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A Closer Look: New England MMA Pro Featherweight Rankings

Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"

In a division oozing with high quality talent, the cream has most definitely risen to the top when it comes to New England Featherweights. A shake up at the top of the division can be credited to two major happenings; the first former number one Featherweight "Shameless" Don Shainis (12-5) had since departed the region, now fighting in the UFC's Featherweight division. The second; Dan Dubuque (9-5) ended a two and a half year layoff at CES 70 when he earned a split-decision nod against former number two Featherweight "Nasty" Nate Ghareeb (8-2) for the CES Featherweight title.

So as it works out Connor "The Controller" Matthews (6-1, New England Cartel) who by all accounts has secured himself a spot on this Summer's Contender Series with a first round drubbing of Andrew Cruz (8-5) at Combat Zone 79 (Dana White's Looking for a Fight) now sits at the top of the New England 145 pound depth chart. Dubuque breaks back into the rankings and sits at number two following his victory over Ghareeb, "Nasty" Nate falls one spot to third place on the list. Maintaining his number four spot, Matthews New England Cartel teammate Tom "The Phenom" Pagliarulo (6-1) held his ground with a Decision victory over a tough Cody Zappone (2-3) at Combat Zone 79.

The most glaring omission from this set of rankings unfortunately comes as a technicality and for the same reason Kris Moutinho (10-6) did not appear on the Bantamweight rankings. Kris' only fight inside the region since returning from the UFC was fought at 145 pounds, New Hampshire native Brendon "The Kid" Marotte (7-1) ended his three year layoff from MMA competition at Combat Zone 79 with a second round Knockout of Dion Rubio (3-2) but that fight took place at 155 pounds, Marotte who was scheduled to lace up the gloves at Featherweight for CES next Friday against Regivaldo Cavalho (7-4) before being forced to withdraw from that bout could push his way into the region's top two or three 145'ers in the coming months.

Also looking to improve his stock next Friday at CES 73, former boxer Travis Demko (3-0) number 9 on this list, hopes to remain unblemished in his MMA career when he makes his Bantamweight debut against Shawn Johnson (3-4). Also, Nostos MMA's Nate Grimard (3-2) will look to claw his way back on to this list next Saturday at NEF 52: Zero Hour when he locks in with Robert Wusstig (7-12) in Featherweight action. With Marotte back in the picture, Demko looking to find his home in the Bantamweight division and Grimard in action these ranking will get a well deserve shake up upon the next release for sure, as the Featherweight division remains fluid throughout the New England region.

We look forward to fight news from Featherweight prospects Tyrime DaSilva, Jake Pilla, Mike Kimbel and Pat Gilbride in the coming weeks that could help the division come more into focus during a very active Summer planned here in New England.

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