CES MMA announced on Wednesday that reigning heavyweight champion Ashley Gooch will defend his title against Juliano Coutinho in the main event of CES 45. The action will take place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., on Aug. 11 and will be televised live on AXS TV.
Gooch won the promotion’s title last year at CES 36 with an impressive come-from-behind TKO win over Greg Rebello. It was one of the best fights of the card, and Gooch is amped to defend his crown.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been back in New England,” said Gooch, who’s won eight of nine overall. “I’m looking forward to getting back in there and defending my title.”
Coutinho, meanwhile, has yet to lose inside the CES MMA cage. The jiu-jitsu black belt is just as hungry as the champion is, but “Banana” promises to steal the belt away from Gooch when they collide.
“We have a lot of really good fighters in New England, and we take a lot of pride in that kind of thing,” said Coutinho. “I’ve gotta make sure I keep this belt at home. I’ll do anything to keep this championship in New England.”
Nate Andrews will face off against Bruce Boyington is a lightweight bout as well. Additional matchups for the CES 45 card will be announced in the coming weeks.