With the new year still fresh, CES brings its cage back to Lincoln, Rhode Island and Twin River Resort and Casino for its first show of 2019. CES 54 is a special event for the organization. The event begins earlier than normal with a 2 pm start. Another factor making CES 54 special is its debut on the with the organizations new broadcast partners, UFC Fight Pass.
After departing from AXS TV with an expired deal, the CES crew welcomed in a broadcast team. Now partnered with UFC Fight Pass, CES brings in former UFC fighter, Tom Lawlor to the commentary team.
Both headling bouts of CES 54 have titles on the line. In the co-main event, Tony Gravely puts his bantamweight belt on the line in his first attempted defense. Since the transition from 2016 to 2017, Gravely has been on fire. The champion competed 9 times, winning 8. Over that span, Gravely earned stoppages in four of his 8 victories. In his last performance, Gravely earned the CES bantamweight title at CES 53 by quickly defeating Kody Nordby by slam KO in the opening round.
Gravely faces challenger Kris Moutinho. Moutinho rides a streak of his own into his first professional title shot. The touted amateur champion is in the midst of three consecutive victories. Including unanimous decision victories over Da’Mon Blackshear and James Quigg.
The main event features a lightweight title throwdown. Champion Nate Andrews takes on out-of-state challenger Bryce Logan. Andrews vies for the second defense of his title.
Non-headling featured fights on CES 54 include interesting matchups in the women’s featherweight division, as well as men’s middleweight, bantamweight, light heavyweight and finally, featherweight.
As the only women’s bout on the card, Jessy Miele and Kylie O’Hearn battle in a featherweight bout. A gap in experience is notable as Miele competed in 9 bouts as a professional. While O’Hearn makes her second appearance as a pro. Despite this, the two talented women are expected to put on an entertaining show.
Elsewhere on the card, two UFC veterans make their return to the CES cage. Eric Spicely does so when he takes on Leo Pla. Pla is a short notice replacement after Stephen Regman withdrew from the bout due to injury. Tateki Matsuda returns to CES after stints with the UFC and Pancrase. He takes on Josh Ricci in a bantamweight bout.
Further down the card, a couple of prospects are set to appear. Connecticut’s William Knight takes to the cage when he faces the experienced Kevin Haley. Knight is1 another CES fighter to have a storied amateur career. As a professional, Knights record remains perfect at 3-0. The second prospect competing early on the CES card is New Hampshire’s, Brendon Marotte. Marotte vies for his fifth professional victory when he faces Chris Rollins.
Main Card, UFC Fight Pass (4 pm ET)
Lightweight Title Bout: Nate Andrews (c) def. Bryce Logan via submission (guillotine) at of 1:42 round 2
Bantamweight Title Bout: Tony Gravely (c) def. Kris Moutinho via KO (Punches) at 4:02 of round 4
Eric Spicely def. Leo Pla via TKO (Strikes) at 3:53 of round 1
Tateki Matsuda def. Josh Ricci via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Preliminary Card, UFC Fight Pass (2 pm ET)
Jessy Miele def. Kylie O’Hearn via TKO (ground and pound) at 4:27 of round 3
Will Knight def. Kevin Haley via submission (strikes) at 3:33 of round 1
David Baxter vs. Todd Monroe majority draw (29-27 Baxter, 28-28, 28-28)
Eugene Aubry def Gill Pinhierro via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:28 of round 2
Postlim (5 pm ET)
Yorgan de Castro def. Carlton Little via unanimous decision
Brendon Marotte def. Chris Rollins via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)