CES MMA 65: De Castro v. Williams; The Preview

Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"

Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES MMA) returns to the heart of Providence, Rhode Island Sunday afternoon, for the first time since CES 13 in 2012. Live from the Providence Career and Technical Academy CES MMA presents CES 65: De Castro v. Williams broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass. Opening bell sounds at 4 pm Sunday afternoon as CES MMA pulls into Providence with an absolutely stacked fight card loaded to the gills with some of the New England MMA favorites as well as some of the sports biggest names. Continue below for our complete dissection of the entire 10 fight line up as we see it, and be sure to stay with NewEnglandMMA.org throughout the day Sunday for all the live CES MMA 65 coverage.

Postliminary Card; Begins after the conclusion of the UFC Fight Pass Main Event.

Frank Posko (Pro Debut) vs. Kideby Gordon (Pro Debut)


Frank “The Possum” Posko

Age: 26

Fighting out of: Bel-Air, Maryland

Affiliation: Bel-Air MMA

Record: 0-0 (5-4 as an Amateur)

Last fight: First Round Submission (Guillotine Choke) of Jude Hammad at Cowboy Fight Series 4. (12/21/19)

Kideby Gordon


Fighting out of: Fall River, Massachusetts

Affiliation: Regiment Training Center

Record: 0-0 (MMA debut)

Last fight:

Breakdown: Following in the footsteps of his Regiment Training Center teammates, Fall River's Kideby Gorgon makes his professional debut on the same fightcard as three of his RTC brothers; Aaron Hughes, Pat McCrohan and Yorgan De Castro. Aside from his Regiment roots I know little about the debuting Gordon, and even less about his opponent; Frank Posko, who comes to us from Bel-Air Maryland looking to leave a lasting impression on the New England MMA faithful.

Tyrime Da Silva (Pro Debut) vs. Josh Hardy (0-1)


Tyrime “The Dream” Da Silva

Age: 27

Fighting out of: Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Affiliation: Tri-Force MMA

Record: 0-0 (3-0 as an Amateur)

Last fight: Second Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) of Randy Francis at Cage Titans 48. (07/10/21)

Josh “The Hitman” Hardy

Age: 22

Fighting out of: Bristol, Vermont


Record: 0-1

Last fight: First Round Knockout loss to Tom Pagliarulo at CES 63. (08/06/21)

Breakdown: Tri-Force MMA’s Tyrime Da Silva followed up back to back first round Guillotine wins over the Layton twins(Brandon and Brett Layton), with a statement RNC finish of Multi-Promotional Amateur Champion Randy Francis in July at Cage Titans 48. Da Silva forgoes a shot at Shane Dougherty’s Cage Titans Amateur Featherweight strap Sunday, as he punches his pro ticket against Josh “The Hitman” Hardy. Hardy earned his amateur stripes on the Vermont local scene, going 5-4 as an ammy before turning pro at CES 63, where he ran into an absolute “Phenom” in Tom Pagliarulo. Hardy didn’t let New England’s top Featherweight prospect (Pagliarulo) deter him from jumping back in there with yet another stud, as Hardy sets his sights on 3-0 amateur and pro debuting Tyrime Da Silva Sunday afternoon.

Aaron Hughes (1-1) vs. Rakim Thorpe (0-1)


Aaron “Short Fuse” Hughes

Age: 27

Fighting out of: Fall River, Massachusetts

Affiliation: Regiment Training Center

Record: 1-1 (1 Knockouts)

Last Fight: First Round TKO (Strikes) loss to Jacob Deppmeyer at NEF 44. (08/21/21)

Rakim Thorpe

Age: 29

Fighting out of: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Affiliation: JacksonWink

Record: 0-1

Last fight: Split-Decision loss to Damion Nelson at Ring of Combat 73. (07/17/21)

Breakdown: Originally slated to throw fists with fellow New England Featherweight Miguel Cuevas at CES 65, Regiment Training Center's Aaron "Short Fuse" Hughes found himself faced with an opponent change late into fight camp. Eager to make his CES MMA debut Hughes doesn't really care who is standing across from him Sunday afternoon, as long as there's a scrap. Hughes draws highly regarded JacksonWink wrestling prospect Rakim Thorpe in what will undoubtedly be Aaron's toughest test since turning pro earlier this year. Hughes followed a second round stoppage victory in his pro debut with a tough first round defeat at NEF 44 in August. Thorpe dropped a grueling split-decision in his pro debut earlier this year, following a stellar 8-3 amateur career, both these guys will be looking to bounce back, in a big way, under the bright lights at CES 65.

Main Card: 4 pm, broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass.

Matt Almy (4-4) vs. Tim Flores (2-1)


Matt Almy

Age: 33

Fighting out of: Binghamton, New York

Affiliation: Apex MMA Academy

Record: 4-4 (1 Knockout, 3 Submissions)

Last fight: Unanimous Decision Loss to Mitch Raposo at CES 61. (10/14/20)

Tim Flores

Age: 29

Fighting out of: Hartford, Connecticut

Affiliation: Fighting Arts Academy

Record: 2-1 (1 Submission)

Last fight: First Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) of Brandon Neiford at Premier FC 31. (09/18/21)

Breakdown: Talk about a litmus test, this is a huge step up in competition for FAA’s Flores who will be looking to add a signature win to his resume early in his professional career when he meets veteran Matt Almy inside the CES cage Sunday. Almy is no stranger to pitching the upset inside the CES cage, as he signified a bump in the road for top prospect Richie Santiago at CES 49 with a first round D'arce Choke. Almy has also had the opportunity to test New England Flyweight standouts; Johnny Lopez and Mitch Raposo during their rise through the New England MMA ranks. It's another day, another prospect, for the New Yorker here when he meets another extremely physical Flyweight; Fighting Arts Academy’s Tim Flores. Flores continues to show a ton of promise in a “muddy” New England Flyweight division. If he can follow up his first round submission of Brandon Neiford at Premier FC 31 with an impressive showing here against Matt Almy at CES 65, we could see Flores begin to separate himself from the pack in terms of top Flyweight talents in the region.

Nathan Ghareeb (4-1) vs. Tom Pagliarulo (3-0)


Nathan Ghareeb

Age: 28

Fighting out of: Southampton, Massachusetts

Affiliation: Fighting Arts Academy

Record: 4-1 (4 Knockouts)

Last fight: First Round Knockout of Eduardo Rodrigues at CES 64. (09/17/21)

Tom "The Phenom" Pagliarulo

Age: 24

Fighting out of: Haverhill, Massachusetts

Affiliation: New England Cartel

Record: 3-0 (3 Knockouts)

Last fight: First Round TKO of Elias Jose De Oliveira at Combat Zone 74. (Last Friday)

Breakdown: I may get torn to shreds for saying this but, the fall out of Nathan Ghareeb's original opponent David Bollea late into fight week, may be one of the best things that has happened to New England MMA in recent memory. We found out late Friday afternoon that Bollea was indeed out of the fight, and stepping up on just two days notice; New England Cartel's Featherweight super-prospect Tom "The Phenom" Pagliarulo. Pagliarulo has been getting his share of play here at NewEnglandMMA.org as of late, last Friday evening Pags strapped on the gloves for teammate Calvin Kattar's Combat Zone MMA, taking home an 11 second Knockout of Elias Jose De Oliveira without breaking a sweat. Pagliarulo probably said it best through his personal social media "scared money, don't make money" as he put pen to paper and signed to to throw down with fellow New England Featherweight prospect, and Knockout Artist; Nathan Ghareeb, just days removed from his third professional victory.

What a treat for New England MMA fans as we rarely get so see two high level prospects on the cusp of the big leagues throw caution into the wind and square off with one another inside their own region! Add the fact that these two guys love to throw hands and will be doing so for the world to see on UFC Fight Pass and this just became my "Fight of the Weekend." This card was already stacked but the addition of Pagliarulo v. Ghareeb sends my excitement level into another stratosphere!

Pat McCrohan (4-3) vs. Hugh McKenna (3-5)


Pat McCrohan

Age: 33

Fighting out of: Berkeley, Massachusetts

Affiliation: Regiment Training Center

Record: 4-3 (3 Knockouts)