center  
Record: Pro Debut (2-0 with 2 finishes in the first round)
Last fight: Round one TKO (Retirement) of Billy Goff at Cage Titans 40. 

Rodolfo “Caicara” Rocha
Fighting out of: New York, New York
Affiliation: Renzo Gracie Philly
Record: 1-2 (1-1 in Brazilian Regional circuits) 
Last fight: Second round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) loss to Jesse Kosakowski at Bellator 216.

Breakdown: Brazilian Rodolfo Rocha fought on American soil for the first time at Bellator 216 in February against CES Welterweight title hopeful Jesse Kosakowski, although Rocha was able to bloody up top prospect Kosakowski in the first round, Kosakowski proved to be too much to handle for Rocha, submitting him in the second round by Rear Naked Choke. Rocha will once again be in search of his first win stateside as he welcomes native Jordonian; Sanad Armouti to the professional ranks. Following finishes of both Billy Goff and Isiah Queen in his Amateur career, Florian MMA’s Armouti looks to make his mark on New England’s Welterweight division by improving his current winning streak to three straight. With both fighters being no stranger to the submission game, I could see this fight playing out on the feet in the early going but I believe the finish could come on the mat. 

Hilarie Rose (3-1) v. Kaiyana Rain (1-4)

Hilarie Rose
Fighting out of: Norfolk, Massachusetts
Affiliation: USMMA  
Record: 3-1 (1 knockout, 1 submission)
Last fight: Split decision win over Rose Acevedo at CES 55: Wells v. de Jesus.

Kaiyana Rain
Fighting out of: Los Angeles, California
Affiliation: Fight Science MMA
Record: 1-4 (3 Decision Losses) 
Last fight: Third round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) loss to Marisa Messer-Belenchia at CES 51: Andrews v. Owens

Breakdown: Following a tough loss in her professional debut, Norfolk, Massachusetts’ Hilarie Rose has put together an impressive three fight win streak, including a hard fought, narrow Split-Decision victory over Rosa Acevedo (4-4) as CES 55. Rose is a gritty, in your face kind of fighter, who always continues to push forward and apply constant pressure on her opponents. Standing across the cage from Rose will be the Cambodia born Kaiyana Rain who is no stranger to being pressured in a fight, in her five professional bouts, four of those fights have gone to decision, including decision losses to future UFC talents; Kailin Curran and Tecia Torres. Rain makes her second consecutive trip to New England from her home in Los Angeles as she looks to avenge a third round Submission loss to Marisa Messer-Belenchia at CES 51, against another tough customer in Hilarie Rose. 

Pat McCrohan (4-2) v. Andre Hall (3-1)

Pat McCrohan
Fighting out of: Berkley Massachusetts
Affiliation: Regiment Training Center  
Record: 4-2 (3 knockouts)
Last fight: First round TKO (Ground and Pound) stoppage of Jason Markland at Bellator 215.

Andre “Rumble” Hall
Fighting out of: Pensacola, Florida
Record: 3-1 (1 Knockout, 1 Submission) 
Last fight: Second round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) of Mike Morgan at Island Fights 52.

Breakdown: An established Wrestler with some heavy ground and pound, Berkley, Massachusetts native Pat McCrohan has handed out three Knockouts on the ground across his four professional victories. Being the main training partner of now UFC Heavyweight Yorgan DeCastro, McCrohan has faced some heavy competition both in the gym and in the cage. McCrohan has matched wits with some tough competition across his six pro fights and this fight will be no different as he battles another strong grappler, Florida’s Andre “Rumble” Hall. Hall’s resume looks impressive, just one loss across 13 career fights including a clean 9-0 Amateur record that includes a win over now UFC veteran Eryk Anders. McCrohan will be the most seasoned opponent Hall has faced as a professional, as this fight shapes up to be a pretty close match on paper and should translate to some excitement inside the cage. 

Tateki Matsuda (14-9) v. Matt Almy (4-2)

Tateki “Tek” Matsuda
Fighting out of: Boston, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Sityodtong Boston  
Record: 14-9 (4 Knockouts, 2 Submissions)
Last fight: Unanimous Decision victory over Josh Ricci at CES 54: Andrews v. Logan.   

Matt Almy
Fighting out of: Binghamton, New York
Affiliation: Apex MMA
Record: 4-2 (1 Knockout, 3 Submissions) 
Last fight: First round Submissions (D’arce Choke) of Richie Santiago at CES 49: Curtis v. Norwood.

Breakdown: Boston’s Tateki Matusda looked impressive in his return to the CES cage at CES 54 earning a decisive win against Flyweight prospect Josh Ricci. In the win Matsuda was able to stuff the wrestling of New York’s Ricci all the while landing some technical striking  and coming close to finishing what appeared to be a sevearly gassed Ricci. Matsuda makes his second straight CES start against upset minded Matt Almy out of New York. Almy knows what it takes to pitch an upset, the submission savvy Almy handed super prospect Richie Santiago the first loss of his professional career at CES 49 last time out, securing the most emphatic D’arce of Almy’s career. Matsuda will without a doubt be the most seasoned test in the journeyman career of New York’s Matt Almy, Tek looks to put his name in the CES Flyweight title picture with another promotional win. 

Dinis Paiva (11-7) v. Antonio Castillo Jr. (10-12)

Dinis “Sweetbread” Paiva Jr.
Fighting out of: East Providence, Rhode Island
Affiliation: Sityodtong Boston/ Juniko 
Record: 11-7 (6 Knockouts, 2 Submissions)
Last fight: Third round Submission (D’arce Choke) loss To Andre Ewell at CES 50: Paiva v. Ewell.

Antonio “The Mexican Muscle” Castillo Jr.
Fighting out of: Canton, Ohio
Affiliation: Mayanz Fight Team 
Record: 10-12 (1 Knockout, 2 Submissions)
Last fight: First round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) loss to Nick Newell at CES 56: Boyington v. Dubuque. 

Breakdown: East Providence’s own Denis Paiva put on a gutsy performance last time out before succumbing to a third round D’arce Choke at the hands of Andre Ewell for the CES Bantamweight title. That fight proved to be a launching point for the Champion Ewell who would make his UFC debut just three months later, however that fight would also lead to a one year layoff for the CES fan favorite “Sweetbread.” New England MMA fans all knew that “Dinis would come back when Dinis was ready” and that time has finally come as a healthy, hungry Paiva returns to Twin River Casino to embark on his greatest comeback to date against Ohio’s “Mexican Muscle” Antonio Castillo Jr. Castillo has drawn some tough assignments in his now third fight for CES, as he adds Paiva’s name to a list that also includes Nick Newell and Dan Dubuque. Castillo has lost his last five fights and the task to resurrect his career doesn’t get any easier against perennial title contender Dinis Paiva. 

Sean Soriano (11-6) v. Saul Almeida (20-10)

Sean Soriano
Fighting out of: Providence, Rhode Island
Affiliation: Hard Knocks 365  
Record: 11-6 (5 Knockouts, 4 Submissions)
Last fight: Second round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) loss to Bruce Boyington at CES 51: Andrews v. Owens 

Saul “The Spider” Almeida
Fighting out of: Framingham, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Sityodtong Boston/ Alliance BJJ
Record: 20-10 (2 Knockouts, 5 Submissions)
Last fight: Third round TKO of Stacey Anderson at AMMO Fight League 5.

Breakdown: Providence, Rhode Island native Sean Soriano is the true embodiment of a Mixed Martial Artist, with nine career finishes, five by Knockout and four by Submission, Soriano is dangerous wherever the fight takes place. Following a brief move to Florida to train with the Blackzilians during his three fight UFC tenure, Soriano has returned home where he continues to attempt to resurrect his career. However, Soriano is just 3-3 since being cut from the UFC and is still looking for a signature win back on the regional circuit. That signature win could very well come Friday night as the UFC veteran Soriano takes on Bellator and World Series of Fighting (PFL) veteran Saul Almeida. Almeida has become a mainstay at both Featherweight and Lightweight here in the Northeast having battled current UFC stars Matt Bessette, Calvin Kattar, Rob Font and Manny Bermudez along the way. Almeida cares not about the opponent standing across from him, his confidence in both his striking and Jiu-Jitsu make him a tough out for any man and he looks to prove that to Sean Soriano Friday night once the cage locks.

Kris Moutinho (7-3) v. Johnny Campbell (17-12)

Kris “The Soul Snatcher” Moutinho
Fighting out of: Milford, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Tri-Force  
Record: 7-3 (2 Knockouts)
Last fight: Fourth round TKO (Hammerfists) loss to Tony Gravely for the CES Bantamweight Title at CES 54: Andrews v. Logan.

Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell
Fighting out of: Whitman, Massachusetts
Affiliation: South Shore Sportfighting  
Record: 17-12 (5 Knockouts, 6 Submissions) 
Last fight: Second round Submission (Americana) of Jose Lugo at Reality Fighting.

Breakdown: Anyone who has seen Kris Moutinho go to was before is well aware of the Milford, Massachusetts natives intentions and style. Moutinho is a brawler, who, once the bell rings, bites down on his mouthpiece and comes after you, throwing heavy technical strikes always looking to end the fight in the most vicious way possible. Moutinho had what could be a career defining moment last time out, albeit in a loss, Moutinho showed that he is capable of performing at the highest level as he battled with CES Bantamweight Champion Tony Gravely for the better part of four hard rounds. Still just 26 years old Moutinho has a chip on his shoulder as he looks to show CES MMA fans that the Bantamweight division will one day belong to him, that reign could start Friday night if he can stop veteran Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell in what is set to be Campbell’s thirtieth pro fight. Campbell, best known for his work in the Cage Titans promotion, will be making just his second appearance for CES MMA as he looks for what would be the biggest win of his career. Following a decision loss to Jay Perrin at Cage Titans 40 last August that sent Campbell into a three fight tailspin, Campbell got back into the win column last time out against another top prospect in Jose Lugo. Depending on how this one plays out, we could be witnessing a passing of the torch between Moutinho and Campbell in New England’s star studded Bantamweight division.     

Champion: Greg Rebello (24-9) v. Challenger: Kevin Haley (6-5)
*Heavyweight Title*

Greg “Ribz” Rebello
Fighting out of: Fall River, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Tri-Force MMA/ Lauzon MMA  
Record: 24-9 (15 Knockouts, 2 Submissions)
Last fight: First round TKO (Spinning Backfist) loss to Josh Parisian at Dana White’s Contender Series 2018.

Kevin “ The Northwoods Nightmare” Haley
Fighting out of: Dover, New Hampshire
Affiliation: Nostos MMA 
Record: 6-5 (2 Knockouts, 2 Submissions)
Last fight: First round TKO (Ground and Pound) loss to William Knight at CES 54: Andrews v. Logan.

Breakdown: CES Heavyweight Champion Greg Rebello has already staked his claim as the most dangerous man in New England following his first round Knockout of Travis Wiuff at CES 48 to capture the CES Heavyweight strap. But anyone who has seen Rebello fight, knew well in advance of his fight with Wiuff that Ribz was bound for dominance. Rebello, although slightly undersized for the monstrous Heavyweight division, possesses some of the most real striking power I have seen in this sport, power that is responsible for an incredible 15 career knockouts over his 24 professional wins. Rebello would further solidify his place in New England MMA lore Friday night if he can get by an always game Kevin Haley. Native of New Hampshire’s Great North Woods, challenger Kevin Haley grew up fighting, as one of four athletic brothers Haley was would constantly find himself in tussles with his brothers. Haley grew up a three sport athlete but once he graduated high school Haley’s fire for competition was searching for another outlet, that’s when Haley started to find himself on the mats at local New Hampshire MMA gyms. Due to Haley’s unparallelled natural strength, Haley quickly became a very skilled grappler, with a little instruction on the feet and some rolling with head coach and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt Devin Powell, Haley molded himself into the Heavyweight contender we know today. Haley is well aware of the heavy hands of Rebello, but believes that his skills match up with the champion just about everywhere the fight could end up. Make no mistake about it we are going to need to see the best Kevin Haley we have ever seen if he hopes to upset New England’s most dangerous man; Greg Rebello.