PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: CES MMA heavyweight World champion Greg “Ribz” Rebello is looking forward to his first title defense Friday night, July 26 at CES MMA 57, streaming on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, live from Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Rebello captured the CES MMA crown on February 2, 2018, when he defeated UFC veteran Travis Wiuff by way of a first-round knockout via punches.
The 37-year-old Rebello, fighting out of Cranston, RI, takes on first-time title challenger Kevin “The North Woods” Haley), of Rollinsford, New Hampshire, in a battle between friends.
“Defending my title for the first time means a lot to me,” Rebello said. “I believe you’re not really a champion until you defend it.
“We’re buddies. I know everything about Kevin, this isn’t personal, we both just love to fight. He’s not bringing anything into the cage that I haven’t seen before.”
Rebello vs. Haley will headline a strong, action packed card streaming live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, in the latest installment under a recent agreement between CES MMA and FIGHT PASS to live-stream events worldwide.
“Greg is a veteran in the New England MMA scene and one of the most talented and respected fighters around,” CES MMA CEO Jimmy Burchfield, Jr. commented. “He is a wealth of knowledge and experience, and he brings those tools into the cage on July 26th. He has the kill-or-be-killed mentality. Expect fireworks when he and Kevin square off.”
A former hockey player who chose combat sports after he stopped playing in the Juniors, Rebello had always enjoyed physical sports and he made a natural transition into mixed martial arts when he hung up his skates.
Rebello retired last summer after losing a fight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Season Two.
“I thought it was the end of the road,” Rebello admitted. “I had suffered a lot of injuries and I retired. I took a year off, but CES has been so good to me, I wanted to make this title defense. As far as how long I’ll continue fighting, I take it one fight at a time.”
Rebello is a personal trainer at two gyms he owns in Warwick and Cumberland, Rhode Island.
The co-feature shapes up as a real crowd pleaser as Milford, MA bantamweight Kris Moutinho takes on Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell, of Boston, in a Massachusetts intra-state showdown.
East Providence fan favorite Dinis “Sweetbread” Paiva faces Ohio featherweight Antonio “Mexican Muscle” Castillo, Jr. This fight has a special meaning for Paiva, who has dedicated his fight to his first MMA coach, recently deceased Keith Allen.
Former UFC athlete “Tek” Matsuda fighting out of Boston, throws-down with New York state featherweight Matt Almy.
New England MMA veteran Saul “The Spider” Almeida, fighting out of Framingham, MA by way of Brazil, meets dangerous Providence featherweight Sean Soriano, who was one of the first CES fighters to go onto UFC.
Berkley, MA grappler Pat McCrohan fights Floridian middleweight Andre “Rumble” Hall.
Starting off the night on the undercard are a pair CES MMA debuting lightweights, North Andover, MA lightweight Peter San Antonio vs. Brazilian Moises Monteiro, Jordanian-native and Boston resident Sanad Armouti makes his pro debut vs. Brazilian Rodolfo “Caicara” Rocha, and popular Norfolk, MA female strawweight prospect Hilarie Rose vs. Los Angeles strawweight Kaiyana Rain.
All bouts/cards subject to change.
Tickets for “CES MMA 57” start at $47 and are available online at cesmma.com or by calling the CES box office at 401-724-2253/2254.
Twin River Event Center doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first fight scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET.
The main card will stream live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS. To start your 7-day free trial, please visit ufc.tv/page/fightpass.