On August 12, for the first time in CES MMA history, three belts will be on the line as the Bantamweight, Featherweight and Heavyweight Championships are up for grabs under the bright lights at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., live on AXS TV Fights.
At the top of the card, Andre Soukhamthath, the pride of Woonsocket, defends his CES MMA World Bantamweight Championship in a rematch versus the always-dangerous Kin Moy.
Soukhamthath, who won the title with a flying-knee knockout which most are calling the Knockout of the Year, looks to avenge his prior loss to Moy.
“I’ve always been a good fighter, but I’ve improved so much since my first fight with Kin. I’m on a whole ‘nother level right now, mentally and physically, and it’s going to be really hard for anyone to stop me. There’s no way I’m leaving Twin River Casino without that belt around my waist,” predicted Soukhamthath.
Moy, the Boston fighter with eight impressive wins to his credit, wasn’t interested in a rematch with Soukhamthath, who he beat by unanimous decision in 2014, until CES MMA gold was on the line. When offered the title shot, Moy jumped at the opportunity to go two-up on his old foe Soukhamthath.
“I’ve never been able to claim a title, and I’ve been in this sport for a long time. But now to have the opportunity, especially with an organization like CES MMA. It is an honor and an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” said Moy, who’s riding high with back-to-back stoppage wins. “I’m going to keep this fight standing up, apply my pressure, hopefully leave with the championship and be the CES MMA champion for a long time.”
After Pedro Gonzalez was forced to withdraw due to injury, CES MMA Matchmaker Pat Sullivan immediately went to work to find a formidable foe to challenge Matt Bessette for the vacant CES MMA Featherweight Championship at CES 37 on August 12, from Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.
Stephen Cervantes was the fighter chosen however Cervantes was recently arrested for allegedly raping a fifteen-year-old girl. CES are currently looking for a late replacement for Bessette.
In the opening co-main event, Providence knockout artist, Greg Rebello clashes with Arizona’s Ashley Gooch for the CES MMA World Heavyweight Championship belt.
“Ribz,” riding high on back-to-back, jaw-dropping knockouts under the CES MMA banner, said the cage doors can’t lock soon enough at Twin River Casino.
“Ashley is going to have a great game plan and I can’t get wreckless out there, but he’s never fought anyone like me. I’m expecting another highlight-reel finish and the championship belt that I’ve been working towards for years” said the heavy fisted Rebello, a victor in four straight outings.
Entering the cage with seven straight stoppages, Gooch looks to continue his warpath in the heavyweight division.
“Greg isn’t a decision fighter and neither am I. But he’s never fought anyone of my caliber,” states Gooch, who trains out of Arizona’s MMA Lab and is a training partner of former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. “The people of New England were so great when I made my debut at CES. I’m going to return the favor by putting on a show, winning this title — and holding it for a long time.”
Marquis Brewster is looking to shed his “hot prospect” label when he returns to the CES MMA cage at CES 37 versus Tim Wheeler at Twin River Casino on August 12.
And the well-rounded Providence product knows the best way to move up the CES MMA ladder in a hurry: Finish his opponents in style.
“Absolutely. I’m looking to establish my name, especially with this fight in August, and I’m looking for a big finish. It’s great to win fights, which is what I’m doing, but everyone loves stoppages and that’s the best way to move up and eventually get that CES MMA title shot. I’m going to put on a show, finish my opponent, and I can’t wait,” said Brewster, an apprentice to CES MMA Lightweight Champion Luis Felix.
But standing in Brewster’s way is Wheeler, a hard-hitting New York product who’s making his CES MMA debut.
Wheeler doesn’t care about any prospect in New England, he says. But he’s excited to spoil Brewster’s coming-out party in front of his supporters.
“I went all the way to Hawaii to steal the show before. It was fun, and I’ll be doing it again — just a little closer to home this time,” said Wheeler with a laugh. “I’m going to put my opponent away and spoil all his fans’ fun.”
Mak Kelleher enters the CES MMA cage for the fourth time when he squares off with Dylan Lockard at CES 37 from Twin River Casino on August 12. Long Island’s Kelleher has faced some of the toughest competition in the Northeast since making his CES MMA debut, battling the likes of Rico DiSciullo, Manny Bermudez, and James Grant Murrin.
Kelleher shared GRiT Mouthguards Fight of the Night honors with Murrin in their January bout, and he plans on doing the same with Lockard.
“It feels great to come back and fight for CES MMA again — it’s always a great show … I’m back on track and training hard, so I am ready to put on another Fight-of-the-Night performance for CES MMA, my family, and all the fans — except this time I’m coming even harder for the finish,” said Kelleher. But so too is Lockard, who’s making his long-awaited pro debut after an unbeaten 4-0 amateur career.
“I train to get the finish and that’s exactly what I’m going to do when the cage door locks. I don’t like going to decision; I like going in there and doing what I can to get this finish,” said Lockard. “I haven’t fought in a while, but I’m excited to make up for lost time. You only get one debut as a professional!”
Check out the full fight card below along with a video preview of the event
Main Card (AXS TV)
Andre Soukhamthath (champion) vs. Kin Moy for the CES MMA Bantamweight Championship
Matt Bessette vs. Stephen Cervantes for the vacant CES MMA Featherweight Championship
Greg Rebello vs. Ashley Gooch for the vacant CES MMA Heavyweight Championship
Middleweight: Chuck O’Neil vs. Roy Jones
Featherweight: Joe Pingitore vs. Bill Jones
Middleweight: Pat McCrohan vs. Ruslan Melikov
Bantamweight: Marquis Brewster vs. Roosevelt Archie
Featherweight: Mak Kelleher vs. Dylan Lockard