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CES 56: Boyington retains belt in 
hard-won bout

Newell, Kosakowski, Porter, Miele and Spider Monkey win

Gotti III remains undefeated

MMA fighters Bruce Boyington, left, and Dan Dubuque at CES 56 in CT
Bruce Boyington, left, and Dan Dubuque swing for the fences during the main event at CES 56. Boyington retained his featherweight title following a split decision that left Dubuque’s fans booing.
Photo by John Fulcher
By Brian Woodman Jr.
(May 31-Hartford, CT)

   The Connecticut Convention Center hosted its second MMA event on Friday night during an event that witnessed a rowdy crowd, several first-round finishes and an angry post-fight speech by New Milford’s Nick Newell (15-2).
   The main event, an energetic featherweight title fight between reigning champion Bruce Boyington (17-11) and Waterbury’s Dan Dubuque (8-3), was almost anti-climatic. But the back-and-forth striking and grappling between them left a strong impression and ended with a split decision favoring Boyington.
   Boyington brought his Tae Kwon Do background to bear at times, knocking Dubuque to the ground with a well-timed spinning back kick and slamming him to the canvas during the first round. He seemed to favor kicks at times and took Dubuque’s back several times during the fight. But Dubuque gave as good as he got throughout the fight – if Boyington appeared a little more polished, Dubuque’s didn’t appear to let it faze him as he reversed his position during the clinch and ground game several times throughout the bout.
   Dubuque opened the second round with a flying kick combo and later escaped after Boyington tried to take his back a few times. The referee briefly stopped the fight after Boyington sustained a kick to the crotch.
   Boyington continued to try taking Dubuque’s back during the bout and ended the third round in that position. Dubuque escaped a few times and landed a spinning elbow to Boyington’s face at one point.
   Dubuque became more aggressive during the fourth round as both fighters swung wildly. Boyington continued to try submitting Dubuque, who threw a few more spinning elbows before the fight ended.
   Prior to the main event, Newell submitted Antonio Castillo Jr. (10-10) in a lightweight bout at 2:06 in the first round with a rear naked choke after some aggressive one-sided grappling. Newell, who was born with no left arm, expressed his disappointment with the UFC for not considering him for a spot during his post-fight comments. He recently appeared on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, where he sustained his second loss.
   The evening opened with a welterweight bout between Hugh McKenna (2-4) and Hartford’s Jesus Cintron (1-6). McKenna won by submission via arm triangle choke at 1:38 in the first round. 
Jornel Lugo submitted Joshua Oxendine with a guillotine at 2:59 I the first round. Both fighters made their professional debuts that evening. 
   Ashiek Ajim (1-0) defeated Will Smith (1-1) in a generally one-sided bantamweight fight. Ajim consistently dominatd Smith but was unable to pull off a rear naked choke in the first round – he won by unanimous decision. There was a brief referee stoppage during the third round after Ajim picked up and slammed Smith. 
   Marisa “the spider monkey” Messer-Belenchia (3-0) of New Haven dominated Stephanie Hernandez (0-1) during an atomweight bout in which both fighters spent most of the fight on the ground. Messer-Belenchia grounded-and-pounded her way to a TKO victory at 4:46 in the third round.
   Heavyweight Parker Porter (7-5) who trains out of Hartford, submitted Kevin Sears (8-6) at 2:29 in the second round. Porter generally dominated sears during the first round, attempting a guillotine and mounting an energetic ground-and-pound attack. Porter threw several loping punches during the second round before attempting another guillotine choke. He later secured a kimura and ended the fight.
   Waterbury’s Jessy Miele (8-3) aggressively punched, kneed and grappled her way to a split-decision victory over Elizabeth Phillips (7-7). Miele attempted at least two rear-naked chokes during the featherweight fight, working Phillips’ body with punches at the end of the third round.
   David Espino (3-3) attempted a single leg takedown early in the first round of his welterweight boyt with John Gotti III (4-0). But Gotti, after attempting to take his back, lifted and dropped him before unleashing a blistering series of hammerfists that ended the fight at 1:36 in the opening round with a knockout.
   Waterbury’s Jesse Kosakowski (4-0) took a beating during his quick welterweight fight with Ryan Jett (4-5), who brought him to the ground before pouring it on him. But Kosakowski managed to grab Jett’s hand and, despite being lifted and dropped on his head, secure a submission win by arm bar at 1:26 in the first round. Jett appeared surprised after the fight and officials took pains to assure viewers that he had in fact tapped.

Jessy Miele, left, versus Elizabeth Phillips during CES 56 in CT
Jessy Miele, left, versus Elizabeth Phillips during CES 56 at the Connecticut Convention Center on May 31.
Photo by John Fulcher