‘Doomsday’ Howard Scores Win At CES MMA: New Blood
After doing his best to avoid the constant questions for the past few months, John “Doomsday” Howard made his intentions clear after yet another dominant win Friday night at Twin River Casino.
“I might piss some people off, but I want to fight for the [Ultimate Fighting Championship],” said the former UFC veteran from Boston. “I’ll fight for free on the Boston card [in August].”
Howard (20-7, 9 KOs) might get his chance after another knockout win in the main event of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “New Blood” show Friday night. Howard made quick work of veteran Georgia middleweight Chris Woodall (12-4), scoring the knockout win with a series of unanswered strikes at the 2-minute, 14-second mark of the opening round. The win was the sixth in a row for Howard and fifth consecutive win by knockout since the UFC released him two years ago.
“John is the man in this weight class,” Woodall said. “When he gets back to the UFC, he’s going to dominate.”
The co-main event featured what might’ve been the final fight for Providence light heavyweight Greg “Ribz” Rebello (15-5), who suffered a tough, split-decision loss to Williamsport, Pa., native Lewis Rumsey (9-8), 27-30, 29-28, 28-29, and announced it would be his final fight after a stellar career in which he won 11 consecutive fights between 2011 and 2012.
“This is a young’s man game,” Rebello said. “I’ve got a baby daughter and a family at home. This is my last fight.”
Neither Rumsey or Rebello did much in terms of striking, but Rumsey earned the win by stuffing most of Rebello’s takedown attempts and preventing Rebello from establishing his presence. Fatigue was also a factor.
“I just hit a wall,” Rebello said. “I felt a little over-trained. At some point in the first round, I felt that adrenaline dump.”
On the undercard, Woonsocket, R.I., bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath improved to 5-1 and won his fifth consecutive fight in his toughest test to date, defeating Branford, Conn., veteran Blair Tugman (5-5) by unanimous decision, 30-27, 29-27, 29-28. Tugman tweaked Soukhamthath leading up to the fight by calling his opponent a “big fish in a small pond,” but Soukhamthath kept Tugman from taking the fight to the ground and dominated with his hands to win the fight easily despite a late surge by Tugman.
East Providence, R.I., lightweight Nate “The Snake” Andrews (5-0) also stepped up the level of competition, facing the tough veteran Jeff Anderson (11-8) of Lincoln, and won convincingly, choking out Anderson via rear-naked choke at 1:41 opening round while former UFC vet Chuck O’Neil (11-5) shook off an early scare from last-minute replacement Ralph Johnson (5-6) of Worcester, Mass., absorbing a big right hand to the start the fight, and eventually finished Johnson at the 1:30 mark of the opening round with a rear-naked choke. The Bridgewater, Mass., welterweight has now won back-to-back fights at Twin River after beating Keith Jeffrey in December.
Trained by veteran Scott Rehm, amateur welterweight standout Brian Sparrow (1-0) of Sandwich, Mass., put on an impressive performance in his professional debut, submitting fellow newcomer Ruben Ortiz (0-1) of Providence fifty-nine seconds into the third round via rear-naked choke. Ortiz, who trains out of former boxer Gary Balletto’s gym in Providence, hung in through two rounds with Sparrow, but Sparrow’s dominant reach – he entered the fight with a six-inch reach advantage – proved to be the difference, keeping Ortiz from using his boxing background to his advantage. Sparrow sunk in the choke early in the third and applied the pressure before Ortiz tapped.
Entering Friday having lost six consecutive fights, Williamsport, Pa., bantamweight Joshua Aarons (2-6) earned a huge win against hometown favorite Joe Reverdes (1-3) of Providence, submitting Reverdes via the guillotine at the 1:39 mark of the third round following two back-and-forth rounds. Aarons had youth on his side (27 years old, compared to Reverdes, who entered the cage at 39), but had a tough time dealing with Reverdes’ stand-up game until he took the fight to the canvas in the third round.
Making his highly-anticipated debut after a celebrated amateur career, bantamweight Sophanarith Am (1-0) of Braintree, Mass., rallied brilliantly against the gritty Carlos Hernandez (1-1) of Lynn, Mass., finishing Hernandez via rear-naked choke at the 2:25 mark of the third round. Hernandez looked strong in the first two rounds, but Am rebounded to earn the finish with his back against the wall in the third. Bombsquad veteran Ahsan Abdullah (4-3, 1 KO) of Cortland, N.Y., stopped Coventry, R.I., featherweight Shaun Marmas (5-5) at the 4:01 mark of the second round and Providence welterweight Eric Spicely (2-0) remained unbeaten after submitting newcomer Tundee Odumosu (0-1) of Johnston, R.I., via rear-naked choke at 1:41 of Round 1.