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LINCOLN --- The Blackstone Valley will certainly make its presence felt at Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc.âs next mixed martial arts show.
Five local fighters, three from Pawtucket and two from Woonsocket, will be featured on the undercard of an action-packed âRhode Rageâ show on Friday, Feb. 25, at the Twin River Event Center.
This will be CESâs third MMA card in Rhode Island, and while its inaugural âFirst Bloodâ show last Sept. 17 and âSnow Brawlâ event on Dec. 2 at Twin River were smashing successes, âRhode Rageâ could top them both.
The main event is a rematch of a World Championship Fighting (WCF) duel from Sept., 2009 in Wilmington, Mass. between Mike âThe Beastâ Campbell (8-3, 5 KOs) of Providence and Team Sityodtong and Mike Medrano (8-7, 2 KOs) of Toms River, N.J.
In that fight, Medrano picked up quick two takedowns, but Campbell broke free from both and recorded a TKO at 3:21 of the fight by sending Medrano to the canvas with a flying knee to the face and pummeling him with a series of punches until the referee halted the fight.
The undercard also features a lightweight match thatâs worth watching, with one of New Englandâs youngest talents, former Woonsocket High All-State wrestler Justin Switzer, fighting Jimmy Davidson (1-0) of Sandwich, Mass. and Team Sityodtong.
Switzer, a 2009 state champion for the Villa Novans who trains out of B&F Boxing in Lincoln and is a youth coach for Northeast Elite Wrestling of R.I. in Woonsocket, enters the bout with an 0-2 mark, with both defeats coming via rear naked chokeholds in the third round.
âI donât like losing,â added Switzer. âEven when I wrestled at Woonsocket, I didnât like to lose, so this fight is pretty big for me. Iâve been training a lot and I just want to win this fight.â
In Switzerâs pro debut, he lost to Jimmy Collins of Lauzon MMA in the co-main event of Cage Fighting Xtremeâs Nov. 13 âRumble in the Jungleâ card in Plymouth, Mass. Three weeks later, Tyson Chartier of Team Sityodtong won his pro debut by beating Switzer at CESâs âSnow Brawlâ show.
âI choked both of them in the first round,â Switzer said. âThe second round was pretty even, but the third round, (it was) the same exact submission. But I learned from those experiences. Iâm only 19 years old and Iâm just starting out (my career).â
Pawtucket middleweight Todd âThe Hulkâ Chattelle, who fights out of Team United Muay Lao in North Providence, also has a huge fight on his hands as he takes on Woody âThe Dynastyâ Weatherby of Nashua, N.H.
Weatherby, who is New Englandâs No. 4 ranked middleweight, owns an 8-4 (2 KOs) mark that is highlighted by his 2008 knockout of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) standout John âDoomsdayâ Howard.
âI think itâs going to be a crazy fight,â said Chattelle, whose record is 6-6 (6 KOs). âIâve been training two to three times a day. I know itâs a big fight for me, and if (Weatherby) doesnât think itâs a big fight for him, heâs got another thing coming.â
The TriForce MMA compound, located on Conant Street in Pawtucket, will also be well represented, as Pawtucket welterweights Keith Jeffrey and Rigo Dominicci will invade the cage in separate matches.
Jeffrey, who is 5-2-1, has what promises to be one of the nightâs best fights in his showdown with Tom Moreau (6-2, 2 KOs) of Derry, N.H. and Team Valor. Jeffrey has won four of his matches with submissions, while Moreau has captured three of his last four fights, two of them with knockouts.
Dominicci, a veteran fighter who has battled some of the UFCâs top fighters in his career, is 6-10 (1 KO). He has lost three of his last four fights, but he will try to return to his winning ways in his duel with Kevin Horowitz (2-2) of Queens, N.Y.
Rounding out the cardâs local fighters is Woonsocket middleweight and fan favorite Hector Sanchez, who will try to claim his first MMA victory when he takes on Eric Cusson (1-0, 1 KO) of Franklin, Mass. Cusson is a police officer in Franklin and a member of the SWAT team.
Sanchez is a former kickboxing and Muay Thai champion who trains out of Elite MMA in Lincoln and donates a portion of every MMA ticket he sells to St. Judeâs Hospital. He lost his pro debut last Oct. 29 at Providenceâs âFright Night 2010â via an opening-round submission to Scott Lockhart.
Also on the undercard and fighting in separate bouts are Framingham, Mass. middleweight Doug Bolanes (1-0, 1 KO), Boston lightweight Andres Jeudi (1-0, 1 KO) of Team Sityodtong, and Chartier, a Waltham, Mass. native who was named the 2010 Amateur Fighter of the Year by the Boston Herald.
Tickets for the show are priced at $30, $50, and $100 and can be purchased by calling CES at 724-2253/2254, going online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, or visiting the Players Club booth at Twin River or any TicketMaster location.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the opening fight is scheduled for 7. Twin River has waived its 18-plus rule for the show, and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and enter through the West entrance.