The reigning four-time Promotion of the Year is ready to kick off 2014 with its biggest show yet.
CES MMA will return to Twin River Casino on Friday, Jan. 24 with another action-packed card stacked top to bottom with the region’s top talent — its 21st show in three years — including defending CES MMA featherweight champion Rob Font (8-1, 2 KOs) and fan-favorite Todd “The Hulk” Chattelle (12-9, 9 KOs).
After promoting seven shows in 2013, including its 20th edition in December, CES MMA was recently named Promotion of the Year for the fourth time by popular website Mass-MMA.com.
As the calendar turns to 2014, Font is looking to build off the best year of his young career; in 2013, the Tampa native (now fighting out Sityodtong in Boston, Mass.) finished 4-0 with consecutive wins against elite featherweights in the northeast, including a breakthrough win against Saul Almeida in February and a dominant, knockout win over Chris Foster in August to capture the then-vacant CES MMA title.
Font will face Ahsan Abdullah (5-4, 2 KOs) of Binghamton, N.Y., in a three-round bout as he aims for his eight consecutive win and fifth overall under the promotional guidance of CES.
Chattelle, a Pawtucket, R.I., native, is hoping for a fresh start in 2014. He went 1-1 last year, losing a rematch to Dennis Olson in April and knocking out John Troyer in October. Two years removed from a perfect 4-0 finish in 2011, Chattelle start the new year against the always dangerous Shedrick Goodridge (4-6, 2 KOs) of Rahway, N.J. Goodridge is no stranger to the northeast; he made his CES MMA debut in 2012 in a loss to Brennan Ward and returned to Rhode Island last year with a knockout win over Brett Oteri in February.
The undercard of “CES MMA XXI” features a possible early candidate for Fight of the Year with undefeated Cambridge, Mass., bantamweight Kin Moy (4-0, 1 KO) stepping up to face Andre Soukhamthath (7-1, 4 KOs), CES’ winningest fighter since its inception in 2010. A Woonsocket, R.I., native, Soukhamthath is making his first trip back to the Ocean State since relocating to Boca Raton, Fla., where he now trains with the famed Blackzilians. Since making his CES MMA debut in 2012, Soukhamthath has won seven consecutive fights, including a knockout win over Corey Simmons in CES’ 2013 season finale in December in which he broke a tie with Chattelle to become the promotion’s winningest fighter.
This is a big test for both fighters, particularly Moy, who burst onto the scene last year with big wins over Dinis Paiva Jr. and Kurt Chase-Patrick. Moy submitted Paiva via guillotine choke on CES’ April card at Twin River and closed the year by submitting Chase-Patrick in the opening round of their bantamweight bout in September.
Also returning to Twin River is Melrose, Mass., heavyweight John Johnston (4-0, 4 KOs), who will attempt to keep his impressive streak of consecutive knockout wins (4) alive when he faces unbeaten William Baptiste (2-0, 1 KO) of Goldsboro, N.C. Paiva (3-5), meanwhile, will look to snap his two-fight losing streak in a bantamweight bout against Franklin Isabel (4-6) of Chelsea, Mass.; while fellow bantamweight Shaun Marmas (5-5, 1 KO) faces undefeated Salem, Mass., native Matt Doherty (2-0, 2 KOs) in a potential Fight of the Night candidate. Marmas split two bouts in 2013, beating Tom Evans in April and losing to Abdullah in June.
Exciting prospect Willie Brown Jr. (2-0) of Meriden, Conn., will look to keep his perfect record intact at “CES MMA XXI” in his first bout of the year in the lightweight division and featherweight Kyle Bochniak of Winthrop, Mass., will make his professional debut in a separate three-round bout. Middleweight Adam Quitt (1-3) of Framingham, Mass., will return for his first fight since February. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets for “CES MMA XXI” are priced at $40, $55, $100 and $125 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling 401-724-2253/2254, online at www.cesmma.com or www.ticketmaster.com or at the Twin River Players Club.
(CES photo by Ian Travis Barnard)