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WOONSOCKET â€” Andre Soukhamthath knows the coming-out party from 2012 is over.
A new year is under way for the 24-year-old Woonsocket bantamweight, and while his first full year as a pro fighter brought him a 3-0 record -- a submission win followed by two knockouts -- Soukhamthath wants to do bigger and better things this year.
â€śI went 3-0 last year, and of course, I want a clean sweep this year,â€ť he added, â€śbut this year, I really want to start stepping up. Last year was my coming-out party, and this year, I just want to prove to people that Iâ€™m here to stay and Iâ€™m a force to be reckoned with.â€ť
Soukhamthath will get a chance to show fans that heâ€™s back for more on Friday night when he fights on the undercard of the â€śUndisputed IIâ€ť show, presented by Jimmy Burchfieldâ€™s Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc., at the Twin River Event Center.
Soukhamthath (3-1), who was hailed as one of the top amateur fighters in New England in 2011 before turning pro that fall, will take on one of last yearâ€™s top amateurs, Kurt Chase-Patrick (1-0) of Seymour, Conn., in a 135-pound duel that promises to be one of the nightâ€™s best attractions.
â€śHe was the 2012 No. 1 ranked amateur fighter,â€ť remarked Soukhamthath. â€śHe was 4-1 (as an amateur) and he had one pro fight. Itâ€™s a big step up for him facing me, and for me, itâ€™s a tough fight as well. A lot of people donâ€™t want to take a fight with him. Heâ€™s kind of an up-and-comer.â€ť
Chase-Patrick is almost the same type of fighter as the last person Soukhamthath fought back on Oct. 6 at the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Center, Rob Costa of Fall River, who Soukhamthath bloodied up pretty well in a second-round knockout victory.
â€śHeâ€™s really good in jiu-jitsu,â€ť said Soukhamthath. â€śI heard his ground game is pretty good, but Iâ€™m not worried about it. Thatâ€™s what people said about the last guy I fought and I just ran right through him.â€ť
His training camp and workouts at Tri-Force MMA at Pawtucket have been very productive and intense, said Soukhamthath, and everythingâ€™s gone so well, in fact, that heâ€™s right around the 135 pounds he has to weigh when he steps on the scale for his weigh-in tomorrow.
â€śI feel great,â€ť he admitted. â€śThe weight cut is going very well. I had a full workout (on Tuesday) and I feel great, probably the best Iâ€™ve ever felt going down to 135 (pounds). I want to thank all my fans, my friends and family, my sponsors, and my team, all my training partners and coaches, and I want to put on a good fight for them.â€ť
One of Soukhamthathâ€™s Tri-Force teammates, Providenceâ€™s Mike Campbell, will appear in the main event and fight for the inaugural CES lightweight championship against Abner Lloveras, a native of Barcelona, Spain. Campbell owns a 12-4 (7 KOs) record, and Lloveras is 15-6-1 with five knockouts and four submissions.
Tickets for the show are $36, $56, $101, and $126.00 and can be purchased by contacting CES at 401-724-2253/2254, going online at www.cesmma.com or www.twinriver.com, or visiting at the Players Club booth at Twin River or any TicketMaster location.
The doors open at 6 p.m., and the first bout scheduled for 7. Twin River has also waived its 18+ rule for the show, and anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and enter through the West entrance.