CES 70 Results

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A pair of marquee title fights will take center stage at CES 70, which is set to emanate from the Mass Mutual Center at the MGM Casino in Springfield, Massachusetts on Friday evening. The main event will see New England fighters Dan Dubuque and Nathan Ghareeb square off the vacant CES featherweight championship, while the co-main event will feature Dana White’s Contender Series and The Ultimate Fighter veteran Mitch Raposo competing for the vacant CES flyweight championship against Israel Galvan.

CES 70 can be streamed on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

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Main Event – Ghareeb vs. Dubuque

New England-based Classic Entertainment & Sports MMA is set to make its return following a two-month hiatus, and will do so with a bang. The featherweight title fight between Ghareeb and Dubuque will headline a fun night of fights for the local fans. Matt Bessette, the promotion’s most recent champion at 145 pounds, retired from MMA after winning the vacant lightweight championship with a reverse triangle in 2021 at CES 64.

Much has been made of the build-up between Ghareeb and Dubuque. The two have exchanged words in the media with Ghareeb calling his opponent Dubuque, “a gatekeeper for the division.” The pair of local fighters trained together back in 2018 at the Fighting Arts Academy in Connecticut and Dubuque came into Ghareeb’s camp to help him prepare for his fight against Javon Wright in June, which he won with a 30-second finish at CES 69. When Friday’s fight came about both sides were quick to accept. While the messaging from both fighters has been one of unequivocal self-belief, there also seems to be an underlying mutual respect between the two, with Dubuque indicating as much earlier in the week. However, Dubuque added he feels he is being overlooked by Ghareeb, who enters on a four-fight winning streak.

Ghareeb’s only professional loss came at the hands of Cody Law at Bellator 256 back in April 2021. He is still relatively new to the sport having made his debut back in 2019, but loves to get things done with his hands. With the exception of a split decision win over Tom Pagliarulo, all of Ghareeb’s victories have come by way of first-round knockout. Dubuque, conversely, is known for his durability, having gone to decision in all but two of his professional fights without having ever been knocked out himself. Dubuque is, however, coming into Friday’s fight looking to erase a three-fight skid. The plan will no doubt be for Dubuque to take the younger fighter to deeper waters, particularly with the main event being a five-round title fight. If he can weather the storm and test the resolve of Ghareeb, he might be able to walk out of Springfield a champion on Friday night.

On the flipside, Ghareeb has plenty to gain in this spot. If he can finish Dubuque in the manner in which he has finished many of his other pro wins, it will send a resounding message around the regional circuit that he will be a name to watch in 2023. Even if he happens to go the distance with Dubuque, it may also be an opportunity to show he can dig deep and win a war, if necessary.

Co-Main Event – Raposo vs. Galvan

The co-headliner will feature a face many MMA should recognize in Raposo (6-1). Though he is still just 23, Raposo has long been on the UFC’s radar, making appearances on DWCS, as well as TUF. His time on both shows did not go accordingly to plan, falling to Liudvik Sholinian on TUF and to Jake Hadley on the Contender Series. However, given the UFC’s lack of depth at 125 pounds, Raposo could soon find himself with the industry leader, especially if he can claim the CES flyweight championship on Friday night.

Raposo trains with family member Brian Raposo out of Regiment Training Center in Fall River, Massachusetts. He has fought once since fighting Hadley on DWCS, finishing Jay Viola via third-round rear naked choke earlier this year. Raposo has all the tools to work his way up the flyweight ladder and at this point in his career is looking to acquire the necessary experience that will lead to a career in one of the top promotions. His opponent Galvan (5-2) is hardly a pushover, however. “El Huracan” is riding a four-fight winning streak with three finishes heading into Friday’s bout, helping to erase a 1-2 start to his career. Galvan also logged a 7-2 amateur career and should be ready for whatever the fight has in store.

Rest of the Card

The remainder of Friday’s card will feature a host of fun matchups for New England MMA fans. Longtime MMA veteran John Howard, a familiar face to fans on a micro and macro level, makes his long-awaited return in a special combat jiu-jitsu grappling match against fellow MMA and combat sports veteran in the Brazilian Gesias Cavalcante. Combat Jiu-Jitsu, a form of grappling created by Eddie Bravo, is a cross between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA in which all bouts are scheduled for a 10-minute time limit and must end via finish with open-hand strikes allowed on the ground.

Moving down the main card, Harris Bonfiglio (5-1) is set to meet Kody Murray (1-0) at 125 pounds. Bonfiglio, who won back in June, will put his four-fight win streak on the line and hope to potentially snare an arm for the fourth time of his career. Pat Casey is also scheduled to collide with Italian Daniel Frunza. Rounding out the main card will be bouts between Ali Zebian and Sam Watford, as well as former LFA and Bellator fighter and recent CFFC title challenger Regivaldo Carvalho versus Keith Speed. Two-time UFC veteran Kris Moutinho was also scheduled to compete, but was removed from the card earlier in the week due to an injury.

CES 70 Results

Main Card

Dan Dubuque def. Nathan Ghareeb via Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) — For the vacant CES Featherweight Championship

Gesias Cavalcante def. John Howard — Combat Jiu-Jitsu Grappling Match

Albert Tadevosyan def. Pat Casey via Submission (Guillotine) at 4:38 of Round 1

Ali Zebian def. Sam Watford via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Fran Collins def. Mus’Aib Baiyina via TKO (strikes) at 2:49 of Round 3

Cody Zappone def. Kenny Champion via Submission (RNC) at 4:40 of Round 2

Casey Norton def. Adrian Haly via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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