There's only one way Chuck O'Neil says he'll be leaving the Twin River Casino at CES MMA 26 on Oct. 10 without the organiza...tion's welterweight title in tow.
"Yeah, if I leave it in the bathroom," the 28-year-old Bridgewater, Mass., product says with a laugh before his fight with Ricardo Funch. "But other than that, no."
O'Neil, a member of Team Lesnar on The Ultimate Fighter in 2011, has won four of five fights under the CES MMA banner since 2012. O'Neil has scored first-round TKO wins over Ralph Johnson and Chris Woodall in the CES MMA cage.
But he believes the best has yet to come.
"Last fight I won a unanimous decision, but I came right back to the gym and we started working on why I didn't finish that fight," O'Neil says. "I'm trying to evolve, trying to better myself every day."
Standing across the cage from O'Neil is Funch, a four-time UFC veteran who has shared the Octagon with fighters like Johny Hendricks, Dan Miller and Mike Pyle.
O'Neil expects a victory. But he also expects fireworks.
"He was the No. 1 guy. I thought that he was awesome and I'd love to fight him someday," O'Neil says. "He's well-versed. He has a very good clinch game. He's tough to take down. His jiu-jitsu is very good, but he also throw high-power punches and kicks.
"He's a southpaw," he concludes. "And righty-and-lefty match-ups are always a lot of fun to watch."
Ricardo Funch is a very excited fighter.
After more than two years on the sideline, the four-time UFC veteran is to make his long-awaited return to action in a CES MMA welterweight title fight with Chuck O'Neil at CES MMA XXVI, Oct. 10 at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.
"I'm more excited than anything else," the Springfield, Mass., product says with a big smile and a laugh.
"I'm like a little kid in a candy store, you know? I'm just excited to get back in there. I'm really looking forward to it."
Funch, a proud owner of four KOs as a professional, has been in some big fights over the years.
He's shared the Octagon with Dan Miller, Claude Patrick, Mike Pyle and, most notably, UFC 170-pound champion Johny Hendricks. But after eight years as a professional fighter, Funch is as excited to fight as he's ever been.
"My debut and my first fights were both memorable fights for me," Funch says, adding, "And this is right up there for me."
Funch is determined to leave the Twin River Casino with the CES MMA welterweight championship. Just how he gets the title, however, doesn't much matter.
"It doesn't matter at all," Funch says.
"I'd be happy with a submission. I'd be happy with a knockout. I'd be happy with a five-round war."
NO STAGE TOO BIG FOR CES MMA CHAMP FONT
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 7th, 2014) – The post-fight mayhem might’ve taken more out of Rob Font than the fight itself.
Within moments of his breakthrough win Saturday over George Roop at UFC 175 in Las Vegas, Font went from little-known regional standout to the talk of mixed martial arts, an overnight social media celebrity born from the impact of the fateful, overhand right that sent two careers spiraling in different directions.
“Everything changed,” said Font, the reigning CES MMA featherweight champ from Boston who dominated his UFC debut this past weekend with a first-round knockout win.
ROB FONT THE GREATEST HITS
The Burchfields' Live Interview on Inside MMA
Tateki Matsuda (9-4 MMA, 3-0 UFC) joined Team CES after a pair of back-to-back split decision losses. Since then, he has gone 2-0 including a first round submission vs. Robbie Leroux on national television to kick of the CES debut on AXS TV.
Since that submission, Matsuda has earned himself an UFC contract with his first bout being this upcoming Friday!