Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES MMA) sets its sights on Hartford, Connecticut this Friday night as CES 67 comes to you live from the Connecticut Convention Center and streamed worldwide on UFC Fight Pass. CES makes the quick turnaround following their March 4th CES 66, which saw them return to their home at Bally's Twin River Casino in front of a packed house in Lincoln, Rhode Island. CES crowned two new World Champions at CES 66 as Diego Silva (14-6) defeated Andre Soukhamthath (14-10) by decision to capture the CES Bantamweight Title in the main event, and Groton, Connecticut's Billy Goff (6-2, #1 Welterweight in New England) dispatched Gary Balletto Jr. (7-3, #3 Welterweight in New England) with strikes in the very first round to claim the vacant CES Welterweight Title.
With CES gold now firmly around the waist of Dexter MMA's Billy Goff, Goff wasted little time stating his intentions, putting everyone on notice in his post fight interview with our Steve Domenico. Well, Goff may have spoke his intentions into existence in the back room at Bally's Twin River that night. As Billy has now jumped on the opportunity to capture yet another CES World Title belt Friday night, when he replaces UFC veteran Eric Spicely (12-8, #3 Middleweight in New England) to challenge Justin "The Fort" Sumter (8-4, #1 Middleweight in New England) for the currently vacant CES Middleweight World Title in the CES 67 Main Event.
In the Co-Main event Friday night; former CES Flyweight Title Challenger Johnny "Mr. Nice Guy" Lopez (12-5, #3 Flyweight in New England) enters the cage for the first time since dropping a narrow Split-Decision loss to CES Flyweight Champion Blaine Shutt at CES 60 some two years ago. Lopez hopes to begin his climb back up the regional ladder at CES 67 when he welcomes Mongolian Azjavkhlan Baatar (7-6) to the region, and stateside for the first time in his career. Although this bout will be contested in the Bantamweight division, the 38 year old Lopez could could make one last push at CES Flyweight gold with a comeback win here against Baatar.
We continue in the Welterweight division as the King of Springfield, Massachusetts; Pat "The Gorilla Ninja" Casey (8-4, #5 Welterweight and #5 Middleweight in New England) returns to the CES cage for the first time in four years (Unanimous Decision victory over Ryan Castro at CES 49, April 2018) following a stint with Bellator MMA and other regional promotions. Casey looks to remind the New England faithful why he is consistently ranked amongst the top five professional Welterweights and Middleweights in the region. Casey aims to push his current winning streak to 3 Friday night when he welcomes New York's Armus Guyton (5-2) back to the CES cage after a four year absence of his own (first round Knockout of Tommy Davis at CES 49, February 2018). The 26 year old Guyton now trains out of the JacksonWink camp in Albequerque, New Mexico and will be looking to bounce back off just the second loss of his career Friday night when the pin drops on his showdown with "The Gorilla Ninja."
Speaking of Bellator MMA veterans, all 6 of Waterbury, Connecticut Mike "The Savage" Kimbel's (3-3) professional fights have come inside the confines of the Bellator cage. Kimbel returns to the region after dropping 3 of his last 4 bouts on the World stage, but at just 25 years old and possessing a plethora of natural talent "The Savage" hopes a return to New England and an impressive victory over Oregonian Tristan Lindi (2-4) in their Bantamweight contest at CES 67 will help him get his promising career back on track.
Undefeated Fighting Arts Academy prospect Eddy George (4-0, #6 Lightweight in New England) has shown one speed since turning pro at CES 60 against Raymond Yanez, 4 first round knockouts and no signs of slowing down. George makes his fifth trip to the CES cage at CES 67 as he looks to keep stacking wins and unconcious opponents when he meets Argentina's Emiliano Calderon (1-1) in a Lightweight feature Friday night. George seems to be on the cusp of stardom, another first round finish here against Calderon and it may be time for UFC brass to take notice of the 30 year old West Haven product.
These days it seem like the only thing more difficult than solving Ultimate MMA's Yuri "The Russian Polar Bear" Panferov (1-0, #2 Light-Heavyweight in New England) is finding someone willing to be locked inside the cage with the undefeated big man. Since Panferov made his MMA debut in 2016, he has been perfect, six wins and no losses, all of those wins have come by way of finish (2 Knockouts, 4 Submissions) and no man has ever made it out of the second round with Yuri. Friday night Rochester, New York's Mus'Aib Baiyina (Pro Debut, 4-2 Amateur MMA) will be the next man tasked to solve the 25 year old Panferov when the two lock horns in a Light-Heavyweight feature live on UFC Fight Pass.
A trio of Flyweight contests help fill out the rest of the ten fight bill Friday night as New England MMA veterans Harris Bonfiglio (3-1, meets Jason Huntley 6-10), David Durao (0-1, meets Daniel Maldonado 0-4) and CES newcomer Casey Norton (Pro Debut, meets Pedro Villa Pro Debut) all look to make a statement at 125 pounds. And rounding out the evening 48 year old New Haven, Connecticut native Markos "Speedy" Pappas (Pro Debut) welcomes 13 fight amateur veteran RJ "Bad Intentions" Hayes (Pro Debut, 3-10 Amateur MMA) as pro debuters get ready to kick off CES 67 at Heavyweight.
Stay tuned to New England MMA and our social media outlets throughout the week for the latest CES 67 News and Notes.