Saul “The Spider” Almeida meets Pedro “The Beast” Gonzalez for the CES MMA Interim World Featherweight Championship at CES 45 on August 11 at Twin River Casino, LIVE on AXS TV Fights.
The winner will eventually meet the champ Matt “The Mangler” Bessette to unify the two championships after Bessette is fully recovered from his injury suffered in the main event of the inaugural Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series show.
Fighting out of Framingham, Mass., Almeida is making his 11th trip to the CES MMA cage. The well-rounded featherweight competed on the first CES MMA card back in 2010 and has since then shared the cage with the best that New England has to offer, most recently submitting Josh “The Problem” LaBerge in an action-packed bout at CES 42.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, brings a five-fight win streak into the title bout. All of the dynamic Gloucester, Mass., product’s victories have come via finish, with “The Beast” most recently submitting Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Bruno “Jacare” Dias at CES 43.
With a resume that’s unparalleled among New England fighters, Almeida is hungry to add the CES belt to his body of work.
“The belt certainly makes this fight more exciting. It definitely does. I’ve got three belts, and this will definitely be the most important one,” Almeida says.
Almeida has one word for what his opponent brings to the table: “Nothing.”
“He’s just a tough guy, and I respect that. But I’ve fought so many guys with so many skills and, no disrespect to him, he doesn’t have the skills to beat me,” the Sityodtong Boston/Juniko fighter adds. “He has an aggressive style that can overwhelm some fighters, but that’s not going to work against me. No way.”
Gonzalez was supposed to battle Bessette for the title at CES 37, but Gonzalez had to withdraw from the fight due to a back injury.
Now back to 100-percent healthy, “The Beast” is counting down the days to his long-awaited shot at redemption on August 11 in Rhode Island.
“I have to look at this as just another fight, but this is a tremendous opportunity for me and my career. You saw what happened when Matt Bessette got the belt, and the opportunities that came his way. That’s exactly what I’m looking for, and there’s no way Saul is going to stand in my way,” Gonzalez says.
CES MMA 45
August 11 | Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.
Heavyweight: (c) Ashley “Gio” Gooch (10-5) vs. Juliano “Banana” Coutinho (7-3)
*for the CES MMA Heavyweight Championship*
Lightweight: Nate “The Snake Andrews (10-1) vs. Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (14-10)
Featherweight: Saul “The Spider” Almeida (19-8) vs. Pedro “The Beast” Gonzalez (12-5)
*for the CES MMA Interim Featherweight Championship*
Welterweight: Nick Alley (3-1) vs. Gary Balletto Jr. (3-1)
Bantamweight: Kris Moutinho (4-0) vs. Brandon Seyler (6-5-1)
130-pound catchweight: Miguel “The Magic City Mauler” Restrepo (4-3-1) vs. Richie Santiago (4-0)
Lightweight: Leon “Dynamite” Davis (10-3) vs. Andrew “Ozzy” Osborne (7-10-1)
Featherweight: John Douma (pro debut) vs. Jason Rine (0-2)
Featherweight: Billy “The Kid” Keenan (pro debut) vs. Tim Tyler (0-1)