By Brian Woodman Jr.
(September 23: Mashantucket)
There was a lot of local support for Middletown’s Chris Foster (9-5) at Foxwoods Resort Casino during CES 38 despite former Bellator fighter Calvin Kattar (16-2) being the apparent crowd favorite. But the abundance of Chris Foster t-shirts in the Fox Theater was not enough to sway events in the cage.
Foster, who trains at Nova Uniao and seemed to favor boxing, put on an impressive performance during the co-main event as he slipped punches, slapped away high kicks, scored a double-leg takedown and grabbed receding lower leg kicks during the first two rounds of the featherweight bout.
But despite one of the three cage side judges actually giving Foster the second round, Kattar brought him to the ground about halfway through the third and final round. Kattar, who trains at Sityodtong in Boston, repeatedly lifted and dropped Foster as they clinched on the ground. He won by unanimous decision.
During the main event, which was also a featherweight fight, UFC veteran Sean Soriano (9-5) appeared to actually be winning the bout. But Makashavili (9-2), who is also a UFC veteran, secured a rear naked choke at 4:05 in the first round and won the fight. Makashavili’s over-the-top reaction to winning, which included running into the cage and somersaulting, garnered nearly as much attention as his quick victory.
The card opened with a bantamweight fight between Kris Moutinho of Milford, Massachusetts and Matthew Maldonado, who were both making their professional debuts. Moutinho scored a few takedowns and attempted to ground-and-pound Maldonado, whom trains at Kings Thai Boxing in New York City, earning a unanimous decision.
Lionel Young (7-16), who trains at Redline in Massachusetts, used takedowns and bully mounts to dominate the first round of the next bout - a lightweight fight with Wayne Ahlquist (2-3) of Lake Region Vale Tudo in New Hampshire. During the second round, which one judge awarded to Young, Ahlquist nearly secured to rear naked chokes and began to change the direction of the fight. By the third round, Ahlquist was dominating the fight (Young ad Ahlquist did go back and forth during a brief but vicious striking exchange in the final round). It ended in a split decision win for Ahlquist.
The next bout, a flyweight fight between Richie Santiago and Brandon Warne (2-2), ended in the quickest finish of the night. Santiago, who trains at RAC with Moutinho and made his professional debut, submitted Warne of Team Bombsquad with a rear naked choke at :52 in the first round.
Norwich’s Pete Rogers Jr. (2-4) appeared injured after he left the cage in the next bout -- a featherweight fight with Derek Shorey (4-7) of Shatterproof Combat in Maine. Shorey secured an armbar at 3:25 in the first round and won the fight.
Rogers lifted and threw Shorey at one point. Shorey used a professional wrestling-style suplex on Rogers earlier.
Kody Nordby (7-4) of Topflight Wrestling in Woonsocket, Rhode Island won a bantamweight fight with Brandon Seyler (6-4-1) of Next Generation in Pennsylvania by unanimous decision.
The first round went back and forth with Nordby attempting to extend Seyler’s leg and Seyler going for a guillotine choke. Seyler scooped up and threw Nordby at one point, but the round ended with the latter on top.
Seyler went for another guillotine in the second round and Nordby attempted a rear naked choke. Nordby ended the third round taking Seyler’s back.
A heavyweight bout between Pat Walsh (8-2) of Victory MMA and Carlos Zevallos (3-4) of Arena Sports Combat ended in a gruesome manner. The referee waved off the fight at 1:49 in the first round after Walsh dropped elbows during some ground-and-pound. Zevallos had a visible bulge in his forehead above is eyes that appeared to prompt the stoppage and Walsh won by TKO.
David Garcia (3-1-1) of Chicago’s Team Mac secured a victory by key lock submission at 2:25 in the first round of a bantamweight fight with Rico Discuiullo (6-1) of Sityodtong. “I give all things to Jesus Christ, who strengthens me,” said Garcia while a visibly upset Discuiullo left the cage.
A middleweight fight between John Poppie (7-4) of South Carolina’s Chosen Few and Mike Rodriguez (5-1) of Lauzon MMA in Massachusetts went back and forth for two rounds. But at 1:32 in the second round, Rodriguez secured a leg triangle choke but grabbed Poppie’s head rather than his arm. Poppie, to who one judge gave the first round, tapped out.