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CES 72: Caron vs. Collins Recap

CES 72 blew the roof off the Great Cedar Ballroom at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, CT last night with two high level and competitive grappling matches, three action-packed amateur MMA fights, and a professional MMA card full of great high-level New England talent. The fans packed in and created a great, noisy, and friendly atmosphere all night where the fighters fed off the energy and displayed some great skill.


In the first professional fight of the night, Casey Norton (2-0) and Jordan Berkholder (2-0) locked heads in the flyweight division. Both men came out pushing the pace engaging in striking exchanges. The fight was pretty even on the feet until it ended up on the ground. Both fighters worked for position and grappled to gain advances on each other. Jordan Berkholder found the neck of Norton at 4:28 of Round 1 and sunk in a rear naked choke to end the contest via submission. He advances to 3-0 as the early days of his career continue to rock on.


Next, top New England Flyweight prospects Justin Valentin (3-2) and Tim Flores (2-1) displayed an array of skill as they began the first round boxing. The striking of Valentin looked to be advanced and posed a major threat to Flores. The corner of Valentin kept reminding him about his striking, encouraging him to throw more. Flores didn't want much from Valentin on the feet and was able to keep the distance large enough to stay out of reach from those big shots. Flores was able to clinch and work the fight to the mats where Valentin would fight his way up at least once or twice. At one point, Valentin settled to fight on the mat, working his jiu-jitsu and wrestling. With about 20 seconds remaining in the first round, Valentin found an open heel hook, took it, and got the tap at 4:48 of R1. Valentin adds another win to the board as he advances to 4-2 as a professional. This was a great fight between two prospects with bright futures.


When the speakers exploded with Metro Boomin, Future, and Chris Brown (Superhero), the crowd went wild as the doors opened and Waterbury CT's Mike "The Savage" Kimbel (4-3) made his way to the ring. In his corner were "Notorious" Nick Newell (legendary MMA fighter and jiu-jitsu icon), "Bad" Chad Dawson (Former Heavyweight Boxing World Champion), and Bellator star Michael "Venom" Page. This is a very, very prestigious corner with great fight IQ and if you know "The Savage", the explanation for their role in his career is clearly written on the wall. The Texas native, Daniel Arriaga (1-2) stood across from him. Mike Kimbel came out with a fast pace that many remember from fights like his 6 second KO victory in the Bellator cage. His striking and kicks were powerful and fast. Within 20 seconds, he had Daniel Arriaga with his back to the cage as Kimbel unloaded on him. A leg kick sent Arriaga to the mat at :26 seconds into Round 1. But wait.....did you watch Bellator 292 just 9 days ago when Michael "Venom" Page took on Goiti Yamauchi and finished the fight via leg kick at :26 seconds? This was a very ironic moment as the #2 Bellator Welterweight flew from the United Kingdom to Connecticut and his good friend, Mike Kimbel recorded the same exact victory he did just over a week ago. MVP's commitment to Kimbel tells a lot as fellow London fighter, Leon Edwards defended his belt at UFC 286 in London last night, but Page still chose to fly across the country and corner his good friend, Mike Kimbel. Kimbel moves on to 5-3 as a professional Mixed Martial Artist.


The long anticipated bout between "Nasty" Nate Ghareeb (7-2) and Damion Nelson (4-1) was an absolute barn burner through Round 1 as both fighters engaged in striking exchanges. A cut near the eye of Ghareeb paused the fight early on but the doctors deemed him okay to continue. The cut opened up more as the round went on and Nelson continued to land. Ghareeb's leg kicks were very sharp and on target, too. The first rounds was back and fourth as both fighters had their moments. Nelson at one point hurt Ghareeb before he regrouped quickly. It was a very close round and both fighters were certainly aware of each others power. The second round was when Ghareeb took the fight to the mat and used his wrestling to get the back of Nelson and sink in a rear naked choke. Nelson fought for wrist control and almost made it out before his hands slipped up and Ghareeb was able to apply more pressure, forcing the tap at 3:44 of Round 2. This was a great fight, both guys were durable and the experience showed for itself, these two were very technical and sharp. Ghareeb advances to 8-2 and adds a solid name to his resume. Hats off to both fighters for a great showing.


In the main event, Burgess MMA's (New Hampshire) Tim "The Bear" Caron (12-5) took on Massachusetts native, Fran "The Fury" Collins (4-0) for CES Middleweight Gold. These two fighters were both ready for a "break through" moment and it was the perfect bout to make for this Middleweight Championship. Both fighters had tons of fans in attendance, and the atmospheres was awesome for our main event. The first round consisted of mainly striking exchanges where both fighters landed shots of their own. Caron seemed to be landing the more significant shots, especially leg kicks and one big shot that wobbled Collins midway through the first. The crowd was very entertained as the striking exchanges were intense. At press row, the common word was "This will not go 5 rounds". After a tight first round, both fighters met in the middle as the bell rang to begin Round 2. This fight continued to be great through Round 2 as both fighters displayed experience and great skill. The fight ended when this fight made it to the mats in R2 and Caron had the back of Collins. He began to work his ground and pound before he sank his hooks in, put his arm across the neck of Collins, and squeezed in a rear naked choke, giving Collins no other option than to tap. Tim "The Bear" Caron advances to 13-5 with the CES Middleweight Championship belt across his waist.





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