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.
âI went 3-0 last year, and of course, I want a clean sweep this year,â he added, âbut 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 Iâm here to stay and Iâm a force to be reckoned with.â
Soukhamthath will get a chance to show fans that heâs back for more on Friday night when he fights on the undercard of the âUndisputed IIâ show, presented by Jimmy Burchfieldâs 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 yearâs top amateurs, Kurt Chase-Patrick (1-0) of Seymour, Conn., in a 135-pound duel that promises to be one of the nightâs best attractions.
âHe was the 2012 No. 1 ranked amateur fighter,â remarked Soukhamthath. âHe was 4-1 (as an amateur) and he had one pro fight. Itâs a big step up for him facing me, and for me, itâs a tough fight as well. A lot of people donât want to take a fight with him. Heâs kind of an up-and-comer.â
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.
âHeâs really good in jiu-jitsu,â said Soukhamthath. âI heard his ground game is pretty good, but Iâm not worried about it. Thatâs what people said about the last guy I fought and I just ran right through him.â
His training camp and workouts at Tri-Force MMA at Pawtucket have been very productive and intense, said Soukhamthath, and everythingâs gone so well, in fact, that heâs right around the 135 pounds he has to weigh when he steps on the scale for his weigh-in tomorrow.
âI feel great,â he admitted. âThe weight cut is going very well. I had a full workout (on Tuesday) and I feel great, probably the best Iâve 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
One of Soukhamthathâs Tri-Force teammates, Providenceâs 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.