Video: Grandson of infamous mob boss wins MMA debut

Dann StuppJohn Gotti III is officially a winning pro-MMA fighter.

The grandson of infamous mob boss John J. Grotti made his debut on Friday at CES MMA 46 in Lincoln, R.I., where Gotti III (1-0) picked up a first-round TKO victory over fellow welterweight Johnny Adams (0-1).

The bout was part of the night’s preliminary card and didn’t air on the AXS TV broadcast, but a video has emerged (via Twitter):

Prior to the event, Gotti III, who fought on what would have been the 77th birthday of his grandfather, discussed a last name that comes with some baggage. In fact, Gotti III said his MMA interest stems from his father’s – John A. Gotti’s (“Junior Gotti’s”) – release from prison after a 2008 indictment on racketeering and murder conspiracy failed to stick.

“When my father first came home from prison, (MMA) was a means for us to bond,” Gotti III said in a prepared statement (he didn’t give any pre-fight interviews). “We would watch all the big fights together at home, as well as attending several cards in New Jersey.

“I think now, as I’ve chosen this as a profession, although my father is proud of me, I think he regrets fostering my interest. I don’t think he ever thought this would be the end result. What father wants to watch his son in this type of environment?”

After the event, Domenico101mma scored an interview with the winning fighter (via Facebook):

For more on the upcoming CES MMA 46, including an event recap and video highlights, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

CES MMA 46 video and results: Big-show vet John Howard shows off the ground and pound

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John Howard is back – and it was a triumphant return.

In Friday’s CES MMA 46 middleweight headliner, Howard (25-13), a UFC and WSOF vet who returned from a yearlong layoff, picked up a dominant unanimous-decision victory over Roger Carroll (16-5).

The event aired on AXS TV from Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.

Howard, who returned to the cage after again getting the itch to fight, competed under the CES MMA banner for the first time since 2013, when he parlayed some success with the regional powerhouse into a second UFC stint.

In his CES MMA return, Howard did what he does best: He wore down Carroll, took him down, and dominated the action on the mat. It resulted in a unanimous decision victory via 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 scores.

In the featherweight co-main event, Dinis Paiva (10-6), who’s spent his entire 16-fight and seven-year pro career with CES MMA, scored a come-from-behind victory over Branden Seyler (7-6-1) via second-round TKO.

Additionally, Gary Balletto Jr. (5-1) stretched his wining streak to five with a submission win over Sharif Jones (3-3). All of his victories have come via stoppage.

The full CES MMA 47 results included:

MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 9 p.m. ET)

  • John Howard def. Roger Carroll via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Dinis Paiva def. Branden Seyler via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:08
  • Gary Balletto Jr. vs. Sharif Jones via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:17
  • Rico DiSciullo def. Seth Basler via submission (Peruvian necktie) – Round 1, 2:59
  • Jon Lemke def. Josh LaBerge via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Justin Sumter def. Shedrick Goodridge via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:56

PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 7 p.m. ET)

For more on CES MMA 46, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Tonight's CES MMA 46 headliner, John Howard, went away to see if he still loved MMA

If John Howard ever forgets how long he’s been fighting, all he has to do is walk into any gym in New England and let the young guys tell him. They don’t mean to make him feel old. Actually, they’re trying to show their respect.

“They do it by accident,” Howard (24-13) told MMAjunkie. “They’ll walk up to me and say, ‘Man, I was 12 years old, watching with my father when I saw you in the UFC.’ I’m just like, ‘Oh man, don’t tell me that.’”

But then they say the other thing, about how seeing a Boston fighter clocking knockout wins in the big show gave them hope that they could do it too, or how “Doomsday” Howard inspired them to get in the gym and chase that dream for themselves.

“Then I feel honored,” Howard said. “How can I not be? I’m honored and proud.”

Now, after a year spent intentionally avoiding MMA in favor of a more regular kind of life, Howard is coming back home to find out if he still has what it takes. At tonight’s CES MMA 46 event (AXS TV, 9 p.m. ET) in Lincoln, R.I., Howard will headline a local card for the first time in more than four years.

At Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., just a little more than an hour from where he grew up, he’ll take on Roger Carroll (16-14) in front of a crowd peppered with family and friends, many of whom are likely to be asking themselves the same questions Howard faced in his year away from the sport.

How long is he going to keep doing this? And after all this time, where is he trying to go with it, exactly?

For Howard, the second question is easier to answer than the first. In 13 years as a professional, which included two stints with the UFC and one with the organization now known as PFL, Howard never got a crack at a major title. He’s won regional belts but never even got within sniffing distance of something bigger. Now that he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning, that feels like unfinished business for him.

“I know I have an expiration date,” Howard said. “I know time is not on my side. But I want to get back to the big show, where the big dogs hang. I feel that’s where I belong. Being the big fish in a little pond, that doesn’t do anything for me. That doesn’t boost my ego. I want to look for the biggest fish I can find and go after him just to see what I can do.”

But it gets frustrating sometimes, this MMA business.

After debuting in what was then WSOF in 2016, Howard won his first fight against Michael Arrant and then lost his second via unanimous decision to Abubakar Nurmagomedov, a cousin of UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. When WSOF rebranded as PFL, Howard wasn’t sure if there was still a place for him in the organization. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted there to be one.

“I had to take a year off to see if I really wanted to do this,” Howard said. “I had to let my body heal, let my mind get right. You can fall into this sport and before you know it go a whole different path that you never wanted to follow. I had to fall in love with the sport again. Sometimes in this sport, the aggravation, the BS and the politics that come with it, I was getting frustrated. I had to remember why I got into the sport.”

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In the meantime, Howard said, he went back to his old job as an electrician, working for Google Fiber. He tried to be a regular guy, working a regular job and keeping regular hours.

Old friends, like former coach Mark DellaGrotte, had their doubts.

“All fighters, when they start looking at post-career life, they face these questions about how they’re going to make a living,” DellaGrotte said. “But some guys are just not cut out to be regular guys. I think ‘Doomsday,’ he’s just an intense dude. I don’t think someone like like ‘Doomsday’ belongs installing Verizon in residential homes. He needs to be locked in a cage where he can do his thing.”

Howard couldn’t stay away completely. And he when he got back into the gym, pretty soon he started getting the itch to fight again. Time away only stoked his passion for the sport, and the chance to headline a card for CES MMA, where he won the middleweight title in 2012 and defended it four times before heading back to the UFC for a second time in 2013, seemed like too good a chance to pass up.

And on the local scene, the return of “Doomsday” Howard was enough to create a bit of a buzz.

“I was a little surprised to hear he was coming back, but also excited,” DellaGrotte said. “I think it’s passion-driven and not just money-driven, which is good. That shows me that he’s not just looking for a paycheck. And I know the level he can compete at, so I feel bad for any local opponents who get in there with him.”

For Howard, that sense of local support is a big part of the appeal of this fight. His time in the UFC saw him bounce from Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi. Coming back to the same Rhode Island casino where he used to defend his CES middleweight title reminds him of his roots, he said. It gives him a chance to fight in front of the people who’ve been there for him all along. Maybe it will even help him remember why he loves this sport so much that he can’t stay away from it.

“Being a fighter, there’s a lot of frustration and disappointment,” Howard said. “But if you love, something you deal with that just to do it. With this, I want to do it until I can’t do it any more, however long that is.”

For more on CES MMA 46, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, PFL, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

John Howard discusses CES MMA 46 main event, his future, and being on the autism spectrum

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Tonight in Rhode Island, a former CES MMA champion returns to the promotion for the first time in more than four years.

John Howard (24-13), who went 7-7 over two separate seven-fight stints with the UFC, is back to fight Roger Carroll (16-14) in the CES MMA 46 main event. The show takes place tonight at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. The main card will air on AXS TV.

Ahead of the headliner, former CES MMA middleweight champ Howard spoke with AXS TV Fights’ Phoenix Carnevale about returning to the promotion and fighting close to home, his nickname, his hope for the future and learning he’s on the autism spectrum.

Check out the video above.

And for more on CES MMA 46, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Grandson of famous mobster set for pro MMA debut

John Gotti’s grandson is about to join another kind of family – the hurt business.

John Gotti III (0-0) will make is professional MMA debut on Oct. 27 at CES 46, taking on Johnny Adams (0-1) at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., the promotion confirmed to MMAjunkie. The card airs live on AXS TV.

Gotti, the son of John Gotti II, fights on what would have been the 77th birthday of his grandfather. He wants to pay tribute to the fallen mobster’s memory.

“I chose my pro debut with CES because I know several of the fighters that have fought for them,” Gotti said in a prepared statement released by CES, which added interview requests are a no-go per John Gotti II. “They said they were good guys to work with and that they put on a great show. So it was a natural fit when I heard they were promoting a show on Oct. 27.

“The significance of the date is that it would have been my late grandfather’s 77th birthday, and I wanted to honor him on that day.”

Gotti III said his interest in MMA stems from his father’s release from prison, presumably after a 2008 indictment on racketeering and murder conspiracy failed to stick.

“When my father first came home from prison, (MMA) was a means for us to bond,” Gotti III said. “We would watch all the big fights together at home, as well as attending several cards in New Jersey.

“I think now, as I’ve chosen this as a profession, although my father is proud of me, I think he regrets fostering my interest. I don’t think he ever thought this would be the end result. What father wants to watch his son in this type of environment?”

As rough-and-tumble as MMA is, though, it’s still a lot less dangerous than the life in the family business.

Convicining Adams he’s not endangering himself by winning might be the prmotion’s next step.

The current card for CES 46 includes:

MAIN CARD (AXS TV)

  • John Howard vs. Roger Carroll
  • Dinis Paiva vs. Branden Seyler
  • Josh LaBerge vs. Jon Lemke
  • Shedrick Goodridge vs. Justin Sumter
  • Rico DiSciullo vs. Justin King
  • Gary Balletto Jr. vs. Sharif Jones

PRELIMINARY CARD (untelevised)

  • Pat McCrohan vs. Buck Pineau
  • Marquis Brewster vs. Raymond Yanez
  • Johnny Adams vs. John Gotti III

For more on the upcoming CES MMA 46, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC vet John Howard headlines CES MMA 46 vs. Roger Carroll in Rhode Island

A former CES MMA champion is returning to the promotion to headline an event in Rhode Island next month.

John Howard (24-13), who went 7-7 over two separate seven-fight stints with the UFC, is returning to the promotion he once held a middleweight title for to take on Roger Carroll (16-14) in the CES MMA 46 main event. The show will take place Oct. 27 at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. The main card will air on AXS TV.

Roger Carroll

Howard will be fighting for the first time in more than a year. The Boston-based welterweight won the CES MMA 185-pound title in 2012 not long after his first UFC stint ended with a 3-4 record. He defended that belt four times and earned his way back to the UFC for a hometown fight in Boston against Uriah Hall, and won by split decision.

But Howard lost four of his final five fights in the UFC and after a knockout loss to Tim Means found himself looking for work elsewhere. That came for WSOF, where he went 1-1 in 2016. But now he’ll return in front of the fans not far from his home base.

“I had to take a step back from the sport for a little while, but now I’m back,” Howard stated. “I’ve got so many fans in New England, and I’ve got so much love for them. I can’t wait to get back in that CES cage and put on a show.”

Carroll has a pair of prior fights for CES MMA, but most recently he’s been inside Bellator’s cage, where he dropped a decision to Neiman Gracie and was knocked out by Brennan Ward. The North Carolinan also has been in fights against Dhiego Lima, Scott Holtzman and Uriah Hall.

“It’s an honor to fight an opponent like ‘Doomsday,’ but I’m coming to win,” Caroll stated. “I predict a lot of bombs being thrown, and a great fight for the fans.”

For more on CES MMA 46, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie