Levan Makashvili continued his assault on the northeast Friday in the main event of “CES MMA 38” at Foxwoods Resort Casino, submitting fellow Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) alum Sean Soriano in the second round live on AXS TV.
The Oceanside, N.Y., native fell behind a round after Soriano (9-5) unloaded with a left hook and sent Makashvili (9-2) to the canvas in the opener, but Makashvili scored a takedown midway through the second, took Soriano’s back and locked in the rear-naked choke to force his opponent to tap at the 4-minute, 5-second mark.
Friday’s win was Makashvili’s second under the CES MMA banner; he recently defeated Ryan Sanders by unanimous decision in June at “CES MMA 36.”
In the most action-packed fight of the night, Boston’s Calvin Kattar (16-2) won his eighth consecutive bout, defeating a game Chris Foster (9-5) of Middletown, Conn., by unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, in a showdown much closer than the scores indicated.
The two came out throwing bombs in the opening round, exchanging lefts and rights until Kattar scored a takedown in the closing seconds to swing the momentum in his favor. Foster scored a late takedown of his own in the second, but Kattar’s dominance on his feet over the first four minutes was enough to secure it on two of the three judges’ cards.
The third and final round featured more of the same – great footwork and hand speed by both fighters – until Kattar added one more slam for good measure and rode out the final minute and a half with ground and pound to seal a hard-fought win.
Chicago’s David Garcia (3-1-1), fighting for just the fifth in his pro career, pulled off the upset of the night, submitting previously unbeaten Rico DiSciullo (6-1) of Peabody, Mass., via keylock at the 2:25 mark of the opening round.
Garcia looked unsure of himself on his feet as DiSciullo rushed him early and forced him to backpedal into the cage, but once the fight went to the canvas, Garcia transitioned nicely and locked in the submission to hand DiSciullo the first loss of his career in seven pro fights.
In the heavyweight division, West Bridgewater, Mass., vet Pat Walsh (8-2, 3 KOs) made quick work of Florida’s Carlos Zevallos (3-4), earning the stoppage at 1:49 of the opening round after a series of ground strikes caused a knot to balloon over Zevallos’ left eye. Cageside physician Dr. Michael Schwartz examined the swelling after referee Dan Miragliotta separated the two fighters and immediately stopped the bout.
Fighting for the first time since losing to Andre Soukhamthath in March, Cumberland, R.I., bantamweight Kody Nordby (7-4) impressed in his return to the cage on the main card, defeating Brandon Seyler (6-4-1) of Pennsylvania by unanimous decision, 30-26, 30-26, 30-27. The former wrestling star and submission specialist dominated on the ground, scoring takedowns early and often and finishing strong in the third with effective ground and pound to seal the win.
Quincy, Mass., middleweight Mike Rodriguez (5-1) earned his third consecutive win in his AXS TV debut, submittingJohn Poppie (7-4) via triangle at 1:32 of the second round after a back-and-forth opener in which the two fighters exchanged blows in the closing seconds. Rodriguez settled down in the second, scored the quick takedown and locked in the triangle to stop Poppie, who traveled east to fight on short notice.
Milford, Mass., flyweight Richie Santiago made a splash in his professional debut on the preliminary card, submitting veteran Brandon Warne 52 seconds into the opening round via rear-naked choke.
Santiago scored an early takedown against the Ovid, N.Y., native and locked in the choke to secure the victory. Warne dropped to 2-2 with the loss.
Also on the preliminary card, Meredith, N.H., lightweight Wayne Alhquist (2-3) earned the second win of his career, defeating 22-fight vet Lionel Young (7-16) of Brockton, Mass., by split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Alhquist dominated on the ground and sealed the win with a decisive third round. Judges Bryan Minor and Susanne Sanidadscored it in favor of Alhquist while Mike Mona had it 29-28 Young with Young winning the first two rounds.
Milford bantamweight Kris Moutinho (1-0) also won in his pro debut Friday, defeating fellow debut Matthew Maldonado (0-1) of Brooklyn by unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards. Norwich, Conn., featherweight Pete Rogers Jr. (2-4) suffered his fourth loss in the final prelim bout Friday against Derek Shorey (4-7) of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, when he was forced to tap due to an elbow injury at 3:25 of the opening round.
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