PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 12th, 2014) CES MMA has gone above and beyond regional protocol for this upcoming card. This could very well be the most exciting and the most important card of the year. Many fighters’ futures will be determined on March 14th at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI. The Heavyweight CES championship title will be crowned and several highly ranked and respected fighters will put it on the line in some super tough and evenly matched fights. This is a can't miss event if you are a local MMA fan. It does not get bigger than this around these parts!
In the main event, the region's #1 top dog at lightweight, Luis "Rockstar" Felix (10-7) will take on Drew "Night Rider" Fickett (42-20). Felix has notable wins over UFC's Joe Lauzon by KO, rising star Lucas Cruz and Ultimate Fighter alum, Marc Stevens and has always fought the region's best. Felix will be bringing half of Rhode Island and the whole regional MMA community into the cage with him for the biggest fight of his life. Felix has claimed to be training harder than ever for this one and is definitely a gamer. His best work is usually done in his biggest fights. A win here for the New England Combat competitor will certainly put him on the national radar!
Drew Fickett comes in with an incredible resume inside the cage and an incredible story outside of it. He is a 7X UFC veteran and winner of the Shine MMA 8 man tournament. He has beaten Kenny Florian by decision and finished Josh Koschek, Josh Neer, Dennis Bermudez and Crazy Horse Bennett amongst others. He has all the talent in the world and a renewed drive, as he has given up the night life in search of one last run at glory. His whole up and down career was marred by admitted alcohol abuse. Fickett is now sober and focused. He has gone on air and said that he has trained extremely hard for this fight. This is his chance to become noticed again and to do it clean and sober. The question in this fight has to be is it too late for Fickett or does he have a new lease on his fight life. Is it time for the ultra-talented Rockstar to finally get to the next level or will the experience and new attitude of Fickett prove to be too much. I guess we will find out Friday night but one thing is for sure, this fight is going to be EXCITING!
In the co-main event "Big" John Johnston (5-0) will take on his toughest test when he faces Josh "Heavy" Hendricks for the inaugural CES Heavyweight title. Big John is one of the head trainers at the legendary Sityodtong and has become quite the fighter as well. His 5 wins by KO have put the regional scene on notice. A win here would most likely put Big John on top of the heavyweight heap in the northeast. Devastating Muay Thai and tons of grit and heart are Big John's strong suits. A chink in his armor hasn't been found yet but Josh Hendricks will be sure to test that. Hendricks, a veteran of the UFC, looks to get his second big win for CES and rejuvenate his career. He beat current Bellator star Josh "Freight Train" Diekman a few fights ago for CES by arm triangle, proving he is NOT to be taken lightly. He has been in the cage with some of the best and is certainly not coming here from Ohio to lose. Hendricks has been training at Gillett's MMA in preparation for the fight and one would think he would love to get this to the ground. A slight problem is the only time Big John's fights have gone to the ground it is usually his opponent unconscious. This is going to be a barnburner and it is highly unlikely the judges will be needed!!
Bellator MMA reality show veteran Chip "The Surgeon" Pollard (7-6) will be making his middleweight debut against another UFC veteran, Tom "The Tank" Egan. Locally, Chip has fought EVERYONE at 170 and most likely is moving up because he was offered a 185 lb fight and he just is not into turning down fights, ever. Chip is as technical as you get standing with cardio for days. His takedown defense is strong and his footwork and jab are lethal.
His opponent is the super tough Irishman, Tom Egan. Egan, like Chip, is coming off a tough loss and will definitely be hungry. He is not afraid to throw down and will look to use his size and stay close to Chip. This fight is a sure fire fight of the night candidate and the winner will move way up on the local scene! Expect this one to go to the judges and maybe paint the canvas red! This is our pick for fight of the night!
Mass MMA's Chuck "Cold Steel" O'Neil (12-6) will be returning to the CES cage to take on another out of towner, Roger "The Leprechaun" Carroll (12-10). Chuck has some big local wins, including Marcus Davis and Keith Jeffery, and had some great moments on the Ultimate Fighter season 13. He is very well rounded and should be better anywhere the fight goes.
Chuck Lidell look-alike Carroll is certainly a game opponent who has been in there with very tough competition. He has beaten current UFC rising star Clint Hester and his last fight went to decision with the very tough Scott Holtzman. His nickname is Leprechaun and it is a St. Patty's day show, so maybe the stars are aligned, but we are pretty sure Cold Steel O'Neil is very Irish as well!
In one of the more intriguing matchups of the night SSSF's Brandon Fleming (3-2), fresh of his Reality Fighting title, takes his talent to 140 lbs. hoping ultimately to join the stacked northeast bantamweight class. Brandon will be facing off against fellow Bellator veteran (and winner) Rob Sullivan (3-1). Fleming's only losses were too CES champ Rob Font and Bellator rising star Dez Green. Both of those fights were razor close and definitely could have swayed his way. Fleming brings in a strong wrestling pedigree but also has a very underrated and smooth striking game. He could potentially win this fight in many different ways.
Sullivan has a Bellator win and a big win over CES crowd favorite and the best 4-5 fighter in the history of MMA, Dinis Paiva. The New Jersey product also brings a very strong wrestling pedigree into this fight. Sullivan is a very dangerous, grinding fighter. Normally when two elite wrestlers fight it stays standing. The big question in this one is can he compete with Fleming standing? That question will be answered Friday night!
The always dangerous Muay Thai machine, Sityodtong's Andres "The Black Shark" Jeudi, will be moving back up to 155 to attempt to stop the four fight winning streak of dangerous submission artist Brendan "Honey Badger" Rooney.
ATT Phenom Charles Rosa (7-0) returns home from Florida yet again to step in the CES cage against rugged Bellator veteran Brylan Van Artsdalen (8-9) in possibly his toughest test to date.
Former featherweight local kingpin and Bellator/ Strikeforce veteran, Josh "The Problem" Laberge (8-4) fighting out of Lauzon's MMA makes his long awaited return to the cage to take on durable Philadelphian Steve McCabe (6-14).
Hometown favorite, Team United Muay Lao’s Tommy Venticinque (0-1) looks to rebound from a tough debut loss when he takes on highly rated amateur Rick Rivera. Tommy is fighting for his wife Rebecca as she just beat Thyroid Cancer. We wish her our best.
Future star Kyle Bochniak (1-0) will look for his 3rd win/finish in a row inside the CES cage, 2nd as a pro when he takes on Philadelphia's Marius Enache (1-2).
The show starts at 7pm, Tickets are on sale at CESMMA.com for $40, $55, $100, $125 VIP. Support your local fighters by grabbing tickets off them or going on the CES MMA site and entering their name. You can also call the CES MMA Box Office at 401-724-2253.
Written By: Mike Strazzere and Tom Evans
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