New-look CES 71 lineup features two world-title bouts

Two world-title fights, one epic night.

CES MMA 71 is a little more than a week away and a slight lineup shift has given fight fans the opportunity to see two new champions crowned Thursday, November 17 live on live on UFC FIGHT PASS® from Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort.

Unbeaten Eddy George of Milford, CT, now faces Gardena, CA, native Chris Padilla in a five-round bout for the vacant CES MMA World Lightweight Championship while rising prospect Mitch Raposo of Fall River, MA, gets the opportunity to fight for the promotion’s vacant World Bantamweight Championship in a five-round bout against Brazilian Flavio Carvalho.

Tickets for CES 71 are available online at or the Bally’s box office. The FIGHT PASS stream features play-by-play announcer Michael Parente (@MichaelParente); color commentator Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon), a 27-time UFC vet; and FUN 107 on-air personality and cageside correspondent Madelyn Levine (@maddieonair). Preliminary bouts start at 6:30 pm.

Next week’s show-stopping double main event headlines a stacked lineup that also features unbeaten prospects Dion Rubio of Providence, RI, competing in the lightweight division and light heavyweight Yuri Panferov of New Haven, CT. Also at CES 71, Providence’s Shane Dillehay and Massachusetts’ Jon Ciampa make their professional debuts in separate welterweight bouts.

The 30-year-old George (5-0) was originally supposed to face Ali Zebian for the title, but will now shift gears and prepare for the dangerous Padilla (10-6), who makes his second attempt at capturing a CES title. In 2018, Padilla fought tooth and nail in a world-title showdown against then CES lightweight champion Nate Andrews.

George, a late bloomer, makes his sixth appearance with CES in what figures to be his toughest test to date; with extensive training experience at The MMA Lab in Arizona working with the likes of Drakkar Klose and Benson Henderson, George has only been past the first round one time in five pro fights.

The Raposo-Carvalho fight, originally scheduled for three rounds, takes on new meaning with the bantamweight strap on the line. After a brief stint on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021, Raposo returns to CES for the first time since October of 2020 in what should be a back-and-forth showdown with Carvalho (7-4-1), who fights on U.S. soil for the first time since 2018.

November 17 is a potential glimpse into CES’ future; the lightweight title has been vacant since Matt Bessette won it in September of 2021 at CES 64 and promptly retired moments later, ironically the same night Jay Perrin won the same bantamweight title up for grabs next Thursday, which he also vacated shortly thereafter to sign with the UFC. Next Thursday’s winners could be in line for lengthy title runs if all the cards fall into place.