CES MMA makes history March 29th with Connecticut debut

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019


Tuesday, March 5th, 2019



CES MMA breaks ground as first promotion in state of Connecticut with March 29th event

CONNECTICUT NATIVE MATT Bessette returns to his home state and CES MMA on March 29th as he stars in the promotion’s first event in the state of Connecticut. Bessette has won his last five fights with CES MMA dating back to 2016.

HARTFORD, Conn. (March 5th, 2019) — The East Coast’s No. 1 mixed martial arts promotion makes its long-awaited Connecticut debut later this month with a historic fight card featuring the region’s rising stars and familiar fan-favorites.

Launching a new era as the first promotion to host a sanctioned MMA event in the state of Connecticut, CES MMA 55 invades the Connecticut Convention Center live on UFC Fight Pass Friday,March 29 th, 2019, nine years since breaking ground as the first to promote in the state of Rhode Island. 


The event features the highly-anticipated return of Hartford native and UFC flyweight contender Matt Bessette (22-9), heavyweight Parker Porter (8-5, 4 KOs) of nearby New Britain, and Philadelphia’s own Jeremiah Wells (6-1-1, 2 KOs) in the first defense of his CES MMA World Welterweight Title.


“We are extremely honored to be the first promotional company to be licensed by the state of Connecticut,” CES MMA vice president Jimmy Burchfield Jr. said. “There are lots of people to thank for this opportunity. CES MMA looks forward to showcasing an exciting night of action to a national audience live on UFC Fight Pass.”


The main card streams live on UFC Fight Pass with Michael Parente handling play-by-play alongside color commentator and longtime UFC vet “Filthy” Tom Lawlor. Showtime is 7 p.m. ET for the preliminary card. Tickets for the event are priced at $35.00, $50.00, $125.00 and $150.00 (VIP) and are available for purchase online at www.cesmma.com or www.ctconventions.com or by phone at 401-724-2253.

All fights and fighters subject to change.

The 34-year-old Bessette, a seven-time CES MMA vet, returns to the promotion for the first time since May of 2017 and fights in his home state for the first time since 2016 when he starred on the main card of Bellator 153 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Bessette is 6-1 lifetime with CES MMA and has won seven of his last nine fights, including a career-best seven-fight win streak from October of 2015 to May of 2017. During that stretch, Bessette captured the then vacant CES MMA World Featherweight Title with a win over Joe Pingitore at CES MMA 37 and later headlined CES MMA 41 with an impressive, third-round knockout win over Kevin Croom.

Porter makes his third appearance with CES MMA. The 33-year-old veteran has the noteworthy distinction of appearing on the promotion’s inaugural event in 2010, where he submitted regional rival Lee Beane in the opening round of their scheduled three-round heavyweight bout, in addition to appearing on its first event in Connecticut later this month. Eight years removed from his victory at CES MMA 1, Porter returned to the promotion to face Keith Bell at CES MMA 53. In between, Porter bounced from Bellator to Reality Fighting and enters his homecoming bout on the 29th having won two of his last three overall.

Wells aims to bring his welterweight world title back to Philadelphia, the site of his championship victory at CES MMA 52 in August. That night, Wells won his third consecutive fight with CES MMA, defeating the durable Jason Norwood by five-round unanimous decision to capture the vacant title. Wells also boasts wins over regional standouts Gary Balletto Jr. and Jon Manley and carries a three-fight win streak into his first title defense.


CES MMA 55 also features the return of Providence, R.I., middleweight Eric Spicely (11-4, 2 KOs) and unbeaten Connecticut light heavyweight William Knight (4-0, 4 KOs) in separate bouts. A six-time UFC and nine-time CES MMA vet, Spicely aims for his second consecutive win following a successful return to the promotion in January in which he earned just his second career win by knockout, stopping Leo Pla at 3:53 of the opening round. Knight also fought in January at CES MMA 54, recording his fourth career win by knockout against veteran Kevin Haley.


Visit www.cesmma.comwww.twitter.com/cesmma or www.facebook.com/cesmma for more information, or follow CES MMA on Instagram at @CESMMA.




Michael Parente, CES MMA, 401-263-4990 or michael@teamces.com.

Brianna Barnes, Connecticut Convention Center, 860-728-2605 or bbarnes@ctconventions.com.







CES MMA (Classic Entertainment & Sports) is a mixed martial arts promotional firm based out ofProvidence, R.I.,founded by legendary boxing promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr. It promoted the first sanctioned professional mixed martial event in the state of Rhode Island on Sept. 17, 2010 at Twin River Casino Hotel. Since its inception, CES MMA has promoted and developed the careers of several current and formerUFCcontenders, including Andre Soukhamthath, Tom Egan, Charles Rosa, Rob Font, Dominique Steele, Charles Rosa, Calvin Kattar and Mike Rodriguez, among others. Other UFC veterans to appear on CES MMA cards include David Loiseau and Drew Fickett. In October of 2012, CES MMA promoted its first pay-per-view event at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, featuring the professional MMA debut of former WWE superstar Dave Bautista before signing a multi-year broadcast deal with AXS TV.









The Connecticut Convention Center is an award-winning venue owned by the State of Connecticut. Its operations are overseen by the Capital Region Development Authority. It is professionally managed by Waterford Venue Services, a subsidiary of Waterford Group, a leader in the hospitality and gaming industries. Opened in 2005, the Connecticut Convention Center is the Northeast’s most ideal location for trade shows, conventions, business meetings or any occasion demanding a dramatic riverfront setting. Overlooking the Connecticut River, the Center is situated in the heart of downtown Hartford’s Front Street District — a rapidly expanding entertainment hub teeming with new restaurants, bistros and entertainment venues. Limitlessly functional and endlessly customizable, the 540,000 square foot Connecticut Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston. The Center combines ample meeting space — including 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000 square foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space — with visually stunning touches, creating the ideal backdrop for any event. The Center’s award-winning event planning and in-house catering team combine with spectacular function space to make every event unforgettable. Every facet of hosting an event has been taken into consideration — from state-of-the-art audio-visual, to flexible spaces and abundant pre-function areas, to amply on-site sheltered parking.









UFC Fight Pass is a subscription-based video streaming service owned by the mixed martial arts promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC Fight Pass showcases live UFC, MMA, submission grappling, kickboxing, boxing and Thai boxing events plus a 24-hour linear streaming channel and on-demand programming from a library of more than 20,000 fights from more than 35 promotions. Fight Pass launched in December of 2013 and boasts more than 450,000 subscribers globally. In addition to streaming live UFC fights, Fight Pass streams MMA content from Cage Warriors, CES MMA, Pancrase (Japanese promotion), TKO (Canadian promotion), Invicta FC, Cage Fury Fighting Championships, Alaska Fighting Championship, Island Fights, Titan FC and more. Fight Pass also stream live events from other combat sports such as Glory Kickboxing and the Eddie Bravo Invitational grappling tournament.






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