Reigning champ Boyington headlines CES MMA 56


Wednesday, May 15th, 2019


Boyington title defense highlights CES MMA 56 in Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (Wednesday, May 15th— After making history in March, CES MMA continues its Connecticut takeover with CES MMA 56, scheduled for Friday, May 31st, 2019 at the Connecticut Convention Center.

Two months ago, the east coast’s leading mixed martial promotion set a new precedent with the first sanctioned professional MMA event in the state of Connecticut. Now CES MMA returns to Connecticut two weeks from Friday with another loaded fight card featuring a world-title defense, long-awaited pro debuts and the return of several fan-favorites.

Kicking off its week-long media tour, CES MMA will host a press conference to announce the full fight card next Wednesday on May 22nd from 1 to 3 p.m. ET at the Connecticut Convention Center. This event is open to the public.

CES MMA 56 is available on UFC Fight Pass video on demand with Michael Parente handling play-by-play alongside color commentator and longtime UFC vet “Filthy” Tom Lawlor. Showtime is 7 p.m. ET. Tickets for the event are priced at $35.00, $50.00, $125.00 and $150.00 (VIP) and are available for purchase online at or or by phone at 401-724-2253. All fights and fighters subject to change.

CES MMA 56 features the return of Connecticut’s Dan Dubuque (8-2, 2 KOs), a Waterbury native who highlighted CES MMA 55 with an electrifying win over Antonio Castillo, this time fighting for a world title when he battles reigning CES MMA Featherweight World Champion Bruce Boyington (16-11, 8 KOs) in a five-round bout, Boyington’s first defense of the title.

The 40-year-old Boyington hasn’t fought since last summer when he won the then vacant title at CES MMA 51, submitting UFC vet Sean Soriano in the main event, but he’s won his last two and seven of 10 overall. Dubuque’s win over Castillo was his fourth in a row and fifth in his last six fights dating back to 2016.

Making his Connecticut debut, Oyster Bay, N.Y., welterweight John Gotti III (3-0, 3 KOs) returns to CES MMA for the third time, battling David Espino (3-2, 2 KOs) of Quincy, Mass., in a three-round bout, and Springfield, Mass., lightweight Nick Newell (14-2, 2 KOs) of Springfield, Mass., makes his promotional debut against an opponent to be determined, also in a three-round bout.

Born with congenital amputation of his left arm, Newell has amassed a loyal fan base in New England fighting for various promotions, including World Series of Fighting, Legacy Fighting Alliance and the UFC, most notably on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

The main card features three more Connecticut natives — female featherweight Jessy Miele (7-3, 2 KOs) and welterweight Jesse Kosakowski (3-0) of Waterbury and Hartford heavyweight Parker Porter (6-5, 2 KOs).

Miele battles Spokane, Wash., native Elizabeth Phillips (7-6, 2 KOs) in her third appearance with CES MMA while Kosakowski searches for his fourth win in as many fights in a three-round showdown with hard-hitting Ryan Jett (4-4, 3 KOs) of Charlotte, N.C. Porter goes toe-to-toe with Colorado Springs heavyweight Kevin Sears Jr. (8-5, 3 KOs), who makes his second appearance with CES MMA.

The preliminary card features two pro debut fighters facing another in the bantamweight division as Jornell Lugo of Miami battles Joshua Oxendine of Pembroke, N.C., plus the return of Syosset, N.Y., welterweight Hugh McKenna (1-4), making his first appearance with the promotion since CES MMA 53 against an opponent to be determined.

Also on the CES MMA 56 prelim card, popular New Haven, Conn., atomweight Marisa Messer-Belenchia (2-0) faces pro debut Stephanie Hernandez of Boise, Idaho and Springfield, Mass., bantamweight Will Smith (1-0, 1 KO) battles pro debut Ashiek Ajim of Long Island.

Visit, or for more information, or follow CES MMA on Instagram at @CESMMA.

— CES —


Michael Parente, CES MMA, 401-263-4990 or

Brianna Barnes, Connecticut Convention Center, 860-728-2605 or

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.