With original opponent forced to withdraw due to injury, Bessette now faces grappling specialist Friday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 8th, 2016) – Eight-time Bellator and two-time CES MMA veteran Matt Bessette of Stafford, Conn., is preparing for a new challenge just 72 hours before his scheduled featherweight bout Friday at “CES MMA XXXIII” on AXS TV.

Originally scheduled to face Tito Jones of Florida, Bessette (16-7, 4 KOs) will now fight Silvis, Ill., submission specialist Tory Bogguess (14-10, 1 KO) in a three-round bout on the main card at Twin River Casino with Jones forced to withdraw this week due to injury.

The Bessette-Bogguess bout is one of seven televised bouts on the AXS TV portion of the fight card, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Nicknamed “K.O. Kid,” the 34-year-old Jones presented a much different challenge for Bessette with four knockouts scattered among his 11 career victories. Conversely, Bogguess, 31, has won 11 bouts by submission, including an armbar submission win over Anthony Baccam in January of 2015. He hasn’t fought since last March. Friday will be his CES MMA and network television debut.

“Different person, same goal,” Bessette said. “Finish him.”

Bessette is looking to build off his first-round submission win over Kevin Roddy at Bellator 144 in October and rebound from a loss in his last appearance with CES MMA, a 39-second knockout at the hands of Lenny Wheeler in August.

Tickets for “CES MMA XXXIII” 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 orwww.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 undercard begins at 7 p.m. ET with the first televised bout scheduled for 9.

Another champion, the 10th in the promotion’s history, will be crowned in the main event when Woonsocket, R.I., natives Andre Soukhamthath (9-3, 5 KOs) and Kody Norby (6-3) battle for the vacant CES MMA Bantamweight Title in a five-round bout, one of seven on the AXS TV main card.

The co-feature is a potential redemption story for two well-established regional standouts, Chuck O’Neil and Dennis Olson, both of whom who’ve starred on the sport’s biggest stage.

Fighting for the second time since making the jump from welterweight to middleweight, O’Neil (15-8, 5 KOs), a former Ultimate Fighter alum from Bridgewater, Mass., hopes to avenge a loss toDaniel Vizcaya in his 185-pound debut at “CES MMA XXXI” while four-time Bellator vet Olson (14-10, 1 KO), an Amherst, N.H., native fights for the first time since suffering a knockout loss to Brennan Ward at Bellator 144.

The main card also features a heavyweight bout between Juliano Coutinho (6-2, 3 KOs) of Boston, by way Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and knockout artist Chaz Morgan (9-1, 7 KOs) of Hammond, La. Coutinho has not fought since April, when Steve Mocco snapped his six-fight win streak at World Series of Fighting 20 while Morgan is looking to avenge his first career loss at the hands of Alex Nicholson in August.

Also in the heavyweight division, Providence’s Greg Rebello (19-6, 11 KOs) puts his three-fight win streak on the line against Newport News, Va., vetKeith Bell (6-6, 4 KOs), who makes his second appearance with CES MMA and first since 2014. Rebello has become a primetime hit with the AXS TV audience, pummeling Tyler King in June and finishing Mike Mucitelli with a highlight-reel knockout in the first round of their scheduled three-round bout in October. The hard-hitting Bell is coming off a 26-second knockout win over Nathan Bryant in January.

Another familiar name with the AXS TV audience, former CES MMA titlist Julian Lane (9-5, 1 KO) of Mansfield, Ohio begins his comeback with a lightweight bout against the dangerous Nate Andrews (7-1, 4 KOs) of East Providence, R.I. Lane has lost back-to-back bouts since piecing together a three-fight win streak under the guidance of CES MMA, including a unanimous decision loss to current CES MMA Lightweight Champion Luis Felix in their rematch at “CES MMA XXX.” Andrews lost his national TV debut to Lane’s former stable mate,Gemiyale Adkins, in August of 2014, but bounced back at “CES MMA XXIX” with a first-round knockout win over Jay Bakanowski.

Rounding out the main card, Providence featherweight Joe Pingitore (5-2-1, 1 KO) makes his second AXS TV appearance in a rematch against Littleton, N.H., native Taylor Trahan (5-5). Pingitore defeated James Grant Murrin at “CES MMA XXIX,” but lost to Trahan via third-round submission in February of 2014. Trahan seeks his first win in his third try with CES MMA and his first overall since September of 2014.

The undercard of “CES MMA XXXIII” features three regional bouts, starring the return of Cranston, R.I., welterweight Gary Balletto Jr. (0-1), the son of former Rhode Island boxer Gary Balletto. Balletto Jr. lost his pro debut to Anthony Giacchina in August and will face New York’s Cruz Johnson, who makes his own debut following a brief, four-fight amateur career in which he finished 2-2.

Featherweight Matt Tullos of Norwood, Mass., makes his debut against Russian Alvi Mochigov (2-0), now fighting out of Fairfield, N.J., while flyweightShane DeCristoforo (1-1, 1 KO) of Cranston faces Dover, N.J., native Noel Arcibal (1-1, 1 KO).


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