CES photo by Will Paul
LIGHTWEIGHT LUIS FELIX, seen here in his August bout against Julian Lane, hopes to make it two consecutive wins when he faces Pennsylvania native Rich Patishnock Friday, March 13th, 2015 on the main card of “CES MMA XXVIII.” This will be Felix’s third consecutive appearance on AXS TV as he continues his quest to climb back to the top of his weight class and perhaps earn a rematch with the reigning CES MMA champion Lane.
LINCOLN, R.I. (March 5th, 2015) — Few people knew who Rich Patishnock was when we made his World Series of Fighting (WSOF) debut in just his sixth professional bout.
They learned quickly when he bludgeoned Igor Gracia via first-round TKO. Now Luis Felix (12-8, 4 KOs) is catching up on some much-needed studying as he prepares to face the upset-minded Patishnock (6-2, 1 KO) Friday, March 13th, 2015 on the main card of “CES MMA XXVIII” at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.
This will be Felix’s third consecutive appearance on AXS TV since August and the first for Patishnock, who won twice on the WSOF stage before losing for just the second time against the unbeaten Justin Gaethje in a WSOF title bout in January of 2014.
“I feel like he’s got more experience than his record shows,” Felix said of Patishnock. “The kid’s a tough motherfucker. Let’s see what I’ve got.”
As Felix continues to climb back toward the top of the lightweight division following his loss to Julian Lane in August, every fight has a “must-win” vibe, with every second of every round an important step in his quest to reach MMA’s biggest stage.
Perhaps the most important lesson Felix learned was to stay the course and remain confident in the process. Up until the shocking loss to Lane, a fight Felix felt “was going right” until he got caught and choked out in the third round, the Providence, R.I., native had found much-needed stability in his career.
MMA was finally a full-time job, not just a hobby, and he had the right team in his corner ready to guide him to the next step. Nothing’s changed since that loss in August – in fact, Felix bounced back swimmingly in January with a win over D’Juan Owens – which is a testament to Felix’s maturity and perseverance. Some fighters lose faith following a tough loss and tear up the blueprint. Felix never did.
“I got caught. Shit happens. What can you do about it?” Felix said. “Everything happens for a reason. I’m glad things have gone the way they have. It was refreshing to go three rounds [against Owens] and see where I stood with my cardio and conditioning and the training I had put into that camp.
“I just got back to it and stayed on track. Now I’m looking forward to taking that next step. As they say, the past is the past.”
With wins over three Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) veterans on his resume, Felix’s goal is to one day get to that same stage, a realistic premise considering he’s won seven of his last nine fights since starting his professional career with a pedestrian 5-6 record.
“If a put together a couple of wins, have a good year, a good six months with some opponents, I’m right back in the mix of things,” Felix said. “Losses will happen in this sport. The great thing is you can come back and beat quality people and get yourself right back in the picture.”
A second chance at winning the CES MMA lightweight title, which slipped through his fingers the night he lost to Lane, the reigning champion, isn’t out of the question either.
“I feel like if I win this fight, I deserve a title shot and a chance to get my revenge,” Felix said, “but I’m just focused on this fight. Whatever happens, happens.”
Overlooking Patishnock could be costly. The 5-foot-9 lightweight defeated both Igor and Gregor Gracie before a tough loss to Gaethje, whom Felix considers “one of the top five lightweights in the world.” He and Patishnock are cut from the same cloth, two fighters willing to take on any challenge while performing at their best on the biggest stage.
The self-proclaimed “sacrificial lamb” of the WSOF, Patishnock has made the most of his unexpected opportunity. He had just been knocked out by Tenyah Dixon in 71 seconds, the first loss of his career, before getting the call from the WSOF. Three fights later, he’s ready to face the experienced Felix on national television under the guidance of one of the fastest-growing promotions in MMA.
“I know what I want in life and I stuck with it,” Patishnock said. “For several years, I stuck with something and I knew it would pay off sooner or later.”
The payout from March 13th could be beneficial for both fighters. It’s a chance for Patishnock to prove his WSOF run was no fluke and a chance for Felix to remind everyone who might have written him off that he’s still in the picture, still waiting for his opportunity to prove all the hard work was worth it.
“Everyone always says, ‘Oh, you could be on that level. You belong on those cards.’ Yeah, I know I do,” Felix said. “I train with a lot of those guys. I know where they’re at. I have teammates in the UFC and in Bellator.
“Me, personally, I have no doubt in my mind I will be there sooner or later, but when I get there I want to be ready. I’m not just hoping for one or two fights. I want to stay there a while and make a run. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. If I had gotten into the UFC earlier in my career I don’t think I would’ve lasted long. Mentally, I wasn’t there yet.
“Now I have to take care of my end over the next couple of years. I’m happy with where I’m at and how I’m developing as a fighter.”
Tickets for “CES MMA XXVIII” are priced at $40.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 and available for purchase online at www.cesmma.com or www.twinriver.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Dracut, Mass., lightweight and 14-time Bellator vet Rick Hawn (19-4, 11 KOs) faces Derek Loffer (9-2, 6 KOs) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the main event. The main card of “CES MMA XXVIII” also features the return of Norwood, Mass., heavyweight Tyler King (8-2, 3 KOs), who faces seasoned vet Mike Mucitelli (7-1, 1 KO) of Syracuse, while Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Todd Chattelle (12-11, 9 KOs) returns to the CES MMA cage for a record 12th time looking to snap a two-fight losing streak when he faces the dangerous Roger Carroll (15-11), who has submitted 14 of his 15 victims.
Also on the main card, bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath (8-2, 4 KOs) of Woonsocket, R.I. (Boca Raton, Fla.), makes his television debut against New York native and Bombsquad vet Brian Kelleher (11-7, 5 KOs), and Hollis, N.H., bantamweight Joey Gomez (5-0, 5 KOs) puts his unbeaten record on the line against poised veteran Kin Moy (6-1, 2 KOs) of Cambridge, Mass., the only fighter to beat fellow bantamweight Soukhamthath in the past four years.
The star-studded undercard features the return of rising stars Kyle Bochniak (4-0, 1 KO) and Lewis Corapi (6-1, 3 KOs). Bochniak, a Boston native, faces featherweight Dominic Warr (4-5, 1 KO) of Allston, Mass., while the Medford, Mass., vet Corapi battles Jay Bakanowski (2-1, 1 KO) of Northborough, Mass. Flyweight Chad Kelly (3-1, 1 KO) faces newcomer Jesse Gutierrez of Norwood, Mass.; Warwick, R.I., welterweight Tommy Venticinque (1-2) returns against Toby Oden (1-1) of Milford, Mass.; and Boston featherweight James Grant Murrin (2-0, 2 KOs) battles Brockton, Mass., vet Lionel Young (6-14). Female bantamweights Sarah Payant of West Springfield, Mass., and Janice Meyer of Cortland, N.Y., each make their professional debuts against one another in a three-round bout.
For more information on “CES MMA XXVIII” visit www.cesmma.com, follow @CESMMA on Twitter and Instagram and “like” the official CES MMA Facebook fan page.