Nate Andrews knows how to exploit brief moments of weakness.
Andrews submitted Luis Muro with a third-round rear-naked choke in the CES MMA 36 headliner on Friday at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Muro (4-2) conceded defeat 1:59 into round three, the Oklahoma-based lightweight losing for the second time in as many appearances.
It was competitive, right up to the conclusion. Andrews (9-1) and Muro traded liberally on the feet throughout the first five minutes, with neither man gaining a discernable edge. In the second, Muro secured a takedown, transitioned to the back and bottled up his opponent with a body triangle while hunting for openings on the neck. Andrews shrewdly denied his advances and pushed the bout to a third round. There, he brought it to the canvas, wheeled to the back with Muro in a seated position and ensnared the Oklahoman in the fight-ending submission.
In the lightweight co-main event, Bellator MMA veteran Matt Bessette submitted Ran Weathers with a first-round guillotine choke. Bessette (19-7) brought it to a close 4:50 into round one, as he recorded his fourth straight victory.
Weathers (18-23) offered considerable resistance but lacked the necessary firepower to give his counterpart pause. Bessette floored the journeyman with a crisp two-punch combination -- a stinging right hand did the damage -- and snatched the guillotine, forcing the tapout.
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The 34-year-old Weathers has lost eight fights in a row.
Meanwhile, former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder Levan Makashvili walked away with a unanimous decision over Ryan Sanders in a three-round lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges saw it the same: 30-27 for Makashvili (8-2-1).
Sanders (10-8) had issues with output and takedown defense. In his first appearance since being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Makashvili chewed up time and energy in the clinch, punched effectively in combination, fired off rolling overhand rights and executed takedowns in all three rounds. Not much went wrong for the Mutant MMA rep, outside of an inadvertent low blow he absorbed in the third round.
The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for Sanders.
In other action, Josh LaBerge (11-5) stopped Jonathan Lemke (5-4) with punches 71 seconds into the second round of their lightweight affair; Merab Dvalishvili (2-2) took a unanimous decision from Matt Tullos (1-1) in a three-round battle at 145 pounds, earning 30-27 marks from all three judges; Carlos Candelario (4-0) submitted Roosevelt Archie (0-1) with a guillotine choke 1:16 into the first round of their flyweight encounter; Hamzah Marquis Brewster (1-0) captured a unanimous verdict from Vladimir Kazbekov (0-2) in a three-round pairing at 135 pounds; Bobby Flynn (6-3) eked out a split decision over Kevin Horowitz (6-6) in their 15-minute welterweight tilt; Tom English (6-6) picked up a unanimous decision against James Grant Murrin (3-5) in their showdown at 145 pounds; Marquis Allen (1-0) knocked out Dan Randall (0-1) 16 seconds into the first round of their heavyweight duel; and Hector Sanchez (3-13) knocked out Kurtis Parisi (3-1) 30 seconds into round one of their matchup at 205 pounds.