CES MMA just paved the way for another UFC-bound fighter from the northeast.
Tateki Matsuda, the Japanese-born bantamweight who now lives and trains in Boston, will make his Ultimate Fighting Championships debut in place of the injured Dustin Kimura Friday, Sept. 5th at UFC Fight Night 50 live on Fox Sports 1 at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The 28-year-old Matsuda (10-5, 4 KOs) will face 9-0 Chris Beal. Matsuda recently defeated Robbie Leroux by submission on CES MMA's network television debut on AXS TV in August. Long considered one of the top bantamweights in the region, Matsuda had lost his previous two bouts and had fallen off the radar in the northeast until he beat Matt Doherty at CES MMA XXIII in April, joining John "Doomsday" Howard and Rob Font on the list of fighters who punched their ticket to the UFC through the promotional guidance of CES.
"I would sincerely like to thank CES MMA, New England's premier MMA organization," Matsuda said. "Since I started working with CES, they've kept me busy and took care of me very well.
"I'm not a 'cost-effective' fighter because I have no family and friends locally, so I don't sell tickets as much as other fighters. However, CES brought me fights and promoted me the same as other local fighters. CES produces so many tough fighters. It's a gateway to the next level. I'm glad to be one of them."
Matsuda competed on Season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter reality television series in 2011, but was eliminated in the preliminary round. He also fought for CES MMA in 2010, defeating Jason Bennett by unanimous decision. His opponent Sept. 5th, the undefeated Beal, is also a TUF alum (Season 18) who won his UFC debut in April.
"I couldn't be happier for Tateki," said Matsuda's manager, Tyson Chartier, of Sityodtong in Boston. "He's easily one of the hardest-working fighters that I manage. He's a great teammate, fighter, and, more importantly, an amazing person.
"When I began managing Tateki I asked him what his goal was and he said, 'To fight in the UFC.' We sat down with [head trainer Mark DellaGrotte] and put together a plan of how to get him there. A big part of that plan was to leverage the marketing machine that is CES. We felt that was the best platform to help Tateki accomplish his goal. Fast forward a few months and he's coming off two impressive wins with them, his last being live on AXS TV a few weeks back. He's on a roll right now and in a good place mentally, so when the call came to step in on nine days' notice to make his UFC debut, we didn't hesitate to say yes."
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