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Matt Bessette wins main bout at Jan. 5
Reality Fighting event
Matt "the Mangler" Bessette in action on January 5 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Photo by John Fulcher
Matt Bessette of CT in action at a Reality Fighting event
By Brian Woodman Jr.

   Both of the title fights scheduled for Reality Fighting’s New Year’s Bash on January 5 in Uncasville were cancelled. This did not stop obvious fan favorite Matt Bessette from pleasing the crowd that gathered at the Mohegan Sun Arena that evening. The event also opened on an abrupt note with two speedy first-round knockouts.
   Bessette, who was officially recognized as Reality Fighting’s Fighter of the Year for 2012, defeated opponent Jeff Anderson by decision during a three-round lightweight bout that ended the event. A middleweight bout between Harley Beekman and Dwight Grant was cancelled that evening due to medical reasons.
  Spokespersons for Reality Fighting, which is based in Marlborough, announced that a scheduled middleweight bout between Nuri Shakir and belt holder Brett Oteri was also cancelled. Promotion representatives stated that Shakir declined to fight.
   Bessette dominated the fight, which was punctuated by striking exchanges that included a knee to Anderson’s chin while both fighters stood. Bessette took Anderson’s back in the second round and attempted an arm bar in the third, but could not finish his opponent.
   The event opened with 150-pound Manchester resident Jeremiah Soto earning a technical knockout of Shayne Stephenson in the first round of their bout. The referee waved off the fight 33 seconds into the round.

MMA Fighter Matt Bessette at Mohegan Sun Arena in CT
Stafford Springs resident Matt Bessette, left, grapples with Jeff Anderson of Rhode Island during a lightweight bout at Reality Fighting's latest event on January 5 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Bessette dominated all three rounds and won by decision.
Photo by
John Fulcher
   John “Cupcake? Campbell knocked out Theo Desjardins after grounding and pounding him about two minutes into the first round of their featherweight fight. Campbell secured the mount following an exchange of blows between he and Desjardins.
   Later that evening, welterweight Darryl Marcaurele Jr. knocked out Kevin Bradham at 48 seconds into the first round. Both fighters are from Uncasville.
   The bout between Rhode Island 125-pounders Koy Nordby and Dan Cormier opened with punches, kicks and a knee that cut Nordby’s face. Nordby took Cormier’s back twice during the fight, eventually securing a rear naked choke at about 3:30 in the second round and winning with a submission.  
   Doctors stopped a women’s fight between Dar’ya Hamilton and Stacey Scapeccia after the second round. Scapeccia’s vision was impaired following the round due to facial damage and Hamilton was awarded the fight.
   Mike Polvore submitted Josh Beauparlant through a choke at 1:25 into the first round of a lightweight bout. Nate Andrews of Rhode Island defeated Meriden native Leroy Derricott at 2:15 into the third round of another lightweight fight following ground and pound. Roger Zapata knocked out Jason Ward at 3:50 into the first round of a welterweight bout.
   The promotion’s next event at Mohegan Sun is scheduled for June 8.  
Stacey Scapeccia, left, trades with Dar'ya "the Russian Empress" Hamilton during Reality's Fighting's New Year's Bash. The fight was stopped after the second round due to medical reasons, and Hamilton was awarded the decision.
Photo by
John Fulcher