UFC Vet McCray Seeks 4th Straight Win at CES MMA

Ariel Shnerer / August 13, 2012 - 3:47pm

CES MMA returns to the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. on August 25 with a main event featuring UFC welterweight veteran Kris McCray (8-3), who will be seeking his fourth consecutive victory against Chris Curtis (7-2).

In other action, light heavyweights Mike Stewart (8-3) and Eric Thompson (7-15) will collide.

Full press release below:

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Aug. 13, 2012) – The most talked-about promotion in combat sports is about to bring its act to the famed Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ mixed martial arts division will make its long-awaited debut at the historic Resorts Casino Hotel on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 with “War On The Shore,” starring the return of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran and New Jersey resident Kris McCray (8-3, 1 KO).

This will be Burchfield’s sixth show of the summer and fifth within the past month, capping a tremendous season in which CES also announced the signing of former six-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion Dave Bautista to its MMA division. Next weekend, Burchfield will launch his highly-anticipated entertainment division at Resorts with Morris Day & The Time before bringing mixed martial arts to the Superstar Theater on Aug. 25.

“We’ve had a tremendous summer, and there’s no better place to wrap it up than at the beautiful Resorts Casino Hotel,” Burchfield said. “This city has welcomed us with open arms and we’re proud to call it our home away from home.

“Anyone can promote a bunch of shows in a short amount of time, but few can provide quality fights time and time again. What we do takes experience, know-how and old-fashioned hard work. We’ve got the best staff in the business, and our track record in mixed martial arts speaks for itself. The summer has been good to us, and we’re looking forward to a tremendous sendoff on the 25th.”

The main event features a bit of local flair with McCray, a New Jersey resident originally born in Germany, facing up-and-coming Cincinnati welterweight Chris Curtis (7-2, 4 KOs), a heavy-handed knockout specialist who has won seven of eight fights since losing his professional debut in 2009.

McCray is seeking his fourth consecutive win and, perhaps, a return to the UFC, where he lost three fights before the promotion released him in April of 2011. Curtis is aiming for his third consecutive win; four of his last five have come by knockout.

Tickets for “War On The Shore” are on sale now at $45, $65, $75 and $125 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com and www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Resorts Casino Hotel Box Office. Showtime is 8 p.m. (EST) with doors opening at 7.

The undercard of “War On The Shore” features another homecoming of sorts as White Plains, N.Y., native Mike Stewart (8-3, 3 KOs), one of the rising stars in the light heavyweight division, seeks his fourth consecutive victory. Stewart shot to the top of the rankings in the northeast after submitting Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Greg Rebello – the previous No. 1 – in February and highly-rated contender Cody Lightfoot a month later. After back-to-back wins in Rhode Island, Stewart hit Resorts in June and destroyed Eric Tavares via first-round knockout in just 42 seconds.

On Aug. 25, Stewart will face 26-year-old Slidell, La., veteran Eric Thompson (7-15, 4 KOs), who is searching for back-to-back wins for the first time since September of 2007.

Also on the undercard, Bricktown, N.J., lightweight Kevin Roddy (12-14-1) will face Brazilian Fabio Serrao (4-2) – fighting out of the city of Manaus – with Roddy seeking three consecutive wins for the first time since 2006; welterweight Joe McGann (3-1, 1 KO) of Franklin, Mass., will battle Lester Caslow (8-7, 3 KOs) of Belmar, N.J.; and Philadelphia’s Rami Ibrahim (1-1) will take on fellow bantamweight Keyon Wilkins (0-2) of South Hill, Va.

Featherweight Jason McLean (6-5, 2 KOs) of Perthamboy, N.J., will face Corey Simmons (1-1) of Defiance, Ohio. Light heavyweight Gemiyale Adkins (7-3, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia will also be featured on the undercard in a separate three-round bout. Adkins has fought for Bellator, losing to Jay Silva in May of 2011, and also lost to McCray in his last bout in November.

A former high-school wrestler and six-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, McCray hopes a win on Aug. 25 will punch his ticket back to the UFC. He achieved success early in his mixed martial arts career, winning all 10 of his amateur bouts and starting his professional career with five consecutive victories before being selected to participate in the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter reality television series.

McCray won his entry fight against Cleburn Walker, but lost in the preliminary round via decision to Josh Bryant. Soon after, McCray returned as that season’s wildcard entry and made the most of his second opportunity, beating Kyacey Uscola, Kyle Noke and Bryant in a semifinal rematch to advance to the finals. McCray’s loss to Court McGee – now a five-time UFC veteran with 14 overall wins – in the Season 11 finale was his first of three consecutive losses; he also lost to Carlos Eduardo Rocha via kneebar submission at UFC 122 in Germany and lost a close decision to John Hathaway at UFC Fight Night 24 before the UFC released him.

As evident by his performance as the wildcard entry on TUF 11, taking advantage of second chances is nothing new to McCray. He ended an eight-month layoff following his third UFC loss with back-to-back wins in November of 2011 and recently beat Ailton Barbosa – a three-time Bellator contestant – by split decision in April for his third consecutive victory.