From CES MMA:
Photos courtesy of Will Paul
Young up-and-comer Barry continues recent stretch with third fight in five months at CES MMA 43
BEVERLY, Mass. (April 14th, 2017) — He got the win — unanimously, to be exact — but wasn’t overly impressed with his performance. Connor Barry wanted to put on more of a show for the fans.
“Personally, I thought it was kind of boring,” Barry said with a laugh.
Such is the mindset of a perfectionist like Barry, the young, up-and-coming lightweight from Holbrook, Mass., who returns to the cage Saturday, April 15th, 2017 at the North Shore Music Theatre on the main card of “CES MMA 43.”
Now 3-0 following his aforementioned win over Travis Foster at “CES MMA 41,” Barry hopes to not only defeat 18-fight vet Andrew Osborne (7-10-1, 3 KOs) of North Carolina on Saturday, but to do so in impressive fashion while steadily improving on his previous performance.
“I think with every fight, I should learn something from it. If I don’t, then I really didn’t benefit from it,” he said. “I always look through my fights and try to pick out one or two things I can improve on.”
The last few months have been a whirlwind for Barry, who fights for the third time since November when he goes toe-to-toe with Osborne, but it wasn’t always this easy finding fights. Seven scheduled bouts fell through during an arduous year-and-a-half stretch between 2014 and 2016, including one at “CES MMA 37” when his opponent, Devin Carrier, tragically passed away a week before the event, but Barry managed to channel his frustration by adhering to the most common adage in combat sports.
“There’s a lot of stuff you can’t control as an individual,” he said, “but you can control your own training and preparation.
Barry stayed ready, even when fights fell through, and quickly realized MMA could be more than just a hobby if he applied himself. Said the former amateur boxer, who won a Silver Mittens title in Massachusetts at the age of 16: “Originally, I used MMA as a crutch, then one day it hit me, ‘Oh, shit, I have to start working my ass off!’ so I began training everyday.”
Soon, the fights started coming one by one. Now Barry is making noise among regional lightweights with the potential to reappear on a number of upcoming CES MMA events during a busy summer for the No. 1 promotion in the northeast.
“I’ve been working my ass off day in, day out. Everything I do is geared toward this sport,” Barry said. “I love it. I think I have a future, but it’s a big sacrifice, a lot of hard work.”
As for Saturday, Barry says his philosophy is to “overestimate” every opponent so he’s not caught off guard when the bell rings, a sound strategy against a cagey veteran like Osborne.
“He’s a good striker, so this will be an exciting fight for the fans,” he said. “I’m very comfortable with standing in front of people. I like throwing bombs, big shots. I just like punching people.”
Saturday is Barry’s third fight with CES MMA since his pro debut in 2015. He’s thankful for the opportunities and ready to claim his spot among the best in the region at 155 pounds.
“CES has been awesome to me. They’ve helped me a lot with promotion and have given me a great opportunity,” Barry said. “I’m excited to put on another show for them.
“I’ve hit a couple of road blocks along the way, but I was ready for all of those fights. Now I’m just training everyday to bang them out one after another. I want as many as I can to stay active.”
The main event of “CES MMA 43” features the return of Gloucester, Mass., featherweight Pedro Gonzalez (11-5), who faces Brazilian Bruno Dias (19-9) of Woburn, Mass., in a battle of submission specialists. Gonzalez (10) and Dias (14) have combined for 24 wins via tap-out. Saturday is Gonzalez’s first fight since last April, nearly one year to the date of “CES MMA 35,” the promotion’s first even at the NSMT.
Tickets for “CES MMA 43” are priced at $45.00, $55.00 and $100.00 (VIP) and are available online at www.cesmma.com, www.nsmt.org, or www.cagetix.com/ces or by phone at 978-232-7200 or 401-724-2253/2254. Doors open at 6 p.m. ET and the first bout begins at 7. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
The event features five professional bouts and six amateur fights on the preliminary portion of the card and airs live online on FloCombat. Users can also stream the event on television using Roku or Apple TV 4.
Also returning April 15th, Somerville, Mass., bantamweight Rico DiSciullo (6-1, 2 KOs) looks to rebound from his first career loss at “CES MMA 38” against David Garcia when he faces former Bellator and CES MMA vet Matt Lozano (8-4, 1 KO) of Lancaster, Pa., on Saturday in an important fight for both sides. Lozano debuted with the promotion at “CES MMA 34,” earning an impressive unanimous decision win over Johnny Campbell.
Quincy, Mass., light heavyweight Mike Rodriguez (6-2, 4 KOs) returns following his record-setting 7-second knockout win over Hector Sanchez at “CES MMA 41” to face New York’s James Dysard (0-1) and Myrtle Beach middleweight Justin Sumter (2-1), now training in Milford, Conn., makes his CES MMA debut in a separate three-round bout against Pawtucket, R.I., vet Abe Pitrowski (6-2, 1 KO).
Similar to its North Shore debut in 2016, CES MMA will feature six amateur bouts on the preliminary card, a tremendous opportunity for the region’s up-and-coming future stars. Unbeaten bantamweight Marquis Brewster earned a promotional contract with CES MMA by winning his amateur finale a year ago at “CES MMA 35” and is now 2-0 since June.
On Saturday, featherweight Billy Keenan (6-2, 2 KOs) of Salem, Mass., faces Schenectady, N.Y., native Cody Dickershaid (7-7, 4 KOs) in the featured amateur bout while bantamweight Yarty Kim (1-0, 1 KO) of Boston battles Mike Kimbel (2-2, 1 KO) of Waterbury, Conn.
Also on the preliminary amateur card, lightweight Jurrell Laronal (1-1, 1 KO) of Dorchester, Mass., takes on Waterbury’s Jordan Riley (1-1), heavyweight Larry Perna (2-1, 2 KOs) from Bronx, N.Y., faces Ron Marshall (1-2) of Hampton, N.H., and Boston light heavyweight Zeal McGrew (2-1) faces Glen Falls, N.Y., vet Harold Ricketts (1-2). Rob Rios (0-4) of Cromwell, Conn., and Dylan Youngblood (0-2) of Pittsburgh, Pa., aim for their first amateur win when they face one another in a bantamweight bout.