Hartford, CT (April 2, 2022) – Two titles, 28 days, one historic achievement. Billy Goff has officially put the northeast – and beyond – on notice.
After agreeing to fight on just seven days’ notice and moving up an entire weight class in the process, Goff captured the vacant CES MMA Middleweight World Title Friday night at the Connecticut Convention Center with a win over Justin Sumter in the all-Connecticut main event of CES MMA 67 live on UFC FIGHT PASS®.
Goff (6-2), a Groton native, finished the fight with a series of elbows at the 2:13 mark of Round 2. His improbable victory comes less than a month after he beat Gary Balletto III to win the promotion’s vacant welterweight title, putting him in elite company alongside Matt Bessette as the only CES MMA champion to hold two belts in separate weight classes at the same time.
Sumter (8-5), born and raised in Milford, was originally supposed to face ex-UFC vet Eric Spicely, but Spicely withdrew due to an injury, opening up an opportunity for Goff to make history by coming up in weight to face the taller, rangier Sumter.
The fight took a dramatic turn in the opening round when Sumter suplexed Goff to the canvas, mounted his opponent, and dropped several hard elbows that left Goff dazed. Goff somehow survived the onslaught and then turned the tide in the second round with a flurry of lefts and rights that sent Sumter to the canvas. Goff quickly mounted Sumter and unleashed a series of hellacious elbows that forced referee Kevin MacDonald to stop the fight. Goff has now won five in a row.
In the co-main event Mongolian-born Azjavkhlan Baatar (8-6) earned a unanimous decision win over Hartford bantamweight Johnny Lopez (12-6), 30-27 across the board. Both fighters entered following long layoffs – Baatar hadn’t fought since 2019 and Lopez had been inactive since January of 2020 – but Baatar was the aggressor throughout the fight, surviving an inadvertent eye poke in Round 2 and dominating the exchanges to get the best of the hometown favorite Lopez.
Also on the main card, Ithaca, NY, welterweight Armus Guyton (5-3) finished Springfield, MA, native Pat Casey (8-5) via rear naked choke at 4:27 of the opening round and Russian light heavyweight Yuri Panferov (2-0) of New Haven made quick work of Rochester’s Mus’aib Baiyana (0-1) via armbar submission at 2:46 mark.
Facing his toughest test to date, Milford welterweight Eddy George (5-0) went three hard rounds with Argentinian veteran Emiliano Calderon (1-2) to earn a 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 unanimous decision win. George had won his previous four fights by first round knockout, but had his hands full with Calderon, who was tough to takedown and withstood George’s onslaught to survive all three rounds.
In his first appearance with CES MMA as a pro, Waterbury, CT, bantamweight Mike Kimbel (4-3) scored a first-round submission win via guillotine choke over Oregon’s Tristan Lindi at the 3:04 mark and Branford, CT, flyweight Harrison Bonfiglio (4-1) easily defeated Minnesota’s Jason Huntley (5-10) via armbar 42 seconds into the opening round.
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