Photo by Will Paul/CES MMA
Rebello returns to winning ways in CES MMA 47 main event; Santiago, Andrews stay hot with victories
Rhode Island’s knockout king never looked better.
Providence’s own Greg Rebello (23-8, 14 KOs) made his triumphant return to the Ocean State Friday night at Twin River Casino, headlining “CES MMA 47” on AXS TV with a thrilling, first-round knockout win over Derrick Brown (7-5).
Back home for the first time since fighting on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in July, the hard-hitting Rebello made quick work of Brown, landing a slick left cross followed by a hard overhand right to floor the South Carolina native.
Rebello immediately pounced on his fallen opponent and landed a series of unanswered strikes before referee John English waved it off at the 1-minute, 22-second mark. Brown’s corner debated the stoppage, but Rebello appeared poised to inflict more damage until the referee jumped in.
“It wasn’t going to get any better for him,” Rebello said. “It was only going to get worse.”
Rebello has now won seven of his last nine with 14 career victories coming by knockout.
Red-hot lightweight Nate Andrews (12-1) of East Providence, R.I., kept his win streak alive in the co-feature, submitting 27-fight vet Tyler Combs (14-14) of Miamisburg, Ohio at 2:25 of the opening round.
Andrews took control with a single-leg takedown early in the round, softened Combs with a series of elbows, then took his back to sink in the choke, forcing Combs to tap. Since losing to Gemiyale Adkins in 2014, Andrews has won six consecutive bouts as he campaigns for a potential world title bout in the lightweight division in 2018.
Coming off the biggest win of his career at “CES MMA 45,” unbeaten Milford, Mass., bantamweight Richie Santiago (6-0) topped it Friday with an impressive submission victory over the dangerous Tashawn Mack (6-2) of Lansing, Mich., at 3:05 of the opening round.
Mack appeared to have Santiago locked in a triangle early, but Santiago escaped, worked in some ground and pound and eventually took Mack’s back to sink in the standing guillotine choke. Rallying from behind has become Santiago’s preferred method of victory in recent fights; he looked battered and bruised in his August bout against Miguel Restrepo, but rebounded from the brink of the defeat to choke out Restrepo in the second round.
Now 6-0, Santiago campaigned for a world title shot in 2018 and called for a bout against fellow unbeaten bantamweight Carlos Candelario of Connecticut, who recently improved to 7-0 following a win in Nevada on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
“Where’s Carlos? “Santiago said. “I’m trying to knock this kid out.”
Fighting for the second time since August, Providence native John Douma (2-0, 1 KO) dusted unbeaten Gastonia, N.C., native Mark Trader (2-1) via knockout 2:02 in the opening round.
Douma landed a hard right midway through the round that buckled Trader’s knees and sent him staggering toward the cage. Douma quickly pounced and caught him with two more rights, followed by a hard 1-2 combination that forced referee John English to wave it off as Trader sat perched against the cage. The Providence native ends 2017 unbeaten following his debut win over Jason Rine at “CES MMA 45” and has now won five in a row, including amateurs.
Flyweight Jose Lugo (1-0) of Woonsocket, R.I., kicked off the AXS TV Fights telecast with an emotional win in his professional debut, submitting Michael Taylor (1-1) of Cortland, N.Y., via rear-naked choke at 3:33 of the opening round.
Lugo controlled the fight from the opening bell, scoring the early takedown despite absorbing a pair of right hands from Taylor on the way in. Lugo eventually took Taylor’s back, locked in the choke and forced his opponent to tap. A tearful Lugo celebrated with a salute to his fans, an impressive victory of a game opponent in Taylor, who had just come off a win of his own in his professional debut at “CES MMA 46” last month.
Making his third appearance with CES MMA, bantamweight David Garcia (5-4) of La Grange, Ill., submitted Kris Moutinho (4-2) of Milford at 3:07 of the opening round via guillotine. The brewing rivalry between the two, which began with an intense stare down at the weigh-in and continued when Moutinho refused to shake hands before the opening bell, ended when Moutinho lost control on the ground and gave up his neck, handing Garcia his third career submission victory.
Moutinho appeared to have control when he picked up Garcia, slung him over his shoulder and carried away him around the cage before slamming him on his back. Garcia kept his composure and clipped Moutinho with an elbow, causing a hematoma to swell up on the back of his head.
The two jostled for position on the ground and Garcia sunk in the choke as Mountinho tried to wrap him up around the waist, earning his first win since September of 2016 when he upset the previously unbeaten Rico DiSciullo at “CES MMA 38.”
In the opening preliminary bout, Fall River, Mass., light heavyweight Yorgan DeCastro (1-0, 1 KO) made quick work of Plattsburgh, N.Y., vet James Dysard (0-3) scoring a quick takedown and pummeling Dysard with unanswered strikes until referee Kevin Mulhall mercifully stopped the bout 39 seconds into the opening round.
Making his professional debut in the lightweight division, Tyler Hamilton (1-0) was equally efficient, submitting game veteran Montoyia Swilling (0-6) of Watertown, N.Y., via D’Arce choke 46 seconds into the opening round. The fight ended as soon as Swilling hit the canvas with Hamilton locking in the submission and forcing his opponent to tap within seconds.