Another fight, another submission victory for Nate Andrews.
The reigning CES MMA World Lightweight Champion stayed true to form Friday night at Twin River Casino, submitting North Carolina’s D’Juan Owens (16-13-1) via triangle choke at 1:34 of the opening round to defend his title in the main event of “CES MMA 51” on AXS TV.
Andrews (14-1) has won eight in a row overall and six consecutive fights by submission, including his second-round submission win over Chris Padilla at “CES MMA 49” to capture the then-vacant title.
Maine’s Bruce Boyington (16-11), a heavy underdog entering the bout, shocked the crowd at Twin River with a second-round submission victory over ex-UFC standout Sean Soriano (12-6) of Providence to capture the vacant CES MMA World Featherweight Championship.
Leary of Boyington’s trademark spinning head kicks, Soriano stayed patient in the opening round and landed heavy leg kicks while dominating on the ground to jump out to the early lead. Boyington, who admitted afterward he tore his MCL in training camp, couldn’t quite get his footing, so he scored a takedown in the second to neutralize Soriano’s superior striking.
Boyington took Soriano’s back with Soriano crouched over and wrapped both legs around his opponent’s waist. With his corner desperately screaming for Soriano to shake him off, Soriano instead stood upright and gave up his neck, allowing Boyington to sink in the rear-naked choke and force an immediate tap at the 1:55 mark to capture the title. For Boyington, Friday was his first win with CES MMA following his loss to Andrews at “CES MMA 45.”
Fresh off his thrilling win at “CES MMA NY 1” in May, Le Roy native Jacob Bohn (7-5) spoiled lightweight Lewis Corapi’s comeback with a second-round submission via triangle choke. Fighting for the first time since 2016, Corapi (8-4) got caught in a guillotine attempt early in the round before managing to wriggle his head free, but when he couldn’t get back to his feet or lessen Bohn’s grip, Bohn switched gears and locked in the triangle to force his opponent to tap at 3:14.
Featherweight Blair Tugman (11-6) of North Haven, Conn., opened the AXS TV main card with a methodical win over the gritty Shane Manley (4-4) of Syracuse, earning the victory by unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three scorecards. Tugman’s superior ground game, anchored by his wrestling background, and brute strength proved too much for Manley to overcome. Tugman won the first two rounds decisively and held on for his third win in his last four fights.
Hollis, N.H., native Dylan Lockard (4-1) dug deep in the third and final round of his featherweight bout against Erie, Pa., vet Brandon Seyler (8-7) to win a narrow, 29-28, unanimous decision on all three scorecards. Seyler won the second round after a strong opener from Lockard, but Lockard rebounded with an early takedown followed by effective ground-and-pound to secure the win over the final five minutes.
In another close battle in the bantamweight division, Milford, Mass., native Kris Moutinho (7-2) earned a 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous decision win in his toughest test to date against Da’Mon Blackshear (5-2) of Fayetteville, N.C. After pummeling Al Jones earlier this summer at “CES MMA 50,” Moutinho has now win his last two following a two-fight losing streak.
The fight featured a little bit of everything from tantalizing striking to efficient ground work by both fighters. Blackshear appeared to have a slight with his striking to start the third, but Moutinho stemmed the tide with his superior wrestling to steal the round and the fight.
Jeff Silva (2-3) of Metheun, Mass., kicked off the preliminary card with a dramatic win over Fall River, Mass., vet Jessie Pires (0-2), earning the win by triangle submission 1:42 into the third round. Pires dominated the opening round and opened a cut in the middle of Silva’s forehead due to strikes. His leg kicks also overwhelmed Silva, twice sending him sprawling to the canvas.
Silva finally took the fight to the ground in the second round and began to turn the tables, nearly submitting Pires with a rear-naked choke in the closing minutes before locking in the triangle in the third.
Norfolk, Mass., flyweight Hilarie Rose (2-1) won her second consecutive bout – and her first by knockout – as she stopped New Orleans vet Ivana Coleman (1-4) with unanswered strikes at 3:14 of the second round. The win comes less than two months after Rose submitted Thais Souza in the opening round of their June 15th bout at “CES MMA 50.”
In a battle of hard-hitting, free-swinging heavyweights, Maine’s Ras Hylton (3-1, 3 KOs) ended a thrilling, back-and-forth bout with a third-round knockout win over Providence’s Eric Bedard (6-8), who fought for the first time since April of 2016.
The two exchanged blows in a relatively even first round with Bedard landing his share of overhands against the taller, rangy Hylton, but Hylton caught him with an elbow to the temple as Bedard attempted a flying knee early in the second, abruptly ending the bout.
Making her first CES MMA appearance, atomweight Marissa Messer-Belencia (2-0) of New Haven, Conn., dominated Kaiyana Rain (1-4) en route to a submission win via rear-naked choke at 1:01 in the third round. Light heavyweight Fabio Cherant (3-0) of Wrentham, Mass., also remained unbeaten, submitting Buck Pineau (0-2) of Bangor, Maine, via rear-naked choke at 2:43 of the opening round. Cherant has won all three of his fights by submission.