Bourne native Greg (Ribz) Rebello will be putting his CES MMA heavyweight championship on the line today Friday, July 26, at Twin Rivers Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Rebello, 37, is facing Kevin (The North Woods) Haley, of Rollinsford, New Hampshire, in the main event of a packed card at the casino. He captured his championship with a win last February with a first-round knockout via punches. This will be his first title defense.

“Defending my title for the first time means a lot to me,” Rebello said. “I believe you’re not really a champion until you defend it.” Rebello vs. Haley will headline a big card that is streaming live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass starting at 8 PM. Fight fans can see the action for free by signing up for a trial of the service at free trial; please visit ufc.tv/page/fightpass.

“Greg is a veteran in the New England MMA scene and one of the most talented and respected fighters around,” said CES MMA CEO Jimmy Burchfield Jr. “He is a wealth of knowledge and experience, and he brings those tools into the cage on July 26th. He has the kill-or-be-killed mentality. Expect fireworks when he and Kevin square off.”

A former hockey player who chose combat sports after he stopped playing in the Juniors, Rebello had always enjoyed physical sports and he made a natural transition into mixed martial arts when he hung up his skates.

Rebello retired last summer after losing a fight on “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” Season Two.

“I thought it was the end of the road,” Rebello admitted. “I had suffered a lot of injuries and I retired. I took a year off, but CES has been so good to me, I wanted to make this title defense. As far as how long I’ll continue fighting, I take it one fight at a time.”

Rebello is a personal trainer at two gyms he owns in Warwick and Cumberland, Rhode Island.

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