CES 31: de Freitas vs. Moraza-Pollard – Preview and Picks

Rhode Island based Classic Entertainment & Sports MMA returns this Friday night on AXS TV with CES 31, which emanates from the Twin River Casino in Lincoin, RI. Along with a championship matchup in the main event, this card features a number of Bellator veterans along with some up and coming prospects. Here’s a preview of the card. Chip Moraza-Pollard vs. Gil de Freitas (Vacant Welterweight Title)  With former champion Dominique Steele signing with the UFC earlier this year; the vacant welterweight strap is up for grabs as WSOF/Bellator veteran Moraza-Pollard faces off with Brazilian de Freitas. The winner of this fight will be the third welterweight champion in CES history (along with Chuck O’Neil and the aforementioned Steele). After a setback earlier this year to Matt Secor at WSOF 20, Moraza-Pollard bounced back in a big way knocking out UFC veteran Dan Lauzon in his last fight – at CES 30: Lane vs. Felix II back in July – despite being a 3 to 1 underdog. His opponent, 32-year old de Freitas is currently riding a four fight win streak, including a knockout victory over former CES champion Chuck O’Neil at CES 18. While de Freitas is arguably the more well-rounded fighter, Moraza-Pollard has been more active competing three times this year. De Freitas has competed just four times since 2013 and will be stepping into the cage for the first time this year. Of his five career losses, de Freitas has only been finished once – to current UFC welterweight Erik Silva at Jungle Fight in 2010 – so don’t expect a quick finish in this one. I expect Moraza-Pollard to push the pace throughout the five round affair on route to a unanimous decision victory. Moraza-Pollard via unanimous decision   Eric Spicely vs. Aaron “Tex” Johnson Tri-force MMA product Spicely looks to keep his unblemished record intact when he squares off with Bellator veteran Johnson. Spicely (7-0) holds the record for most consecutive first-round stoppages in the CES cage (with seven). The 29-year old is coming off a submission victory over Harley Beekman at CES 29 back in June. Despite having a 14-10 record, Johnson does hold two notable wins over current UFC light heavyweight fighter Misha Cirkunov and Bellator star Brennan Ward. He also holds the record for fastest submissions in the history of Georgia and North Carolina MMA. His biggest challenge appears to be outside the cage where he’s had a difficult time getting fights and hasn’t competed since June 2014 where he earned a second round submission over Greg Rebello at CES 24. Moving from heavyweight back down to 185lbs for the first time since 2013 “Tex” looks to make some noise in CES’s middleweight division. Despite the 29-year old Spicely having the better record, I think the underdog Johnson’s experience will be a factor in this fight and he should be able to catch Spicely sometime in the second round with a submission. Johnson via second round submission    Dinis Paiva vs. Kody Nordby Rhode Island native Paiva looks to keep his hot streak alive when he meets 22-year old Nordby in a bantamweight affair. Paiva (7-5) started his career going a lackluster 3-5; the 27-year old has turned things around wining his last four fights by first round finish. Nordby (4-3) has gone in the opposite direction after winning his first three pro fights; he’s gone 1-3 in his last four bouts. Both of these 135-pound fighters are well rounded, but Paiva will be coming in with a five inch height advantage which could give his younger adversary some issues. The question in this fight is can the B&F Boxing product weather the early storm from Paiva and survive? Or will it be another quick finish for the Cape Cod Fighting Alliance product? With Nordby having never been knocked out in his career and well versed on the mat, I tend to think he’ll be able to hang with Paiva early in the fight. However I think Paiva’s experience will take over and he’ll end up winning a decision. Paiva via unanimous decision   Chuck O’Neil vs. Daniel Vizcaya Former CES welterweight champion O’Neil makes his debut for the promotion at middleweight when he takes on TUF 19 contestant Vizcaya. O’Neil (15-7) had his four fight win streak snapped when he dropped his title to Dominque Steele at CES 29, losing a unanimous decision. The tough weight cut in that fight prompted the TUF 13 veteran to make the permanent move up to middleweight. Vizcaya (8-3) is 5-1 in his last six fights however is coming off an exhibition loss via TKO to Matt Van Buren during the TUF 19 quarterfinals. While it’s Vizcaya who has fought primarily at middleweight throughout his career, O’Neil should be the bigger fighter having a slight two inch height advantage. Look for O’Neil to get back to his winning ways and earn gritty unanimous decision. O’Neil via unanimous decision   Mike Mucitelli vs. Greg Rebello A pair of Bellator veterans clash in a heavyweight bout on the main card as New York native Mucitelli clashes with Sityotdong product Rebello. Mucitelli (7-2) went an impressive 6-1 during his Bellator tenure with his only blemish coming in a first round knockout loss to current light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary – at Bellator 118: Warren vs. Silva in May 2014. Rebello (18-6) has gone 3-1 in his last four fights with his only loss coming to fellow CES 31 participant Tex Johnson. It’s no secret Mucitelli will look to go to his strong suit and take this fight to the mat where he holds 5 of his 7 wins by submission. Conversely expect Rebello to keep this fight standing and go for his 11th career knockout. I tend to go with the latter, which Rebello being able to engage in a stand-up affair and handing Mucitelli his second career loss by knockout. Rebello via first round knockout   Undercard Cardarelli over Mima McCrohan over Pineau Candelario over Gutierrez Soukhamthath over Galindo Trahan over Manley

Written by James Lynch

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