MASHANTUCKET, CT (October 17, 2023) – CES MMA returns to “The Wonder of It All,” Foxwoods Resort Casino, on October 20 with one of the biggest fight cards of the year.
CES MMA 75 – ‘Fight for a Cause’ features a total of 17 bouts, including 7 pro contests, 7 amateur fights, and 3 grappling matches. A portion of the night’s proceeds will benefit cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston in honor of JoAnne Sullivan, mother of CES matchmaker Patrick Sullivan. Fans can join the fight by purchasing limited edition CES MMA pink and white t-shirts on Friday night and/or donating here: The JoAnne Sullivan Memorial Fund.
The main event features 13-time UFC veteran Charles “Boston Strong” Rosa in a lightweight battle against Jonathan “The Junkyard Dog” Gary.
This is Rosa’s return to the New England area and his first bout in the CES MMA cage since getting called up to the UFC in 2014. The Peabody native was an amateur standout, compiling a record of 11-2 before turning pro, where he won his first 9 bouts, 5 of them with CES MMA. In Jonathan Gary, Rosa faces a 28-fight veteran with Bellator experience looking to score the biggest win of his career.
“Training is going great,” said Rosa a few weeks before the bout. “I know that he’s a former Marine, so I have a lot of respect for him as a veteran. As a fighter, he has 28 professional fights, so I know he’s the real deal. I’m definitely not underestimating him. I’m treating this like it’s a world championship fight and I’m excited to get back in there and do what I do best in front of my friends and fans.”
The co-feature is a clash of styles between former CES Lightweight World Champion Nate “The Snake” Andrews and Ali “V.I.P.” Zebian.
Andrews began his pro career with CES MMA, amassing an impressive 14-1 record that culminated with a CES lightweight championship. ‘The Snake’ returns to CES MMA to face a formidable foe in Zebian, a fellow Bellator and PFL veteran out of Springfield, MA.
“Ali is a very tough guy,” said Andrews, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist from East Providence, RI. “I’ve watched video on him. He’s physically strong and definitely has a wrestling background, but I feel like I’m better than him in every facet. He’s explosive, but I’m a better striker than he is. When it comes to grappling, I’m dangerous on the ground. My jiu-jitsu is great and over the years I’ve only gotten better.”
“Almost everyone is taller than me,” laughs Zebian when asked about the height and reach discrepancy between the two fighters (Andrews is 5’11 to Zebian’s 5’6). “I’m used to it by now. I’m not going to fight him at his range. I’m to work to get on the inside. We have a good gameplan for this fight, and the difference is going to be my cardio. I’m going to put the gas on him. I’m going to go out there and dictate the pace.”
A vacant world title will also be up for grabs when “Shameless” Don Shainis battles Regivaldo Carvalho for the CES MMA Featherweight World Championship.
Shainis is a UFC and Bellator veteran fighting out of Easton, MA who is looking for a second title in 2 years after winning the Fighting Alliance Championship in 2022. In Carvalho, he faces a dangerous Brazilian out of Glover Texeira’s MMA & Fitness camp who will be tough to beat with 2 former UFC champions in his corner in Texeira and Alex Pereira.
The absolutely stacked card also includes a light heavyweight showdown for New England bragging rights between Eric “Zebrinha” Spicely and Justin “The Fort” Sumter.
Spicely was a perfect 8-0 in the CES MMA cage before joining the cast of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 23’ in 2016. ‘Zebrinha’ looks to keep his undefeated CES record intact when he faces Milford, CT’s Sumter, a skilled martial artist who was featured in Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018 and 2019.
Rounding out the pro card is the return of Naugatuck, CT native Mike Antidormi (1-0) against Rhode Island’s John Medina (0-1) in a bantamweight battle, the pro debut of New Haven, CT’s Quentin Pasley against William Vandervier (0-3) in a light heavyweight contest, and Boston, MA’s Pat Gilbride (4-2) against West Haven, CT resident Arslan Otchiyev (2-2) in a featherweight bout.
Prior to the pro card, fans will get a peek at the future stars of MMA, as the best amateurs from around New England will clash in 7 evenly matched contests.
Kicking off the night will be 3 top level pro grappling matches featuring UFC and PFL alum Yorgan De Castro and wrestlers from such decorated gyms as Tri-Force MMA, Iron Faith Grappling and Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. You do not want to miss this event!
For more information on CES MMA 75 and all other CES MMA events, visit cesfights.com