EVERLY, Mass. (April 15th, 2017) – Pedro Gonzalez found himself in a familiar position Saturday at the North Shore Music Theatre, hands raised in victory, again ready to make his climb toward the top of the featherweight division.
Now it’s up to the Gloucester, Mass., to assert himself among the elite in the northeast.
Fighting for the first time since he won at “CES MMA 35” 12 months ago in Beverly, Gonzalez (12-5, 11 submissions) defeated Brazilian Bruno Dias (19-10) by guillotine submission at the 2-minute, 41-second mark of the second round in the main event of “CES MMA 43.”
After last year’s victory over Andres Jeudi, Gonzalez was supposed to face Matt Bessette for the then vacant CES MMA World Featherweight Title, but injuries derailed his shot at the crown. Bessette went on to win the belt, which he will defend next month at “CES MMA 44.”
Is Gonzalez next in line? After Saturday’s performance, he’s certainly back in the conversion. Dias dominated the opening round, keeping Gonzalez under wraps while trying to lock in a rear-naked choke. Gonzalez survived and finished with a flurry at the end, taking the momentum with him into the second round. Dias had control early in the second, but Gonzalez reversed position and locked in the guillotine, forcing Dias to tap.
The co-feature saw Peabody, Mass., bantamweight Rico DiSciullo (7-1) bounce back from his first career loss with a masterful performance against Matt Lozano (8-5) of Lancaster, Pa., earning the unanimous decision by a 30-27 score on all three cards. DiSciullo’s slick boxing and fancy footwork dictated the pace as the hard-charging bantamweight opened two cuts on Lozano in the opening round and controlled the bout from start to finish.
Coming off a 7-second win in his last fight, a CES MMA record, Quincy, Mass., light heavyweight Mike Rodriguez (7-2, 5 KOs) made quick of the overmatched James Dysard (0-2), tossing his opponent to the canvas in the opening seconds and scoring the knockout at the 39-second mark.
Making his first appearance with CES MMA since 2014, Fayetteville, N.C., vet Andrew Osborne (7-10-1), who now lives and trains in North Providence, R.I., upset previously unbeaten lightweight Connor Barry (3-1) by unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three scorecards. Osborne tossed Barry to the canvas early and often in the opening round and fought back in the third to control the fight on the ground and earn the victory.
Middleweight Justin Sumter (3-1, 3 KOs) scored his third career knockout win in his CES MMA debut in the opening bout of the main card, forcing Providence native Abe Pitrowski (6-3) to tap to strikes at 1:56 of the opening round, pummeling the overmatched Pitrowski, who returned the cage for the first time since 2014.
Featherweight Billy Keenan (7-2) of Salem, Mass., capped the amateur portion of the card with an impressive win over Schenectady, N.Y., vet Cody Dickershaid (7-8), submitting Dickershaid via triangle choke at 2:16 of the opening round and earning a professional contract with CES MMA.
A year ago, Keenan was scheduled to face Marques Brewster at “CES MMA 35” in Beverly, but withdrew form the bout when his mother passed away a week before the event. Brewster win on to win against a different opponent and earned the promotional agreement in the process.
Waterbury, Conn., bantamweight Mike Kimbel (3-3, 2 KOs) evened his record with an impressive 48-second knockout win over Joey Sanchez (0-2) of Pawtucket, R.I., clipping Sanchez with a kick to the jaw and finishing the bout with unanswered strikes before the referee stepped in.
Light heavyweight Lawrence Perna (2-2) of the Bronx finished a dominant performance over New Hampshire native Ron Marshall (1-4) with a third-round submission via guillotine with just 13 seconds remaining in the bout. Lightweight Jurrell Laronal (2-1, 2 KOs) earned his second knockout win as an amateur, stopping Jordan Riley (1-2) of Waterburty at 31 seconds of the second round, first with a knee to the jaw followed by a series of unanswered strikes. In the opening amateur bout, Rob Rios (3-5) of Cromwell, Conn., earned his first win since March of 2015, defeating Altoona, Pa., vet Dylan Youngblood (0-3) by unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three scorecards.