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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 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)


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)


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)


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)

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)


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)

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)


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)

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)


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)

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 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)


Age: 33

Fighting out of: Berkeley, Massachusetts

Affiliation: Regiment Training Center

Record: 4-3 (3 Knockouts)

Last fight: First Round Submission loss to Andre Hall at CES 57. (07/26/19)

Age: 32

Fighting out of: Astoria, Pennsylvania

Affiliation: Long Island MMA

Record: 3-5 (2 Submissions)

Last fight: Third Round Submission (Triangle Choke) loss to Adriano Capitulino at CES 62. (04/30/21)

Breakdown: Grapplers Delight, these two guys fancy themselves a good old fashioned wrestling match. Pennsylvania's Hugh McKenna is 2-2 inside the CES cage, including a first round submission victory over Jesus Cintron at CES 56. His opponent Regiment Training Center's Pat McCrohan is 3-3 for the promotion, with two knockouts. Although their finishing techniques may differ, both these guys use their grappling abilities to set up their finishes, McCrohan's 3 knockouts have all been a result of his wrestling (1 Slam Knockout and 2 Ground and Pound Knockouts) and McKenna's submissions speak for themselves. Both will be fighting to keep their heads above water in a somewhat shallow New England MMA Middleweight division when the pin drops Sunday afternoon.

John Douma (5-2) vs. Tristan Lindi (2-2)


Age: 25

Fighting out of: Narragansett, Rhode Island

Affiliation: Tri-Force MMA

Record: 5-2 (2 Knockouts, 2 Submissions)

Last fight: Split-Decision victory over Will Smith at Bellator 256. (04/09/21)

Age: 25

Fighting out of: Ashland, Oregon

Affiliation: Rogue Combat Academy

Record: 2-2 (2 Knockouts)

Last fight: Unanimous Decision loss to Arnold Jiminez at KOTC: Pure Vengeance. (02/01/20)

Breakdown: Rhode Island’s Douma is an absolute dog, in his seven pro fights Douma has thrown down with the teeth of the New England Bantamweight division (18-8 opponents combined record) and come out the other side with an impressive 5-2 record. Known for his lethal grappling prowess, Douma has the submission grappling skills to compete at the highest levels of the sport, which he did in 2019-2021 making three appearances inside the Bellator cage (2-1). Still at just 25 years of age and continuing to evolve each time he enters the cage, an impressive outing here against fellow prospect Lindi on UFC Fight Pass could put him in line for an audition with Dana White. Former Full Contact Fighting Federation Amateur Bantamweight Champion Tristan Lindi has gained high praise as a top Bantamweight prospect out of the Pacific Northwest. Lindi went 5-0 as an Amateur where he dominated predominantly in the grappling game, like his opponent John Douma, Lindi has been met head on by some serious competition (12-5 opponents combined record) since joining the ranks of the pros. With just two wins in his first four pro fights, Lindi still has a ton to prove and he hopes to do just that Sunday afternoon against another killer in John Douma.

Ashiek Ajim (4-1) vs. Carlos Espinosa (6-4)


Age: 28

Fighting out of: New York, New York

Affiliation: Long Island MMA

Record: 4-1 (3 Knockouts)

Last fight: First Round Knockout of Richard Barnard at CES 63. (08/06/21)

Age: 34

Fighting out of: Tampa, Florida

Affiliation: American Top Team (Tampa)

Record: 6-4 (3 Knockouts, 1 Submissions)

Last fight: Unanimous Decision victory over Leandro Cavalho at CES 63. (04/30/21)

Breakdown:This matchup has “Fight of the Night” potential written all over it, both of these guys are extremely confident in their stand up abilities and that will likely be on display Sunday afternoon when the pin drops on their CES Bantamweight bout. Espinosa brings a slightly more refined approach to the striking game, Carlos will look for holes in Ajim’s offense and try to exploit them with technically sound counters. Ajim on the other hand just bites down on his mouthpiece and hits the gas pedal, heavy firepower, endless combinations and a durable jaw make Ajim a problem in the Bantamweight division. I see Ajim’s aggressiveness being too much to handle the more finessed approach of Espinosa, not allowing Carlos to set up his more tactical striking and making this fight ugly. Ajim never seems to tire, as his constant forward pressure usually derails any type of offense his opponents had planned. After what I’ve seen of Ajim in his first five pro bouts, I find it hard to imagine him not finding a way to get his hand raised at CES 65 against Florida’s Espinosa and continuing on his path as one of the more exciting Bantamweight talents in the region.

Andre Harrison (21-2-1) vs. Mauro Chaulet (14-7)


Age: 33

Fighting out of: Long Island, New York

Affiliation: Bellmore Kickboxing MMA

Record: 21-2-1 (3 Knockouts, 2 Submissions)

Last fight: Second Round Submission (Ninja Choke) loss to Alex Gilpin at PFL 2019 #8. (10/17/19)

Age: 33

Fighting out of: Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Affiliation: Team Nogueira Porto Alegre

Record: 14-7 (5 Knockouts, 5 Submissions)

Last fight: First Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) loss to Damon Jackson at LFA 83. (03/06/20)

Breakdown: One look at his record along with his line of work and it's hard to imagine that former World Series of Fighting Featherweight Champion; Andre "The Bull" Harrison still remains an "unsigned" commodity coming into his CES MMA debut Sunday. The one knock on the 33 year old Long Islander has been his sub 25% finish rate, in Harrison's 21 career victories only 5 have come by way of stoppage. That trend will need to change Sunday afternoon in Downtown Providence when Harrison get's his shot to audition his skills on the Worldwide UFC Fight Pass platform. His opponent, 33 year old Brazilian veteran Mauro Chaulet, is no stranger to stiff competition as he has tested himself against currently UFC rostered Renato Moicano and Damon Jackson across his 14 year professional career. Althought, this test against one of the best 145 pound chain wrestlers in the game, could prove to be Chaulet's toughest to date. Harrison looks to further the upward trajectory of his promising career Sunday, while Chaulet arrives in town hoping to completely change the trajectory of his respective career, and make a name for himself at the expense of the highly touted Andre Harrison.

Yorgan De Castro (6-3) vs. Danyelle Williams (8-6-1)


Age: 33

Fighting out of: Fall River, Massachusetts

Affiliation: Regiment Training Center

Record: 6-3 (5 Knockouts)

Last fight: First Round Knockout loss to Jarjis Danho at UFC on ABC 2. (04/10/21)

Age: 39

Fighting out of: Owatonna, Minnesota

Affiliation: Warrior Spirit MMA

Record: 8-6-1 (5 Knockouts, 1 Submission)

Last fight: First Round Knockout loss to Greg Rebello at CES 41. (01/27/17)

Breakdown: This is exactly the kind of match up that puts asses in seats when you mention “Heavyweight Main Event”; two extremely powerful, heavy handed and ill willed Titans set to throw down with neither intending to take a step backwards. This is the classic unstoppable force vs. immovable object Main Event that New England MMA fans have been salivating for since Yorgan De Castro returned from his four fight stint in the UFC. Yorgan told our Steve Domenico that he is "doing everything right" this camp in anticipation of picking up a couple more regional wins before hopefully finding his way back to the UFC's roster. It's only fitting that Yorgan's return to New England comes here in the main event of an absolutely stacked afternoon of fisticuffs against fellow slugger Danyelle Williams. There aren't many words in my repertoire that can do this matchup justice, my suggestions; sit back, buckle up and don't blink...this one could get bloody!


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