LINCOLN, R.I. (Aug. 9th, 2013) – Only one spot separated Rob Font and Chris Foster in the ratings entering Friday night, but Font proved the distance is much greater with a dominating performance at Twin River Casino.
Ranked No. 3 in the northeast, Font (7-1, 2 KOs) captured Classic Entertainment & Sports’ vacant featherweight title in the main event of Friday’s mixed martial arts show at the Event Center, stopping the 4th-ranked Foster (7-3) with a series of unanswered blows at the 4-minute, 1-second mark of the opening round.
The Boston, Mass., native, who has now won six consecutive fights, turned the tide late in the opening round by brilliantly feigning a switch kick and catching Foster with a hard, right uppercut that sent the Meriden, Conn., featherweight drifting toward the cage. Font began hammering the stunned Foster with a series of short lefts and rights, mixing in elbows and flying knees, and eventually sent Foster to the canvas for good with a vicious right elbow to the temple. Seconds later, referee Kevin MacDonald wisely stopped the bout with Foster unable to defend himself.
Font became just the fourth champion in CES history, joining inaugural middleweight champion Todd Chattelle, reigning middleweight champion John Howard, and reigning lightweight champion Mike Campbell.
In the co-feature, a fight ranked among popular MMA website Sherdog.com’s worldwide must-watch list, Brazilian welterweight Gil de Freitas (15-5, 5 KOs) blasted former Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) contender Chuck O’Neil (11-6) at the 3:37 mark of the opening round to earn his fifth career knockout. O’Neil, who entered the bout ranked No. 1 in the northeast among welterweights, maintained a steady pace early in the fight by utilizing his jab, but once the two stood toe-to-toe, the powerful de Freitas took control. After a hard uppercut by O’Neil, de Freitas answered with a series of combinations, eventually sending O’Neil to the canvas and forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the fight.
On the undercard, bantamweight Sophanirith Am (2-0, 1 KO) of Revere, Mass., won for the second time in as many fights, stopping newcomer Devin Pilkington (0-1) of Johnston, R.I., at the 2:24 mark of the second round following a slow start in the opening round. Middleweight Cheyenne Vazquez (1-0) of Boston won his debut by split decision, narrowly beating Framingham, Mass., native Terrell Clark, 30-27, 28-29, 29-28. In bantamweight action, Matt Doherty (2-0) of Salem, Mass., earned a technical knockout win over Johnny Campbell (5-5) of Plymouth, Mass., when the ringside physician stopped the bout at the end of the second round after Campbell dislocated his right shoulder. Campbell sustained the injury midway through the second round will trying to cushion a landing, but fought valiantly despite Doherty’s efforts to end the bout with ground-and-pound.
Lightweight Andrew Osborne (7-5, 2 KOs) of Fayetteville, N.C., spoiled Springfield, Mass., native Damien Trites’ (6-6) return to the cage, stopping Trites at 4:34 of the opening round. Fighting for the first time since 2011, Trites hit the deck late in the round following an overhand right from Osborne, who seized the opportunity and finished Trites with a series of unanswered blows. Making his Twin River debut, Delray Beach, Fla., resident and Peabody, Mass., native Charles Rosa (4-0, 2 KOs) made quick work of Rocky Hill, Conn., welterweight Silvester Murataj (0-2), earning the knockout victory 46 seconds into the opening round. Rosa has yet to advance past the first round in each of his first four bouts.
Friday’s show also featured the Twin River debut of former UFC middleweight competitor Tom Egan (6-3, 5 KOs), who stopped Framingham veteran Aldos Santos (3-2) 3:27 into the opening round. Egan has now won two consecutive bouts while Santos lost in his first fight since 2008. Bantamweight Rob Sullivan (2-1) of Baltimore, Md., used sheer strength to overwhelm East Providence, R.I., fan favorite Dinis Paiva Jr. (3-5) in a 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous decision while Brazilian heavyweight Juliano Coutinho (4-1), fighting out of Cape Cod, Mass., dominated the feisty Eric Bedard (5-4) of Providence in a 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 unanimous decision.