Photo Courtesy of CES MMA

CES MMA announces first event in Philadelphia; Vacant welterweight title on the line

Over the past few years, CES MMA has become a staple of mixed martial arts in New England. After putting on successful events in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, the promotion landed a major AXS TV deal in 2016. Earlier this year, CES MMA made its debut in New York City , and now the promotion has its sights set on another major Untied States city: Philadelphia.

The promotion announced Wednesday afternoon its first event in the “City of Brotherly Love,” CES 52, will take place on August 17th at the 2300 Arena. The event will air live and free on AXS TV.

With CES MMA Welterweight Champion Chris Curtis announcing his retirement last month, the title is now vacant. Former CES MMA title contender Jason Norwood (18-5) will get his second crack at championship gold when he takes on Philadelphia’s own Jeremiah Wells (5-1-1).

Norwood last fought at CES 49, when he was defeated by the aforementioned Curtis via five-round unanimous decision. Prior to that bout, Norwood was riding an impressive three-fight win streak.

His opponent Wells has played spoiler in his pair of CES MMA appearances. In his last two outings, the 31-year-old upset home crowd favorites Gary Balletto Jr. and UFC veteran Jon Manley in dominant fashion.

The entire CES 52 press release can be read below:



It’s home to the Liberty Bell, cheese steak and now CES MMA. On Aug. 17, CES 52 touches down in the City of Brotherly Love at the 2300 Arena, LIVE on AXS TV Fights.

In the main event, Philly knockout artist Jeremiah Wells takes on Jason Norwood for the vacant CES MMA World Welterweight Championship.

Jeremiah Wells earned his title shot after back-to-back victories in the CES cage, including a 57-second KO win over Gary Balletto Jr., and an impressive victory over UFC vet Jon Manley. Wells’ only career loss came at the hands of former CES title challenger Manny Walo in their five-round 2016 title bout.

“I’m so excited for this opportunity to fight for the title in Philly,” Wells says after a recent training session at Renzo Gracie’s academy in Philadelphia. “It’s an honor, and I can’t wait to put on a show in my home town. Fans should expect a KO or a submission; I’m going to take this title home with an exclamation point!”

But it won’t be that easy with Bellator vet Jason Norwood standing in his way. Norwood has an outstanding record of 18-5 and is eager to claim CES gold after losing by decision to Chris Curtis in the co-main event of CES 49.  

“I’m overwhelmingly excited to have an opportunity to fight for the CES belt. This title will be my third as a professional, and by far the most important of my career,” says Norwood, who has 11 stoppage victories. “My opponent won’t have the ability to answer the bell for Round 4 — if he makes it out of Round 3.” “


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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.