Heading into his second nationally-televised bout, young bantamweight Nordby focusing on the task at hand

Photo courtesy of Will Paul
BANTAMWEIGHT KODY NORDBY (bottom) puts the finishing touches on Dinis Paiva during their nationally-televised bout at “CES MMA XXXI” in October. Nordby, a Cumberland, R.I., native returns to the cage and the AXS TV spotlight when he faces Derek Shorey of Maine on the main card of “CES MMA XXXII” at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., on Friday, Jan. 8th. Shorey is the third opponent scheduled to face Nordby on Friday’s card. The first two withdrew due to injury.

LINCOLN, R.I. (Jan. 4th, 2016) — If this recent training camp has taught Kody Nordby anything it’s that you can’t waste time worrying about things that are out of your control.

Originally scheduled to fight unbeaten Joey Gomez Friday night in what would’ve been a huge step up for the 5-foot-3 bantamweight out of Cumberland, R.I., Nordby (5-3) was forced to switch gears midway through his preparation for “CES MMA XXXII” when Gomez suffered a rib injury.

Bombsquad vet Josh Lange stepped to the table and agreed to face Nordby on the AXS TV main card, but that fight also went up in smoke when Lange broke his nose, leaving Derek Shorey (3-2, 2 KOs) of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, as the third – and hopefully final – opponent Nordby has had to prepare for in advance of his Jan. 8th return to the cage.

Not only is Nordby moving up five pounds to meet Shorey at a catch weight of 140, he’s also dealing with the sting of watching Gomez get the call to face former CES MMA champ Rob Font at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston just nine days after he fights Shorey at Twin River Casino, a call Nordby felt could’ve been his if he’d had the opportunity to get to Gomez first.

“I’m pretty sure I would’ve given him the first loss on his record. I’m 100 percent sure,” Nordby said. “Am I mad about it? Yeah. He was supposed to fight me and he backed out. Whatever. He got the call. Anyone else would’ve done the same thing. When the UFC calls, you can’t say no.

“I’m just at the point now where if you put anyone in there, I’ll fight him. Every fight is the same. There’s no face, just another body in there.”

In the unpredictable world of combat sports, a fighter’s success often hinges on being in the right place at the right time. With that in mind, Nordby has now shifted his focus to the task at hand, which is building off of his huge win over Dinis Paiva at “CES MMA XXXI” and taking care of business against Shorey in his second nationally-televised fight.

“I’m just focused on me right now,” Nordby said. “I’m not really focused on anything else. I’m focused on Friday. The weight cut is going well, the fight camp has been awesome. I’m just ready to get in there.

“When [CES MMA matchmaker] Pat [Sullivan] called and asked me if I was comfortable moving up in weight, I told him, “Yeah, whatever I have to do to get on this card.”

Following his breakthrough win over Paiva, Nordby now understands the value of exposure at the national level. Paiva entered that fight in October with wins in six of his last eight bouts, including four consecutive stoppages in the opening round. He was the hottest fighter in the northeast and he and Nordby had a bit of a personal vendetta between the two of them, which played out during pre-fight interviews and at the weigh-in.

Through it all, Nordby kept his composure and won convincingly by submission in the opening round via the rear-naked choke, thwarting Paiva’s attempt at a flying knee to open the bout and scoring a critical takedown that eventually led to the finishing move.

“I had to bury all the bad blood. I just buried it,” he said. “I thought to myself, ‘Whatever beef Dinis and I have needs to take a backseat.’ That fight was all about me. I had a game plan and I followed it.

“I think Dinis fought a little too emotional and it worked against him. He came out quick with that right knee, I saw it, flipped it, grabbed the knee and took him down pretty quickly. I kept my cool. I wasn’t too fired up.”

The win put Nordby in the conversation among the elite bantamweights in the northeast and paved the way for his second AXS TV fight this Friday. An accomplished wrestler in high school, Nordby hopes his second go-round on national television allows him to showcase all of his talents.

“The game plan is to knock him out on his feet and show people I’m not just a grappler,” he said.

Though he insists he’s focused squarely on Friday night, it’s only natural for Nordby to keep an eye on the future. If he gets the win over Shorey, he has his sights set on an even bigger bantamweight showdown in 2016.

“I really, really want to fight Andre Soukhamthath,” Nordby said, referencing the 9-3 Rhode Island native who also won his last bout at “CES MMA XXXI” in October.

“He graduated from Woonsocket [High School], which is the same school I graduated from. We know the same people. It’d be a huge fight for both of us and a huge fight for any promotion.

“I’ve been wanting to fight him since I turned pro. Hopefully, we can get in the cage.”

Much like the setbacks he dealt with in this recent camp, locking down a mega-fight against Soukhamthath is ultimately out of his control. The only thing he can control right now is getting another win on Friday night and continuing to make his case as an elite fighter in his weight class.

Tickets for “CES MMA XXXII” are priced at $40.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and available for purchase online at www.cesmma.com, www.cagetix.com/ces, www.twinriver.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254, or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

The main event features a lightweight showdown between reigning CES MMA Lightweight Champion Luis Felix (14-8, 5 KOs) of Providence, R.I., and Bellator vet Ryan Sanders (9-7, 1 KO) of Bangor, Maine, in a three-round non-title bout.

Also featured on the main card of “CES MMA XXXII,” reigning CES MMA Welterweight Champion Gil Freitas (18-5, 6 KOs) makes his first title defense in a five-round bout against Cincinnati’s Chris Curtis (12-4, 4 KOs), who aims to become the third Ohio-born fighter to capture one of the promotion’s titles, joining a list that includes UFC vets Lane and Dominique Steele.

Another familiar face in the northeast returns to the CES MMA cage Jan. 8th as Groton, Conn., heavyweight and four-time Bellator vet Josh Diekmann (15-6, 11 KOs), now in his 11th year as a pro, battles fellow knockout artist Ashley Gooch (8-4, 6 KOs) of Nashville, Tenn.

Rising featherweight Kyle Bochniak (5-0, 2 KOs) makes his second appearance on the televised main card as he puts his undefeated record on the line against Taylor Trahan (5-4) of St. Johnsbury, Vt., and undefeated bantamweight Rico DiSciullo (5-0, 2 KOs) of Peabody, Mass., faces 16-fight vet Chino Duran (8-8, 4 KOs) of Homestead, Fla.

The preliminary card features six exciting bouts, starting with a featherweight showdown between unbeaten Manny Bermudez (3-0, 1 KO) of Abington, Mass., and Evan Parker (5-3, 1 KO) of nearby Worcester. None of Bermudez’s previous three opponents made it out of the first round and the 5-foot-6 submission specialist is looking to make it 4-for-4 against the game Parker, who choked out Pete Rogers Jr. in his CES MMA debut in June. South Boston featherweight James Murrin (3-3, 2 KOs) faces Mak Kelleher (0-2) of upstate New York and Providence’s Keenan Raymond (2-2) battles newcomer Ryan Todd of Cortland, N.Y.

Also on the preliminary card, middleweights Pat McCrohan (1-0, 1 KO) of Beverly, Mass., and Boston’s Mike Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs) put their unbeaten records and knockout streaks on the line against one another and flyweight David Baxter (1-0) of Bellingham, Mass., makes his CES MMA debut against newcomer Joshua Ricci of Whitesville, N.Y. Providence’s Nick Iaciofano (2-0, 1 KO) battles Luay Ashkar of Syracuse in a three-round flyweight bout.

For more information on “CES MMA XXXII” visit www.cesmma.com, follow @CESMMA on Twitter and Instagram and “like” the official CES MMA Facebook fan page.

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