Matt Bessette looking to ‘drown’ Charles Cheeks III with pressure at CES 60

January 23, 2020

Though he only got in one fight in 2019, featherweight Matt Bessette couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Having eight months off prior to picking up a unanimous decision victory over Tim Dooling at CES 55 last March, Bessette had the kind of comeback fight he always had wanted.

“It was everything I wanted in a fight,” Bessette told “I had an opponent (in Dooling) who would stand and fight me. We got some blood out of it. I was bleeding. He was bleeding. I dropped him a couple times. It was just an outstanding fight.

“The takeaway from that one is that even if I take some time off I can still come back pretty strong.”

In the nearly 10 months since the win over Dooling, Bessette been in the gym nearly non-stop, which he feels is essential to keep up with the younger generation of fighters.

“I’m older now, I’m 35, and a lot of the younger guys are getting better faster than I did,” said Bessette. “There’s more ways to learn. There’s more information out there. In order to stay ahead of the curve I have to constantly be a student, and I love that.

“I’ve had a lot of training since then and have honed in on certain things. I’m looking to impose my will on January 24 with some new stuff.”

On Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Bessette (23-9) faces Charles Cheeks III (14-7) in the 145-pound championship main event of CES 60.

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“I think this fight favors me everywhere,” Bessette said. “I think that it’s going to be tough for him to implement any kind of game planning against me. My style is very, for lack of a better word, unique.

“I keep a lot of pressure on you, wherever we are: moving forward, backing up, on top, bottom guard, I’m a constant fight, fight, fight guy. Even when I’m on my back or standing I’m always making the guy think I’m going to attack, and that wears you down. I think it’s going to be another Matt Bessette fight where I put the guy’s head under water and drown him.”

While Bessette tends to focus on one fight at a time, he does admit he has a specific goal in mind for 2020.

“I’m looking at this fight first, then I’d like to take a couple days and then figure out what’s next,” said Bessette. “I don’t know exactly what’s next, but I have an idea of what I’d like to do. The PFL tournament would be amazing. I think at the moment that would be the ultimate goal, but we’ll see.”