CES 53 Main Card RESULTS: Tony Gravely slams his way to CES gold
After some impressive performances we are set to begin our main card here at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. The CES 53 main card is built around 7 fights, and after some last minute changes, we have a new main event. CES mainstay Dinis Paiva was forced out due to weight cut issues and Army Veteran Kody Nordby stepped up on short notice to face newcomer Tony Gravely for the 135lb belt.
Parker Porter Vs. Keith Bell (Heavyweight)
We begin with this heavyweight bout between two that are used to finishing fights early. Porter (6-4) a native of Connecticut has 2 KO wins to his name and 3 submissions. His opponent, Keith “Bad Newz” Bell has finished al 9 of his wins. We begin with the two standing and exchanging, “Bad Newz” seems to be landing some of the heavier shots but Porter is not backing down in the slightest. As Bell attempts somewhat of a flying knee, Porter catches him with a takedown and throws vicious ground and pound his way. With about 2 minutes left in the round it seemed as though Porter had all but won, but in the moment caught Bell with a fist to the back of the head which forced a doctor stoppage, and it was deemed Bell could not continue, this one oddly ends in a Disqualification, which means Bell is the winner of our first fight despite the tough position he found himself in. Rules are rules even in MMA.
Dylan Lockard Vs. Anthony Wright (Featherweight)
Both of these fighters have created a name for themselves early in their careers. Dylan Lockard (4-1) will face undefeated Anthony Wright (3-0). Wright a native of North Carolina has won all of his fights via submission, while Lockard has a win by KO and one via submission. The two begin the contest with Anthony Wright pressuring the PMA product, but Lockard quickly returns the favor. The two continues to exchange with hard combinations, Wright attempts a takedown and finds the back of Dylan Lockard, but Lockard impressively transitions steering clear of danger and gaining top control. Lockard continues damaging ground and pound and blocking every transition Wright attempts. With under a minute left the referee was very close to stepping in, but the heart of Wright showed, as he survives the round.
Wright and Lockard begin round 2 standing but it doesn’t take long for the ground game to appear again, Lockard gains top control and continues haunting Wright with transitions. Both of these fighters have proven their dangerous ground game tonight. Lockard ends up in full mount and lands big time hooks and elbows until he forces the stoppage in the middle of round 2. Dylan Lockard hands Anthony Wright his first ever professional loss, and improves to 5-1 adding another stoppage to his resume.
Johnny Lopez Vs. Josh Ricci (Flyweight)
The submission style matchups just continue to line up for us tonight at CES53. “Mr. Nice Guy” Lopez is (7-4) with 4 submission wins, while undefeated (4-0) “Ruthless” Ricci has 2 submissions under his belt, don’t be surprised to see these two looking to add another to their respective resume. Ricci is quick to attempt to control the speed of the fight, both trade jabs and continue the jog around the octagon. Seemingly waiting to strike Lopez opens with a fade and lands a big leg kick to the head of Ricci , which drops Ricci to the ground. Lopez jumps on the opportunity and both begin a battle for positioning. Ricci transitions nicely, getting his wits back about him, and gains a prominent top control. Lopez shows continuous ground IQ, both attempt submission attempts but none of them succeed, as both of these men transitions are to quick.
We see a second round in this one, Ricci wastes no time in taking down Lopez. As Lopez begins to stand, Ricci again slams him to the ground, momentarily finding his back but doing nothing with it. Lopez again shows his transition game and retakes top control, in somewhat of a crucifix position but not completely. Lopez remains in control with under two minutes left in round 2. The Connecticut native begins elbowing the body of Ricci, Lopez remains in top control but Ricci thrives in not taking to much damage, and survives.
Round 3 opens with Ricci hitting a body kick and again quickly going to his ground game. Yet again Ricci is the one succeeding with the takedown but Lopez ends up in top control. Ricci regains composure but Lopez wraps his arms around the neck while standing but Ricci escapes and we again see this fight to the ground. “Mr. Nice Guy” looks for a submission win to end the last 30 seconds but the fight goes the distance. As the fight ends Lopez is fired up and looks like he could go another 3 rounds no problem. We go to the scorecard, a unanimous decision win for Johnny Lopez, ending the undefeated streak of Ricci.
Kris Moutinho Vs. James Quigg (Bantamweight)
Kris Moutinho (6-2) , a native of Massachusetts looks to continue his win streak against James Quigg (4-2). Quigg a North Carolina native, has won al 4 of his fights via stoppage (2 Sub, 2KO). The two bantamweights meet in the middle and decide to throw, Moutinho connects with a nice combination, Quigg is repeatedly landing with his jab, attempting to set up his left hook. It almost seems as though as soon as one connects the opponent follows with one of his own. Quigg decides to throw a takedown attempt in there which succeeds, but within moments Moutinho is back on his feet. Moutinho is connecting at will, he is very patient with his setups. Quigg again shoots for a takedown and ends the round in top control.
Round 2 underway with a nice leg kick from Quigg and a takedown attempt stuffed. Moutinho lands some precise shots and Quigg and seems to have wobbled the Carolina native, who makes the right decision to take this one back to the ground. This round has mostly taken place on the ground which has given Quigg time to recover both from the shot and the fatigue, Moutinho continues landing shots, but Quigg is content in the clinch or on the ground. As the round ends, the fight is back standing where Moutinho lands 3 clean shots in the last 10 seconds of the round.
Round 3 both are taking shots as they stand and exchange, Quigg uses his leg kick to set up a straight shot to the chin. Moutinho is precise with his shot, and lands combinations at will. Quigg is also landing some big shots and both are in an all out war at this point. Moutinho has opened up Quigg and the blood is flowing. Moutinho takes Quigg by surprise and shoots for a successful takedown but quickly they are standing again. As the exchanges continue Moutinho again shoots for a takedown where this fight comes to a close. A fun one for the fans here at CES, those men left it all out there. We go to the judges scorecard, Kris Moutinho takes a unanimous decision win.
Andy Aiello Vs. Zachary Burhans (bantamweight bout)
The Lauzon MMA student Andy Aiello (3-3) is stepping in on last minutes notice to face Zachary Burhans (3-2-1), a New York native who was originally set to fight Kody Nordby before he was called to the main event. Aiello is coming off a split decision loss, and is looking to get back in the winning column. This one begins with the two wasting little time to exchange with each other in the middle of the octagon. As both fighter land, Aiello seemed to get caught, but didn’t need much time to recover as he tags Burhans moments later. With only 20 seconds left in the round Burhans lands a clean combo which he follows with a successful takedown slam, he ends the round in top control.
Aiello begins the round landing a beautiful combo on Burhans. Aiello begins walking Burhans down, but he again lands a big takedown. Burhans has Aiello in a standing guillotine but to continue it would only waste energy, as Aiello was in good calm position. Burhans lets go and lands a big elbow followed by another takedown. We end the round with a bloodied Aiello and a leading Burhans exchanging in the middle.
Aiello controls the third round walking down Burhans, who attempts a takedown but fails. Aiello for a man that stepped in less than 24 hours ago looks as if he can last all night in this one. Aiello throws a missed jab and ends up being taken down by Burhans, who has a minute to control Aiello to end the fight. Aiello transitions, takes control and attempts a submission, he ends the round on top. Andy Aiello did enough to take a unanimous decision win home after only stepping in on a days notice, he wins via unanimous decision (29-28).
Co-Main: Richie Santiago Vs. Billy Giovanella (Flyweight bout)
Milford, Mass native Richie Santiago (6-1) who has finished every fight he has been in, 5 submissions and 1 KO will face off against Connors MMA fighter Billy Giovanella (9-7) who has finished 7 of his 9 wins as well. We begin with a quick takedown by Richie as he gains top control of his fellow Massachusetts native. Richie continues controlling the fight, and takes the back of Giovanella , which quickly gave him the neck. After the neck was taken Giovanella was forced to tap and Richie Santiago improves to 7-1 with another finish on his record.
MAIN EVENT: Kody Nordby Vs. Tony Gravely (Bantamweight Title Fight)
Kody Nordby (9-4) , fresh off of a 9 week deployment for the United States Military is now stepping in on short notice to fight proven prospect and possibly one win away from the UFC Tony Gravely (15-5). Nordby is a submission beast, and Gravely has KO and Submission wins on his rap sheet. The vacant bantamweight title is on the line, and possibly a call from the UFC, it’s time for our main event.
Round 1 of this championship bout opens with Nordby landing a left on Gravely, but Gravely attempts a takedown, but in midst of the action Nordby attempted an arm-bar, to which Gravely used an impressive slam to get out of, but Nordby held strong, it was the second slam that smashed the head of Nordby off the ground that seemed to wobble Nordby. Gravely immediately came in hot with hooks and ended the fight 37 seconds in. As Gravely is given his belt, tears begin to flow from the CES newcomer, He spoke to the fans “I may be the bad guy to you guys, but I worked hard for this, I can’t believe this.” Gravely believes he is UFC ready and he may be 100% right.