Stephen Cervantes has been pulled from Friday’s CES MMA 37 and stepping up to meet Matt Bessette in the co-main event of the fight card for the vacant featherweight title will be Joe Pingitore.
The fight change was announced by CES MMA officials on Tuesday.
CES MMA 37 will come from the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island on Friday and will be headlined by Andre Soukhamthath defending the CES MMA bantamweight title against Kin Moy.
Pingitore (6-1-1, 1NC) was already scheduled to be on Friday’s card as he was booked to face Bill Jones on the main card. He enters this fight with back to back victories and is coming off a TKO win in March against Taylor Trahan.
“This is the biggest fight of my career by far,” said Pingitore. “When I started with CES, the goal was to get that title. That’s why I jumped at it when Matt’s opponent backed out. He’s been exposed that he’s mortal, just like the rest of us. That’s why I know this fight isn’t going to go five rounds; all it’s going to take is one heavy right hand and the title is mine. He’s had his reign at the top; now it’s my time!”
Bessette (19-7) is currently on a four fight winning streak and three of those four wins have come by submission in the opening round. His most recent win came at CES MMA 36 as he stopped Ran Weathers with a guillotine choke with ten seconds left in the first round.
“Joe, just remember, you wanted this fight,” responded Bessette. “To fight for a title for CES is a dream come true. This is my first world championship fight and if you were with me day in and day out you’d know there’s something different in my eyes.”
The current CES MMA 37: Soukhamthath vs. Moy II fight card is below.
Main Card: (AXS TV – 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)
Andre Soukhamthath (10-3) vs. Kin Moy (8-2)
Matt Bessette (19-7) vs. Joe Pingitore (6-1-1, 1NC)
Greg Rebello (20-6) vs. Ashley Gooch (9-4)
Chuck O’Neil (16-8) vs. Roy Jones (7-4)
Bill Jones (12-10) vs. TBD
Preliminary Card: (Unaired)
Pat McCrohan (2-0) vs. Ruslan Melikov (3-1)
Marquis Brewster (1-0) vs. Roosevelt Archie (0-1)
Mak Kelleher (1-2) vs. Dylan Lockard (0-0)
Mike Rodriguez (3-1) vs. Stepford Ewings (3-3)