PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Sept. 12, 2012) – A loaded undercard featuring four Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) veterans and 12 fighters ranked among the elite in the northeast is threatening to steal the thunder from Dave “The Animal” Bautista next month at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.
The former six-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) heavyweight champion will make his long-awaited mixed martial arts debut Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 against Rashid Evans at “Real Pain,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports in association with June Entertainment, but he won’t be the only star featured on the live, Direct TV Pay Per View telecast. The show features 13 bouts, including the Rhode Island debut of Canadian UFC veteran Dave Loiseau and the return of 29-year-old Boston native John “Doomsday” Howard, who fought on seven UFC shows between 2009 and 2011.
“We’ve stacked the deck for this one,” Burchfield said. “Almost every fight on this show has ‘main event’ potential. Anyone could walk away as the Fighter of the Night, and that’s what makes it an event you don’t want to miss.”
Loiseau (20-10, 13 KOs), nicknamed “The Crow,” is a veteran of nine UFC shows, most recently in June of 2010 when he lost to Mario Miranda. He also fought Rich Franklin in Las Vegas for the UFC middleweight title in 2006, but lost a unanimous decision. On Sept. 6, Loiseau will face Charleston, S.C., native Chris McNally (5-4), who has five submission wins on his resume and has won back-to-back bouts since his last loss in 2010.
Also looking to return to the UFC, welterweight Marc Stevens (14-7, 6 KOs) of Lorraine, N.Y., will face dangerous Providence native Luis Felix (7-6, 4 KOs), who has won back-to-back fights, including a huge win over The Ultimate Fighter: Live quarterfinalist and current UFC contender Joe Proctor in November of 2010, and five of his last seven dating back to 2009.
Stevens, who has also appeared on Bellator Fighting Championships and Strikeforce promotions, was cast on Season 12 of TUF, also known as The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck, in 2010. Stevens lost both of his fights on the show, including his re-entry into the house via the wild card selection, but has since won two of his last three bouts and is aiming for another shot with the UFC.
Howard (17-7, 6 KOs) finds himself in a similar position, though he’s much closer to making it back to the sport’s biggest stage. Since the UFC released him in 2011 following three consecutive losses, Howard has won three in a row, including a 1-minute, 28-second win over Scott Rehm in August after Rehm suffered an injured triceps. “Doomsday” will look to make it four in a row Oct. 6 when he faces middleweight Brett Chism (16-11, 7 KOs) of Valdosta, Ga. Chism has won three of his last four fights within the past two years, including two by knockout.
The fourth UFC veteran on next month’s card, welterweight Chad Reiner (29-13, 9 KOs) of Omaha, Neb., will face arguably the stiffest test among his UFC alumni when he battles Pawtucket, R.I., veteranKeith Jeffrey (8-2). Reiner, who fought for the UFC twice in 2007 and also has an appearance with Bellator on his resume, has won seven of his last 10 bouts since 2010, while Jeffrey has won three in a row since returning from a knee injury, including an impressive submission win over Harley Beekmanin June. Jeffrey is now ranked No. 5 among welterweights in the northeast.
The remainder of the undercard is littered with Top 10 fighters, including a dynamic showdown between No. 1 ranked 145-pounder Saul “The Spider” Almeida (12-2) of Framingham, Mass., and No. 4 rankedCalvin Kattar (12-2, 6 KOs) of Methuen, Mass. Nicknamed “The Boston Finisher,” Kattar has won four consecutive bouts, including big wins over Cody Stevens and Jeff Anderson, while Almeida is looking to bounce back from his loss to Matt Bessette at Bellator’s show in March, which ended his five-fight winning streak.
Providence’s Mike “The Beast” Campbell (11-4, 7 KOs), a former World Extreme Cagefighting contender who is now ranked No. 5 among lightweights in the northeast, will face Philadelphia’sGemiyale Adkins (7-3, 3 KOs), a former welterweight making his first appearance in the 155-pound division. Campbell won a unanimous decision over Bombsqaud veteran Don Carlo-Clauss in August, giving him back-to-back wins for the first time in more than two years.
Pawtucket’s Todd “The Hulk” Chattelle (10-7, 8 KOs), the former CES MMA middleweight champion, will end his five-month layoff and face Boulder, Colo., native Chandler Holderness (9-3, 4 KOs) in a bout originally scheduled for June before Chattelle suffered an arm injury during training camp.
Chattelle last fought in April when he lost by second-round knockout to Howard, but had won his last four fights leading up to the showdown against “Doomsday.” Holderness, who splits time between training in Colorado and Boston, still fought in June, knocking out Bob Burton at the 2:33 mark of the opening round, which, at the time, was his first win in 11 months. Overall, he’s won four of his last five and is now ranked No. 7 in the middleweight division – five spots behind Chattelle, who is No. 2 behind Howard.
In the 205-pound division, Providence’s Greg Rebello (13-4, 7 KOs), No. 3 in the northeast, will look to get back on track against Chris Guillen (13-12, 1 KO), a St. George, Utah, veteran with a deceiving record. Of Guillen’s 12 losses, four have come against future UFC contenders, including former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin, who will face Roy Nelson in The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale in December, and former heavyweight contender Ben Rothwell. Rebello, who has lost two of his last three, is looking for his first win since beating Cody Lightfoot in September of 2011.
“Real Pain” also features another battle between two Top 10 fighters, this time in the heavyweight division with No. 3 Josh Diekmann (12-4, 8 KOs) of Groton, Conn., facing No. 5 Tyler King (4-1, 2 KOs), a former NFL offensive lineman from Norwood, Mass. King and Diekmann actually fought on the same card in separate bouts in Rhode Island back in February; King beat Eric Bedard while Diekmann lost to former UFC contender Josh Hendricks. Neither fighter has fought since then, so the winner could continue climbing the northeast rankings in the heavyweight division.
Also on the undercard, No. 6 ranked middleweight Brennan Ward (3-0, 2 KOs) of Providence will faceShedrick “Chocolate Thunder” Goodridge (2-2) of Rahway, N.J.; Providence’s Nate Andrews (1-0) will battle Leon Davis (2-0) of Springfield, Mass., in an interstate welterweight showdown and bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath (2-1, 1 KO) of Woonsocket, R.I., will face Rob Costa (2-0) of Fall River, Mass.
Tickets are available at www.cesmma.com or www.ticketmaster.com and are priced at $20.00, $35.00, $55.00, $75.00, $125.00 and $250.00. The show will also air live on Direct TV Pay Per View for $29.95 ($39.95 in high-definition) beginning at 8 p.m.