CES MMA kicked off 2019 in a big way with CES 54.
The event took place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI and was the first event in company history that streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
In preparation for a long, exciting weekend of sports action — including UFC Brooklyn and “Championship Weekend” in the NFL — the fight card kicked off at a special matinee start time.
CES 54 was headlined by a lightweight title fight between two of the brightest prospects in the sport as Nate Andrews defended against Bryce Logan. Andrews landed a big, echoing body kick early on in he first round to set the stage. After a stop to the action due to an accidental low blow, Logan began to push forward and traded shots with the champion. Andrews lands a huge right hand and Logan is hurt. “The Snake” was looking to finish, but Logan landed a takedown and ends up in side control with under a minute to go. Logan looked to mount the champion, but Andrews transitioned nicely into an armbar attempt as the round ends.
Andrews lands a beautiful left hand to open the second round. After a nice combination by the champion, Andrews lands a body kick. For the second round in a row, the referee stopped the action via a low blow — this time, by the challenger. The action continues with Andrews landing a beautiful punch combination and a stinging right hand. Both fighters land at the same time, but Andrews drops Logan hard. As they get to the ground, Andrews locks in a guillotine choke and the referee stops in. “The Snake” defends his title again, extending his winning streak to nine and may have punched his ticket to the UFC.
Tony Gravely retains title with brutal right hand KO
In the co-main event, Tony Gravely defended the CES bantamweight title against New England’s Kris Moutinho. Gravey was able to land a takedown early and maintained top control. Gravely lands a couple of punches and maintained his position, looking to move to side control. Moutinho is working for a kimura and Gravely is fighting it off with elbows to the body of the challenger. Moutinho trying to work for a leg lock and it is tight. Gravely trying to escape and looks like he is ok. Gravely is able to escape and end up in mount as the opening round ends. It was more of the same in the second and third rounds with Gravely maintaining dominance in the top position.
The fourth round saw a bit more action as Moutinho came out swinging and Gravely was obliging. Moutinho got to Gravely’s back for a moment before the champion was able to take the fight back to the ground. Moutinho would look for an ankle lock submission, working very hard to secure it. However, Gravely lands a ferocious right hand, knocking out Moutinho to retain his title.
Eric Spicely, in his first fight since being released by the UFC, made quick work of Leo Pla. Spicely took Pla down quickly and was able to land big punches and elbows before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Tateki Matsuda makes successful CES return
Tateki Matsuda returned to the CES cage to face Josh Ricci in bantamweight action. The UFC veteran got a big pop from the crowd during his introduction. They take the center of the cage, waiting on one another to make the first move. Ricci shoots in and lands a takedown. Matsuda gets back to his feet briefly before getting taken back down. Ricci takes the back and looks to lock in a rear naked choke. Matsuda tries to fight out of it, but Ricci is being very patient. Ricci lands a hammer fist to try to open things up. Matsuda continues to fight it off. Ricci maintains his dominant position with just over a minute to go. Ricci has it locked in, but on the chin and Matsuda is able to survive. “Tek” is able to get on top and land some punches as the bell rings. The veteran savvy of Matsuda really showed as he makes it to the second round.
Matsuda looks very confident coming out in the second round, landing a nice kick up high. Ricci lands another takedown 30 seconds in. Matsuda is able to create a bit of separation and ends up on top in half guard. Matsuda looks like the fresher fighter as he looks to mount. Ricci is able to avoid that danger as Matsuda lands a short elbow. Short punches and a knee to the body land from Matsuda as the referee stands them up. Short right lands from Matsuda with 45 seconds to go as the tide in this fight has certainly changed. Leg kick lands from the Boston-based Matsuda, who lands a nice knee to the body. Ricci looks to have felt that one and goes for a last second takedown as we move to the final round. 19-19.
Matsuda lands a nuce kick to the body to kick off the final round. They are both swinging but Ricci lands a nice left hand to drop Matsuda momentarily. “Tek” recovers and is able to land, what could be, an important takedown. Ricci fights back to his feet and the battle against the cage begins. Knee to the body from Matsuda, but Ricci is able to use the momentum to land a takedown of his own. Ricci trying to land a big elbow, coming up just short. Matsuda looking to get back to his feet and does. Ricci shoots again, but Matsuda is able to sprawl and land short punches to the side of Ricci’s head. Matsuda ends up on top in half guard with 90 seconds to go. Ricci is back to his feet, but eats a pair of knees to the body. Matsuda with a right hand. Ricci is throwing big punches, one lands, one just misses. Matsuda looks for a takedown, but it was telegraphed and Ricci successfully sprawls. Back to the feet they go and Ricci lands a takedown with 20 seconds left. Matsuda get right back up and both fighters wing punches. Ricci ends up on his back — possibly with a missed sprawl attempt and the final bell rings. Matsuda wins a decision.
Jessy Miele finishes gritty Kylie O’Hearn in final minute
Jessy Miele and Kylie O’Hearn squared off in the only women’s fight of the night in the featherweight division. The crowd was very much alive for this one with both women having a lot of support. Both women open up with kicks and they clinch against the cage. Miele lands and elbow and the scramble commences. Not a lot of time to breather for either woman with the pace of the opening minute. Miele lands a takedown and is in O’Hearn’s full guard. O’Hearn did a nice job avoiding damage and trying to land punches from her back. They are working very hard as Miele tries to posture up with 10 seconds to go.
O’Hearn kicks off the second round with a huge right hand that caught Miele’s attention. O’Hearn looked for a takedown, but Miele is able to improve her position and get it to the mat. Miele, in side control, has O’Hearn’s arm trapped and is landing unanswered punches. Miele looking to lock in a kimura but O’Hearn is able to get it back to full guard. Miele is the stronger of the two fighters, but O’Hearn is very gritty as she lands shots from her back. Miele postures up and tries to inflict damage, but O’Hearn is able to stay in a good defensive position and pop back to her feet. The crowd erupts, but Miele takes it right back down with 90 seconds to go. Miele is having a hard time passing the guard of O’Hearn, but is able to end the round on top — despite O’Hearn landing shots from the bottom.
Final round begins with O’Hearn coming out like she may have lost the first two. Both women look tires but O’Hearn lands a big throw and ends up on top in side control. O’Hearn with an old school headlock to maintain her position. Miele is able to transition to O’Hearn’s back, now in full mount. Miele is landing big shots from the top, but O’Hearn continues to be incredibly resilient. Miele now has O’Hearn’s shoulders pinned down and is landing punches. Again, O’Hearn able to survive and try to buck her hips to escape. Miele has to be wondering what she needs to do to put this fight away as she continues to land punches. Miele is throwing everything she can at O’Hearn with a little over a minute to go. O’Hearn is still battling, even throwing back kicks at Miele’s legs. Miele starts landing shots again and the referee steps in to stop it. Great battle!
William Knight kicks off main card with first round stoppage
The UFC Fight Pass era kicked off with a light heavyweight matchup between William Knight and Kevin Haley. They meet in the middle of the cage and Knight throws a smirk in the direction of Haley, who then lands a left hook. Right hand lands for Haley, who smiles right back at Knight. Both guys clearly respecting each other’s power as there wasn’t a lot of action early on. Knight tried to throw a spinning high kick and slipped; Haley ends up on top and looked to lock in a kimura. Knight ended up on top and lands a couple of shots to the body. Haley attempts to lock in a triangle choke unsuccessfully. Knight ends up on top in the back position and lands haymakers. The referee stops the fight and Haley is questioning it, as well as most of the crowd in Lincoln, RI.
Complete CES 54 fight card and results:
UFC Fight Pass main card:
- Nate Andrews def. Bryce Logan via submission, Round 2, 1:02
- Tony Gravely def. Kris Moutinho via KO, Round 4, 4:02
- Eric Spicely def. Leo Pla via TKO, Round 1, 3:53
- Tateki Matsuda def. Josh Ricci via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Jessy Miele def. Kylie O’Hearn via TKO, Round 3, 4:27
- William Knight def. Kevin Haley via TKO, Round 1, 3:33
- Yorgan De Castro def. Carlton Little via unanimous decision
- Brendon Marotte def. Chris Rollins via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- David Baxter vs. Todd Monroe – majority draw (29-27, 28-28 x2)
- Eugene Aubry def. Gil Pinhierro via submission – Round 2, 3:28