The 125 pound division in New England may not be the deepest in the region, but there are a few clear cut fighters near the top of the rankings. The last time we put out rankings in the summer of 2020, Blaine "The Shuttdown" Shutt (8-5) was at the top of the heap. Nothing has changed this time around, as the CES flyweight champion still garners plenty of respect, even though he has only competed once since the pandemic started. That one fight was a decision loss at 135 pounds, up a weight class, under the Bellator banner against a very tough UFC vet. Shutt is now poised to get back on the winning track as he'll be competing on the Bellator 273 card in Phoenix on January 29th.
The 1st and 2nd place voting was very tight in this division, as Regiment Training Center's Mitch Raposo (5-1) locks down the 2nd position. Raposo had a stellar amateur career in the region, and started his professional career rattling off 5 straight wins before getting the call to compete on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, competing as a bantamweight. Things didn't go as planned for Raposo on the reality show after being the 1st 135er picked by the coaches. Raposo lost his opening match in the competition, but it was a great learning experience for the Fall River, Massachusetts native. Raposo then had an opportunity to compete on the Contender Series at his natural weight class (125), but ended up dropping that fight to a very tough Jake Hadley via rear naked choke in the 2nd round.
Shutt and Raposo may be on a collision course, which should bring music to the ears of New England MMA fans. Shutt currently holds the CES flyweight belt, and Raposo often competes for the organization on the regional level. Only time will tell, but if the two end up battling within the CES cage, then we'll know once and for all who the top dog is at 125 in New England.
Former #2 ranked fighter, Johnny Lopez (12-5), finds himself slipping one spot to the 3 hole, but he's ready and willing to prove to the faithful that he isn't done yet. Lopez will be taking on the #2 ranked bantamweight in New England, Johnny "Cupcakes" Campbell (21-14), at this weekend's Reality Fighting card at Mohegan Sun.
A quickly rising flyweight star finds himself in the 4th spot, as Fighting Arts Academy product, Tim Flores (3-1), is strung together 2 wins in recent months, while his only loss was a decision against Ron Leon within the 145 pound division. Flores has been impressive in his most recent fights, and definitely is someone to watch in the coming months to see if he can crack the top 3 that is currently occupied by Shutt, Raposo, and Lopez.
There may be 2 obvious names at the top of this list in Shutt and Raposo, there is still debate over which one of them should occupy the top spot. We may have this debate settled later in the year if CES can line up a championship bout between the two. We shall see.
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