With Luis Felix out, Levan Makashvili steps up to meet Ryan Sanders at CES MMA 36 on Friday

An undisclosed injury has forced CES MMA lightweight champion Luis Felix out of his title defense on Friday night at CES MMA 36 against Ryan Sanders and stepping up on short notice to face Sanders will be Levan Makashvili.

The fight change was announced by CES MMA officials on Tuesday and the promotion also revealed that the featherweight bout between Matt Bessette and Jairo Soares is the new main event of the fight card.

CES MMA 36 will come from the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island on Friday night and the main card will be aired on AXS TV.

Makashvili (10-2-1) enters this fight following a majority draw against Damon Jackson in January at UFC On FOX 18 and he is 1-1-1 in his last three fights. His last five fights have gone the distance and all of his stoppage victories (3) have come by TKO/KO.

“I don’t know much about my opponent, and that’s OK with me. I know I have what it takes to beat anyone in the sport. It doesn’t matter what my opponents bring to the table,” Makashvili said. “It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting and it doesn’t matter where I’m fighting. I’m coming to win and to make a statement.”

Sanders (10-7) enters this fight on a three fight winning streak and defeated Felix by submission at CES MMA 32 in a catchweight bout. Two of his last three wins have come by submission and he is happy that CES MMA was able to fins him an opponent.

“I was really looking forward to fighting Luis again, so that’s a bit disappointing but I’m thrilled to fight another really tough opponent, in Levan,” Sanders said. “But now Levan is in my target and I’ve got to go out there and take care of business on Friday, which is exactly what I’m going to do.”

The current CES MMA 36: Bessette vs. Soares fight card is below.

Matt Bessette (18-7) vs. Jairo Soares (17-10)
Nate Andrews (8-1) vs. Luis Muro (4-1)
Ryan Sanders (10-7) vs. Levan Makashvili (10-2-1)
Lewis Corapi (6-2) vs. Julian Lane (10-5-1)
Josh LaBerge (10-5) vs. Jon Lemke (5-3)
Carlos Candelario (3-0) vs. Roosevelt Archie (0-1)
James Grant Murrin (3-4) vs. Tom English (5-6)
Marquise Brewster (0-0) vs. Vladimir Kazbekov (1-1)
Matt Tullos (1-0) vs. Merab Dvalishvilli (2-2)
Bobby Flynn (5-3) vs. Kevin Horowitz (6-5)