Remember the name: Chris Curtis.
Team Quest’s Curtis struck Gil de Freitas into submission to take the CES MMA welterweight championship by force in the CES MMA 32 headliner on Friday at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island. De Freitas (18-6) tapped 3:13 into round one, his five-fight winning streak at an end.
Curtis (13-4) boxed the Brazilian, punching from the outside and circling away from danger. De Freitas backed him to the fence and let his hands fly. Curtis withstood the flurry, stunned the champion with a counter left hook and right uppercut, assumed an advantageous posture and blasted away with knees to the head. A left hook to the body folded de Freitas, and a subsequent burst of punches finished him on the canvas.
In the co-main event, a knee injury forced CES MMA lightweight champion Luis Felix to submit to Ryan Sanders in the second round of their non-title bout. The end came 1:46 into round two, with Felix (14-9) clutching his right knee and signaling to referee Dan Miragliotta that he could no longer continue.
A replacement for the injured Waylon Lowe, Sanders (10-7) enjoyed little success before the stoppage. Felix mixed kicks and punches with airtight takedown defense. The champion executed a trip inside the first minute of round two, but Sanders escaped to his feet, closed the distance and secured a takedown of his own. As soon as Felix hit the canvas, he was in noticeable pain and unable to carry on.
Sanders, 28, has won three fights in a row.
Meanwhile, MMA Lab export Ashley Gooch submitted Bellator MMA and World Extreme Cagefighting alum Josh Diekmann with a first-round rear-naked choke in their heavyweight showcase. Diekmann (15-7) conceded defeat 4:30 into round one.
Gooch (9-4) traded punches, executed a pair of takedowns and bludgeoned his 39-year-old counterpart with grisly ground-and-pound. Punches and hammerfists found their mark, along with an elbow to the ribs that had Diekmann in visible distress and looking for a way out. Gooch climbed to the back, set the choke and forced the tapout.
The 40-year-old Gooch has rattled off seven straight wins.
Elsewhere, Broadway Jiu-Jitsu prospect Kyle Bochniak remained unbeaten, as he rendered Taylor Trahan unconscious with a first-round rear-naked choke in a featured catchweight clash at 150 pounds. Trahan (5-5) went limp 3:58 into round one, suffering his fourth consecutive defeat.
Bochniak (6-0) split open the Team Link rep with a straight right, staggered him with a knee and worked towards the finish. The 28-year-old Boston-based featherweight wobbled Trahan with another right hand upstairs, blasted him with a knee as he shot for a takedown and wheeled to his back in the scramble that followed. From there, Bochniak cinched the choke, extended his hips and brought it to a close.
In other main-card action, Kody Nordby (6-3) tapped Derek Shorey (3-3) with a triangle choke 41 seconds into round one of their pairing at 145 pounds; and Manny Bermudez (4-0) submitted Evan Parker (5-4) with a rear-naked choke 1:43 into the first round of their matchup at 145 pounds.
On the prelims, Pat McCrohan (2-0) captured a unanimous decision over Mike Rodriguez (2-1) in their three-round middleweight tilt, sweeping the scorecards with 29-28 marks across the board; Luay Ashkar (2-0) took a unanimous verdict from Nick Iaciofano (2-1) in their three-round scrap at 125 pounds, drawing 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 scores from the judges; Keenan Raymond (3-2) knocked out Ryan Todd (0-1) with a knee strike 58 seconds into the second round of their lightweight duel; Mak Kelleher (1-2) banked a unanimous decision against James Grant Murrin Murrin (3-4) in their three-round clash at 145 pounds, earning 29-28 marks from all three judges; and Joshua Ricci (1-0) submitted Dave Baxter (1-1) with a rear-naked choke 2:02 into the third round of their flyweight battle.