Mma | Coutinho Pounds Out Gooch, Claims Heavyweight Crown In CES MMA 45 Headliner

Once JulianoCoutinho dragged AshleyGooch into his world, it was only a matter of time before a newCES MMA heavyweight champion was crowned.

Coutinho snatched the title from Gooch with a second-roundtechnical knockout victory in the CESMMA 45 headliner at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., onFriday night. The end came at the 4:18 mark of round two, asCoutinho (8-3) landed approximately 10 unanswered punches from backmount.

Gooch (10-6) was able to remain upright in the opening stanza, ashe fended off a pair of Coutinho takedown tries and began to findhis rhythm with a stiff jab late in the period. However, the thetide turned in round two, as “Banana” landed a trio of takedowns onthe 42-year-old MMA Lab representative. On the third of thosetakedowns, Coutinho swiftly moved to mount, forcing Gooch to giveup his back. The Brazilian then flattened his opponent out andproceeded to pound away for the finish. Gooch protested refereeBryan Miner’s stoppage, but he was doing little to defend himselffrom Coutinho’s final barrage.

In the co-main event, PedroGonzalez used a tactical approach to dispatch SaulAlmeida in an interim featherweight championship clash. Allthree cageside judges scored the five-round affair in favor ofGonzalez: 48-47, 50-45, 49-46. With the win, Gonzalez willeventually get a shot at reigning CES MMA 145-pound king MattBessette , who is recovering from a hand injury suffered at DanaWhite’s Tuesday Night Contender Series 1.

The most notable offense in the early frames came in the form oflow kicks from Gonzalez (13-5). The Redline Fight Sports productchopped away at his opponent’s lead leg, often allowing Almeida(19-9) to walk into his offense. Meanwhile, Almeida struggled tocut off the cage and land punches on his mobile adversary. Almeidawas only able to counter effectively occasionally, bloodyingGonzalez’s nose at some point in the first three rounds.

Gonzalez authored perhaps his two most memorable moments in thechampionship frames. In round four, he caught Almeida’s leg andcountered with a kick to the face that briefly dropped his foe to aknee. And in the final period, he froze “The Spider” with a liverkick in the round’s early moments. Almeida recovered and ended thestanza on Gonzalez’s back, but it wasn’t enough to earn him the nodon the scorecards.

Elsewhere, NateAndrews capitalized on BruceBoyington ‘s recklessness to earn a second-round submissionvictory in their lightweight bout. A triangle choke from Andrews(11-1) brought a halt to the contest at the 2:14 into the secondround, giving “The Snake” his 11th career finish in 11victories.

Boyington (14-11) spent much of the fight attempting to land anarray of exotic spinning kicks. In round one, Andrews was able tomove into top position after Boyington whiffed on a kick, and hespent the second half of the stanza hunting for a rear-naked choke.Boyington survived that position but again got careless afterlanding a takedown in the second stanza. As he attacked inside ofhis opponent’s guard, Andrews was able to frame the fight-endingmaneuver and secure the tapout with relative ease.

In earlier action: BrandonSeyler (7-5-1) tapped out KrisMoutinho (4-1) with a guillotine choke 3:08 into the openingstanza; GaryBalletto Jr. (4-1) defeated Nick Alley (1-2) via technical knockout 58 seconds into round two atwelterweight and RichieSantiago (5-0) submitted MiguelRestrepo (4-4-1) via rear-naked choke at the 3:41 mark of roundtwo in a catch-weight affair.

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