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Johnston to face Hendricks in title bout

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Feb. 8th, 2013) – AXS TV’s Inside MMA announced Friday that undefeated Melrose, Mass., heavyweight John Johnston will fight for the vacant CES MMA championship March 14th, 2014 at Twin River Casino against former Ultimate Fighting Championships veteran Josh Hendricks.

The 6-foot-4 Johnston (5-0, 5 KOs) is fresh off his fifth knockout win in as many tries after stopping William Baptiste just 1 minute, 49 seconds into the opening round of their scheduled three-round bout Jan. 24th courtesy of a vicious head kick that sent both fighters crashing to the canvas.

Training out of Sityodtong in Boston, Johnston has yet to fight past the second round, winning four of his five professional bouts by first-round knockout. Facing Hendricks (19-9, 5 KOs), a Mansfield, Ohio native, will be a major step up for Johnston. The first and only time he fought at Twin River, Hendricks submitted Josh Diekmann via triangle choke in the opening round of their heavyweight bout, one of Hendricks’ 12 career submission victories.

Between 2005 and 2007, Hendricks amassed an impressive streak in which he won 10 of 11 bouts with one no contest, earning him a spot on the UFC 91 card in November of 2008 in Las Vegas, where he lost to Gabriel Gonzaga.

The March 14th card will also feature the return of Bourne, Mass., welterweight Chuck O’Neil (12-6, 4 KOs); Providence lightweight Luis Felix (10-7, 3 KOs) and Boynton Beach, Fla., welterweight Charles Rosa (6-0, 2 KOs), a graduate of Providence’s Johnson & Wales University. For more information or to pre-order tickets, visit www.cesmma.com.