CES 71: Ghareeb vs. Castillo Jr. How to watch, fight card and live stream

by Christina S. Brown
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CES 71 takes place Thursday, November 17, 2022, with 8 fights at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

It goes without saying that the bulk of the time, the battle game is unpredictable and chaotic. I’ve been around the game for 13 years and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a card flipped on its head as many times as CES 71.

Date, Start Time and How to watch CES 71 Live:

Today night’s show will feature six MMA fights as well as four grappling battles. If you enjoy watching bouts live, the main card will be televised live around the world on UFC FightPass, and there are still tickets available for purchase at the door. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., the first grappling match will begin at 7:00 p.m., and the main card will begin on FightPass at 8:00 p.m.

CES 71 Fight Preview:

Ali Zebian vs. Eddy George was supposed to headline the card for the lightweight title, with Pat Casey vs. Gary Belletto serving as the co-main event. With four New Englanders competing against each other, this would have been one of the strongest top-ends of a card that the New England region has seen in quite some time.

However, when injuries forced both Zebian and Belletto to withdraw from their fights, Pat Sullivan and Jimmy Burchfield Jr. have had to contend with speed bump after speed bump in recent weeks. They had found a replacement opponent in Chris Padilla (10-6) for George, a 5-0 rising lightweight star, but that was cut short when Padilla was forced to withdraw. Then came Angel Alvarez (5-1) to come in as a late replacement for George, but after Alvarez missed weight earlier today, the bout was also abandoned, leaving George without a dancing partner.

Nate Ghareeb (6-2) of New England capitalized on George’s misfortune by elevating his featherweight match against Antonio Castillo Jr. (13-15) to the co-main event for the vacant Lightweight belt George was initially slated to compete for. Ghareeb and Castillo weighed 149 pounds for the 155-pound title, setting up a last-minute fight for the CES lightweight title on UFC FightPass.

If Ghareeb wins this fight, I’m sure he’ll relinquish the belt soon after. Ghareeb is buddies with George, so you can reasonably conclude that they will not fight for the belt, and Ghareeb is also a natural featherweight, making the bout at lightweight appear merely a pitstop for him.

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After all of the rescheduling, Mitch Raposo (6-1) stepped on the scales at 126 pounds to compete for the CES flyweight championship against Brazillian Flavio Carvalho in the main event (7-4-1). Raposo has had his eye on this belt for a while now, and now he has the chance to wrap it around his waist.

Local stud Dion Rubio (3-0) faces undefeated Kaecy Raddon (2-0) in what could be an early pick for Fight of the Night. In addition, The Russian Polar Bear, Yuri Panferov (3-0), will face an unknown 44-year-old in Brad Imes (8-12).

I know nothing about Imes, but after reviewing his resume, I don’t see how this fight can help Yuri advance in his career. Imes is 0-4 in his last four fights and is 18 years older than Panferov. But who knows?

This is a battle game, after all, and anything may happen. Panferov should immediately take this battle to the mat regardless of the matchup and submit within the first 3 minutes. At 2:36 of round number one, I predict a rear naked choke. Put it away.

The twists and turns that have been dealt to this card (which is being held on Thursday night) have been unprecedented, and the CES brass has done their best to plug holes during the previous three weeks. It goes without saying that the initial card was going to be a banger, but in the fight business, many factors are out of your control. Despite the upheaval, bout cancellations, and late replacements, CES has a lot of exciting fights scheduled for tomorrow night at Bally’s Twin River in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

CES 71 MMA Fight Card:

  • Nathan Ghareeb vs. A. Castillo Jr.
  • Mitch Raposo vs. Flávio Carvalho
  • Dion Rubio vs. Kaecy Raddon
  • Yuri Panferov vs. Brian Imes
  • Jon Ciampa vs. Jerell Nettles
  • Shane Dillehay vs. Kamil Meler
  • Tyler King vs. Allen Monteith
  • Reese Aubin vs. Kyle Pavao

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