With the main event up for grabs in the third and final round, Nate Andrews made sure to take matters into his own hands.
The East Providence, R.I., lightweight submitted Oklahoma native Luis Muro (4-2) via rear naked choke at the 1-minute, 59-second mark of the third and final round Friday in the main event of “CES MMA 36” at Twin River Casino on AXS TV Fights.
Fresh off a big win in March, Andrews (9-1) came out strong in the opening round, peppering Muro with strikes. Muro turned the tide in the second round, finally getting Andrews to the canvas and slowing the pace to a crawl. With the fight even at a round apiece, Andrews stuffed an early takedown attempt early in the third, then took Muro to the canvas himself and administered the choke to finish Muro for good.
Andrews has now won three consecutive fights since suffering his first and only loss in August of 2014 and has now established himself as a prime contender in the 155-pound division.
Facing a new opponent in the co-feature after Jairo Soares was unable to obtain a license from the state of Rhode Island, Stafford Springs, Conn., featherweight Matt Bessette (19-7) didn’t miss a beat Friday, finishing 40-fight vet Ran Weathers (18-23) at the 4:50 mark of the opening round via guillotine submission.
Weathers took the fight on just 24 hours’ notice and survived an early onslaught from Bessette until he finally got clipped in the closing seconds, allowing Bessette to sink in the choke for his fourth consecutive win and third overall with CES MMA.
After suffering arguably his worst loss at “CES MMA 33” in March, Mansfield, Ohio lightweight Julian Lane (11-5-1) once again rallied late Friday to pull off an improbable win.
Down two rounds against Medford, Mass., native Lewis Corapi (6-3) and well on his way to losing unanimously on all three scorecards, Lane took advantage of Corapi’s lone mistake, catching an ill-timed kick to the midsection, flipping his opponent to the canvas and eventually sinking in a guillotine choke deep enough to force Corapi to take with just 1:10 remaining in the fight.
The win was eerily similar to his victory over Luis Felix in 2014 when he caught Felix with an overhand right in the third round of their scheduled five-round title bout and locked in the guillotine after dropping the first two rounds. Lane has now won back-to-back fights following the aforementioned loss to Andrews in March.
Fresh off his win at “CES MMA 35” in April, Fall River, Mass., lightweight Josh LaBerge (11-5, 5 KOs) battered Jonathan Lemke (5-4) of Auburn, Maine, opening up cuts over both of Lemke’s eyes in the first round and finishing the fight with unanswered right hands in the second, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the bout at the 1:11 mark. LaBerge actually broke his right hand landing a clean shot in the opening round, but continued to use it effectively, especially in the closing seconds when he caught Lemke with five unanswered blows over his bloodied left eye.
Ultimate Fighting Championship vet Levan Makashvili (11-2-1) of Long Island, who agreed to fight on less than a week’s notice when Felix was forced to withdraw due to injury, earned a huge win on AXS TV Fights, sweeping the scorecards against Bangor, Maine, native Ryan Sanders (10-8) to earn a 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 unanimous decision win.
The opening bout on AXS TV Fights ended with yet another win for unbeaten New Britain, Conn., flyweight Carlos Candelario (4-0), who dominated Pennsylvania vet Roosevelt Archie (0-2) before locking in the guillotine choke to close out the fight. Candelario earned the submission victory at the 1:16 mark of the opening round, his third consecutive win under the guidance of CES MMA.
Also on the main card, Long Island featherweight Merab Dvalishvili (3-2) earned his second consecutive win with CES MMA, dominating Matt Tullos (1-1) of Dedham, Mass., in a 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 unanimous decision win. Dvalishvili won the entire fight on the ground, smothering Tullos from start to finish and even earning a 10-8 round on judge Nick Mahmood’s scorecard.
Making his professional debut on the preliminary card, Providence bantamweight Marquise Brewster stole the show Fiday with a clean sweep, unanimous decision win over Vladimir Kazbekov (0-2) of Welland, Ontario.
Channeling his inner Muhammad Ali in honor of the late, great boxing champion, Brewster (1-0) Ali-shuffled his way to an impressive win, using Ali-like footwork to dominate the striking and setting the tone with takedowns in each of the first two rounds.
Brewester debuted Friday after fighting his amateur finale at “CES MMA 35” in Massachusetts, earning himself a promotional agreement with CES MMA following a win over Carmelo Dominguez.
Welterweight Bobby Flynn (6-3) of Mashpee, Mass., fought tooth and nail with Queens vet Kevin Horowitz (6-6), narrowly winning by split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 30-27. Flynn used his reach advantage to create distance in the opening round and peppered Horowitz with strikes, including a well-executed spinning back kick, but Horowitz scored takedowns in the second and third, though he was unable to get the win on the cards.
Also on the preliminary card, Long Island featherweight Thomas English (6-6) slugged his way to a 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 unanimous decision win over CES MMA vet James Grant Murrin(3-5) of Boston. English stunned Murrin early in the opening round with unanswered strikes, but Murrin regained his composure along the cage and nearly stole the second round with a late takedown. English stayed on his feet in the third and used his superior striking to clinch the win, his first with CES MMA in three tries.
Providence middleweight Hector Sanchez (3-13, 2 KOs), who is tied for the fastest knockout in CES MMA history with an eight-second stoppage over Dave Maggiore in 2012, earned another quick victory Friday, knockout out fellow Providence native Kurt Parisi (0-1) 30 seconds into the opening round in Parisi’s pro debut. Sanchez scored a quick takedown shortly after the opening bell and pummeled Parisi with a series of elbows, forcing Miragliotta to stop the bout.
Not to be outdone, Mansfield, Ohio heavyweight Marquis Allen (1-0, 1 KO) made quick work of his opponent, Dan Randall of Granby, Mass., knocking out Randall with a huge overhand right just 16 seconds into the opening round of their scheduled three-round bout.
Check out the highlights from the night below: