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It was a night filled with stoppages in the heart of New England, including a main-event title fight with a champ who believes he’s ready to go to the next level.

Matt Bessette (21-7) lit up Kevin Croom (16-8) in the CES MMA 41 main event to defend his featherweight title for the first time. The champ stopped Croom with a third-round knockout 32 seconds into the frame after it looked several times in the second like the challenger might be on the way out.

Afterward, Bessette said he’d love to fight former RFA 145-pound champion Raoni Barcelos – but suggested the UFC should sign each of them and let them debut in the promotion against each other.

CES MMA 41 took place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. The main card aired on AXS TV. The event also featured some MMA history with the sport’s first cruiserweight (225 pounds) fight. Patrick Walsh (10-2) had no trouble with Kevin Haley (6-4) for a guillotine-choke finish quickly into the second round.

Check out highlights from those fights in the video above, which also includes Kody Nordby’s (7-4) second-round submission of David Garcia (4-1-1), Carlos Candelario’s (5-0) second-round tapout of Miguel Restrepo (4-3-1), and Greg Rebello’s (21-7) first-round TKO of Danyelle Williams (8-6-1).

Complete CES MMA 41 results included:

MAIN CARD (AXS TV)

  • Matt Bessette def. Kevin Croom via knockout (strikes) – Round 3, 0:32 – to retain featherweight title
  • Patrick Walsh def. Kevin Haley via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 0:23
  • Dinis Paiva def. Jordan Espinosa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Kody Nordby def. David Garcia via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:20
  • Keith Bell def. Tyler King via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:38
  • Carlos Candelario def. Miguel Restrepo via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:11
  • Greg Rebello def. Danyelle Williams via TKO (strikes) – Round 1,

PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised)

  • Kris Moutinho def. Jason Rine via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 0:10
  • Connor Barry def. Travis Foster via split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Richard Santiago def. Raymond Yanez via submission (injury) – Round 2
  • Mike Rodriguez def. Hector Sanchez via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:07
  • David Baxter def. Dan Cormier via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:42
  • Maria Rivera def. Sarah Click via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:40

For more on CES MMA 41, including a recap of the event, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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