Slam Knockout Delivers Vacant CES MMA Bantamweight Championship to Tony Gravely

By Brian Knapp Nov 2, 2018
Clinging to an armbar has its risks -- a fact to which Kody Nordby can now attest.

Tony Gravely knocked out Nordby with a devastating slam to win the vacant CES MMA bantamweight championship in the first round of their CES MMA 53 headliner on Friday at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Gravely (16-5, 1-0 CES MMA) brought it to a close 36 seconds into Round 1.

Nordby (9-5, 7-3 CES MMA) answered a Gravely takedown with an attempted armbar from the bottom. Gravely hoisted the 25-year-old off the ground and drove him into the mat, knocking him unconscious upon impact. The defenseless Nordby ate a handful of follow-up punches before referee John English could arrive on the scene.

Gravely, 27, has finished all four of his opponents during his current winning streak.

In the flyweight co-main event, BST MMA export Richie Santiago submitted Billy Giovanella with a first-round rear-naked choke. Giovanella (9-8, 3-2 CES MMA) bit the dust 3:13 into Round 1, as the 33-year-old Bellator MMA alum suffered his fourth consecutive defeat.

Santiago (7-1, 7-1 CES MMA) struck for a takedown inside 30 seconds, climbed immediately to mount and went to work. Punches and elbows forced Giovanella to surrender his back and left him vulnerable to the choke. Santiago snaked his arms in place, squeezed and forced the tapout.

All seven of Santiago’s victories have resulted in submission.

Meanwhile, pressure and persistence carried promotional mainstay Kris Moutinho to a unanimous decision over James Quigg in a three-round bantamweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 29-28 for Moutinho (7-2, 7-2 CES MMA).

Quigg (3-3, 0-1 CES MMA) started strong but faded late. Moutinho staggered the North Carolinian with a multi-punch volley in the second round, swarmed with follow-up shots and later executed a knee-tap takedown. It was enough to alter the direction of the fight. Moutinho continued to pile up points on his fatigued counterpart in Round 3, where he unleashed combinations, pinned Quigg to the fence and secured another takedown for good measure.

Moutinho, 26, has won three fights in a row.

In other action, Andy Aiello zipped past Zachary Burhans by unanimous decision in their three-round match at a 140-pound catchweight; Johnny Lopez captured a unanimous verdict over Joshua Ricci in a three-round flyweight tussle; Dylan Lockard wiped out Anthony Wright with punches 2:35 into the second round of their featherweight affair; Parker Porter was disqualified 2:30 into the first round after he delivered a series of illegal blows to the back Keith Bell’s head in their heavyweight confrontation; John Gotti III put away Josh Zuckerman with punches 28 seconds into the first round of their encounter at 170 pounds; Fabio Cherant disposed of Ron Marshall with a rear-naked choke 2:41 into the second round of their light heavyweight tilt; Tommy Lee Davis took a unanimous decision from Hugh McKenna in a three-round battle at 185 pounds; and Justin Valentin submitted Jesse Pires with a guillotine choke 1:44 into the first round of their flyweight pairing.

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