O'Neil Outlasts Jeffrey at CES MMA: Battle Tested
Fight Network Staff / December 8, 2012 - 4:38pm
LINCOLN, R.I. (Dec. 7, 2012) – Former Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) veteran Chuck O'Neil moved one step closer to returning to the big stage Friday night and halted Keith Jeffrey's momentum with a 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous decision win in the main event of Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports' "Battle Tested" mixed martial events at Twin River Casino.
O'Neil (10-5) took control of the fight in the third and final round with a critical takedown, subsequently preventing Jeffrey (8-3-1) from unleashing his overhand rights, which, at that point, had been his most dangerous weapon.
Jeffrey, a Pawtucket, R.I., native, entered the fight having won each of his last three bouts since returning from a knee injury in 2011, but O'Neil's takedown and poise on the ground in the final round turned out to be the difference. O'Neil, a former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter reality show, has now won two of his last three fights while Jeffrey suffered his first loss since 2010.
One of the most impressive wins of the night belonged to Providence's Luis Felix (9-6), who submitted Ludlow, Mass., lightweight Jeremy Ross (6-4) just 1:21 seconds into the opening round via guillotine choke. The win was Lewis' fourth in a row and first since October when he defeated former Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) veteran Marc Stevens in October.
Coming off back-to-back losses, Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Todd Chattelle (11-8) also made quick work of his opponent, using the guillotine choke to submit veteran Robby Roberts (8-15) of Orange, Mass., at the 1:35 mark of the opening round. Chattelle had lost both of his fights in 2012 prior to Friday's victory after finishing 2011 with a perfect 4-0 record.
Salem, Mass., bantamweight Matt Doherty (1-0, 1 KO) started the night with a victory in his professional debut, stopping Terin Swanson (2-2) at the 1:54 mark of the second round with a series of unanswered blows. Swanson got off to a strong start with his ground game in the opening round, but Doherty answered the call in the second round and utilized his superior stand-up game to make quick work of Swanson, who had won his last two bouts entering Friday.
In the middleweight division, newcomer Joe Palazio (1-0) of Providence bounced back from a slow start and defeated Joe Cronin (2-0) of Mansfield, Mass., via submission with a guillotine choke at the 2:27 mark of the opening round. Cronin looked sharp early, but Palazio turned the tide with a short left hook and then finished Cronin with the guillotine for his first career win.
Chris Foster (6-2) of Middletown, Conn., and Thane Stimson (2-2) of nearby Canterbury went the distance in their featherweight bout with Foster hanging on for a 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 split decision win. Foster controlled the bout early, using a flurry of lefts and right to bloody Stimson's face in the opening round, but Stimson regained control in the second round with his ground game. The third round went back and forth until Foster sealed it with a well-timed takedown in the closing seconds for a victory in his first fight in more than a year and a half.
Dinis Paiva of East Providence, R.I., evened his record at 3-3 in the bantamweight division with a hard-fought 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous decision win over Ithica, N.Y., native Josh Lange (1-1). In a tough fight to score, Paiva controlled the action on the ground to escape with the decision. Heavyweight Pat Walsh (2-0) of West Bridgewater, Mass., made quick work of Providence's Eric Bedard (3-2), submitting his opponent via Kimura just 51 seconds into the opening round.
In one of the most highly-anticipated bouts of the evening, Boston lightweight Lucas Cruz (6-0) kept his perfect record intact by out-working and out-hustling previously-unbeaten Andres Jeudi (5-1) to score a unanimous, yet close, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 win. Both fighters traded blows throughout the fight, with Jeudi's exceptional takedown defense frustrating Cruz at times, but Cruz sealed the win with a critical takedown in the closing minutes of the third round, preventing Jeudi from utilizing his stand-up game.