Preview: CES MMA Totes Two Title Belts to Western Mass Friday Night for CES 70


Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"


New England's longest tenured UFC Fightpass affiliate; CES MMA heads to the far reaches of Western Massachusetts Friday night as the CES cage once again inhabits the MassMutual Center in Downtown Springfield, Massachusetts as Jimmy Burchfield presents CES 70. Two ruby crusted vacant CES Title belts will be on the line in the Co-Main and Main Events, which are due to cap off yet another stacked CES MMA fight card that comes to you live Friday night, with an opening bell of 7 pm. For those who cannot be in attendance, the CES 70 main card will be streamed live on UFC Fightpass beginning at 8 pm local time, and New England MMA will be in the house at the MassMutual Center providing live up to the minute updates of everything transpiring as the night unfolds.


In the Main Event, New England Featherweight super-prospect "Nasty" Nate Ghareeb (6-1) looks for his sixth straight win inside the CES cage, as he makes his first bid for a professional title when he meets former CES Featherweight Title Challenger Dan Dubuque (8-5) with the vacant 145 pound strap on the line. In Ghareeb's five trips to the CES cage, he's a perfect 5-0 with four first round knockouts. Nate has continued to force the hand of CES brass with his performances inside their cage, Friday night is the culmination of those efforts as Ghareeb lines up with the toughest foe of his career in Dan Dubuque with the strap up for grabs.


Dubuque has now been on the shelf for two and a half years following a three fight losing streak, all by decision, but finds himself picking up close to where he left off following a May 2019 Split-Decision loss to former Champion Bruce Boyington for the CES Featherweight title. Dubuque gets a "second chance at romance" Friday night when he stands in with Ghareeb for five Championship rounds for that coveted CES Featherweight World Title.


Another New England super-prospect; Flyweight "Killa" Mitch Raposo (6-1) gets his first shot at CES MMA gold Friday night, in a five round Flyweight Co-Main event against a tough Flyweight veteran in Israel Galvan (5-2) with the now Vacant CES Flyweight belt up for grabs. Regiment Training Center's Raposo bounced back off the first loss of his career (albiet against Undefeated prospect Jake Hadley (7-0) on The Contender Series) last time out when he dispateched a tough Jay Viola (3-3) at Combat Zone 75 with a third round Rear Naked Choke. Still just 23 years old Raposo looks to get his name right back in the good graces of the UFC, and he will have that opportunity at CES 70, live on Fightpass, as he makes a bid for his first professional title, against Galvan with the World watching.


Fighting out of Dallas, Texas, the 22 year old "El Huracan" Galvan comes into this Flyweight Title bout riding a current 4 fight win streak that began back at CES 64 (September of 2021) with a dominant Unanimous Decision over David Durao in a CES Flyweight feature. Galvan continued with three stoppage victories throughout the last 12 months, putting him in line for the shot against Raposo for the vacant CES Flyweight World title. This should be an excellent matchup between two of the countries top unsigned Flyweight prospects!


Update: CES World Flyweight title fight SCRAPPED after Mitch Raposo has an unsucessful weight cut. We spoke with Israel Galvan's Manager via phone and confirmed the fight is indeed off after to promotion told him that during a brutal weight cut Raposo fell ill, and those closest to him advised that Raposo stop cutting weight and withdraw from the fight. Galvan's team was allerted of the misfortunes when their plane landed at the Connecticut airport, sometime yesterday afternoon at approimently 1 pm Eastern Time. A super upsetting set of senarios for all involved as now, CES 70 is down to just one title fight atop the card.



Sticking in the Flyweight Division, fast rising 125'er Harris Bonfiglio (5-1) guns for his fourth straight win under the CES banner when he meets Vermont's Kody Murray (1-0). Murray stunned the entire CES MMA faithful at CES 63, in this very same building, choking out the pro-debut of Miguel Cuevas in just 44 seconds. Murray most recently competed for BKFC in March of this year, suffering a fourth round TKO at the hands of Devin Gibson. Murray has a chance to improve his pro MMA record to 2-0 Friday night if he can figure out a way to solve the surging Ultimate MMA Flyweight; Harris Bonfiglio.



Main card action takes us to the Welterweight division next as the "King of Springfield" Pat "The Gorilla Ninja" Casey (9-5) returns to the CES cage for the third time Friday night in his hometown of Springfield. Winner of three of his last four contests Casey has been handing out first round finishes like Covid relief checks these days and he is showing no signs of stopping as he searches for his tenth professional victory at CES 70 against late notice replacement (for Daniel Frunza); Albert Tadevosyan (7-3-1). Hardcore CES and New England MMA fans will remember Tadevosyan from his first round submission loss at the hands of Justin Sumter at CES 64. Marred in the midst of a three fight losing skid, Tadevosyan faces an uphill battle against the hometown favorite; Pat "The Gorilla Ninja" Casey Friday night.



We head to the Lightweight division in our next bout as famiiar foes square off, in familiar teritory when "VIP" Ali Zebian (8-2) meets Sam "Super Saiyan" Watford (2-3). Zebian and Watford met just over a year ago in the second round of the Premier FC Lightweight Title tournament. In this very same arena at MassMutual Center last September, Zebian bested Watford for a Unanimous Decision (one round tournament style) on the way to defeating Dylan Salvador to capture the Premier FC Lighteight strap. This time these Lightweights get to share the cage for a full fifteen minutes, unless one decides to end it early. Zebian is gunning for his fifth straight win Friday night, while Watford will look to shatter his own current three fight skid.


The Featherweight division plays host as Bellator veteran Regivaldo Cavalho (6-4) welcomes the New England MMA debut of Florida's Keith Speed (5-5). Kenny Champion (2-2) locks horns with Cody Zappone (1-2) at 145 pounds. Undefeated Middleweight Fran Collins (3-0) meets Mus'Aib Baiyina (0-1). Casey "The Wonderbread Warrior" Norton (1-0) welcomes New Yorks Adrian Haly back to the CES cage in a preliminary Flyweight bout. Jon Ciampa and David Versailles open the card as Welterweights make their professional debuts.

A Grappling Superfight between former UFC rosterees John "Doomsday" Howard and JZ Cavalcante will welcome CES fans to Springfield Friday night in a legendary Combat Jiu Jitsu match. Continue below to watch this weeks episode of "The Room Podcast" where I join our Steve Domenico and Tommy SHahood to discuss some of the storylines surrounding this; CES 70: Ghareeb v. Dubuque.


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