Veterans Oteri, Chattelle looking to cash in on next month’s title bout at Twin River
There’s a certain sense of pride that comes with fighting for a title, and, in some ways, an overwhelming adrenaline rush that heightens a fighter’s awareness and places undeniable urgency on the task at hand.
“This means the world to me,” said Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Todd Chattelle, who’ll face Brett Oteri of Dedham, Mass., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011 for the inaugural Classic Entertainment & Sports Mixed Martial Arts middleweight title. “It’s almost like having my first kid again. It’s crazy.”
Both Chattelle (9-6, 9 KOs) and Oteri (8-2, 1 KO) have faced every kind of obstacle imaginable in their respective mixed martial arts’ careers, and now one of them will walk away next Friday with the hardware every fighter dreams of – a championship belt validating all the hard work and dedication.
“We will not hold fights for nonsense belts,” CES president Jimmy Burchfield said. “We’re not out there to be a circus show doing 25 fights a night. This is a professional company, and we know you, the fans, want to see good fights.
“Looking at some of these events where a fighter with a 3-2 record or a fighter with eight consecutive losses is a champion, we’re not going to do that. When you win one of our titles, you’re ready to go on to the next level. That’s what we’re developing right now, and we’ve got two fighters battling for this title who will fight their hearts out.”
The Chattelle-Oteri championship bout is the headliner for what promises to be another action-packed show next Friday at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I. “Undisputed,” presented by CES in association with Twin River, also features a lightweight showdown between Ocean State rivals Mike Campbell (9-4, 6 KOs) and Jeff Anderson (10-4, 2 KOs), in addition to a highly-anticipated bantamweight battle between New Jersey native Jason McLean (6-4, 2 KOs) and Rockport, Mass., veteran Pedro Gonzalez (7-4).
At the top is an intriguing contrast of styles between Chattelle, the knockout artist, and Oteri, a submission specialist who has gone the distance in three of his last four fights. The difference this time is next week’s championship showdown is a five-round fight, which means endurance training and conditioning will play an even bigger role in each fighter’s preparation.
“I don’t worry too much about the pacing on my end,” Oteri said. “I know Todd is a fast starter, and we’re definitely training for that. I’m aware of the pace he’ll set from the get-go. I’ve been going 12 rounds in practice with fresh guys each time, so I could probably go 10 [rounds] next Friday if I had to.”
“I’m comfortable with that,” added Chattelle. “My coaches and trainers don’t let me slack one bit. Five rounds will be good. I feel as though I’m in good enough shape where I can fight the way I normally fight. I’m not worried about that because I know I’ve trained hard enough. I’m ready to go to war.”
Perhaps the most interesting story behind this fight is the path each fighter has taken to get to this point. Entering 2011, Chattelle was a pedestrian 6-6 and had lost his last fight to Derek Brunson in Providence. Since then, he’s won three consecutive bouts – all on CES shows – including wins over Woody Weatherby and Jeff Nader. A win next Friday over Oteri would be his fourth consecutive victory and the biggest of his career.
“My life has really fallen into place,” Chattelle said. “I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, but I’m finally getting on track and now I’m able to stay focused. It has a lot to do with my coaching staff, training partners, and the friends and family who really care about me and believed in me when even I didn’t believe in myself.
“The turning point for me was the Weatherby fight,” he continued. “I said to myself, ‘Who cares?’ He was supposed to win. I was supposed to lose. I was supposed to lose to Nader, and I’m probably supposed to lose to Brett, too, but I don’t care anymore. I’ll give it my all and see what happens.”
A former bodybuilder and amateur triathlete, Oteri reeled off three consecutive victories from August of 2010 to February of 2011 before running into the dangerous Ryan Quinn at the Bellator Fighting Championships in August. In what is typically viewed as a measuring stick for most up-and-coming fighters, Oteri suffered a first-round loss via a rear-naked choke – only the second loss of his career, but an important step in helping him reach this point.
“That loss sucked for me. It was horrible,” Oteri said. “I underestimated the guy I was going against. I just relaxed. Not to take anything away from him, but I underestimated him. That was the biggest lesson I think I learned – not to underestimate anyone.
“You have to give everyone the respect they deserve. I’ve been watching Todd for a couple of years now and I like his style. I’ve always been a fan of his. I think this is going to be an exciting fight. We’re very different in the way we approach fighting. I won’t say it’ll come down to who gets lucky, but it could go either way, and that’s what will make it exciting for the fans.”
“Undisputed” also features a middleweight showdown between Keith Jeffrey (5-2-1) of Pawtucket, R.I., and New York native Kevin Horowitz (3-3). Saul “The Spider” Almeida (10-1) of Framingham, Mass., will face featherweight Kevin Roddy (11-13) of New Jersey; lightweight Dinis Paiva Jr. (1-1, 1 KO) of East Providence, R.I., will battle newcomer Cliff Moulton of New York; featherweight Shaun Marmus (3-2-1, 1 KO) of Coventry, R.I.; will take on Robbie Leroux (3-1, 1 KO) of Bridgewater, Mass.; Keith Ferreira (1-1, 1 KO) of Fall River, Mass., will face newcomer Vincent Ramirez of Springfield, Mass., in a middleweight bout; and Gilvan Santos (1-0) of Framingham will face bantamweight Rob Costa (1-1) of Fall River. Providence heavyweight Eric Bedard (2-0, 1 KO) will also be featured on the undercard.
Tickets for “Undisputed” are $35.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Undisputed.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)
– CES –