Home Boxing News Lightfoot, Rebello aim for stepping-stone victory in Sept. 9 showdown

Lightfoot, Rebello aim for stepping-stone victory in Sept. 9 showdown

Lightfoot, Rebello aim for stepping-stone victory in Sept. 9 showdown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 19, 2011) – This is more than just a contrast of styles; it’s a battle between two fighters with different outlooks as their futures continue to unfold.

Cody Lightfoot isn’t sure he belongs among the game’s elite despite his 6-1 record in mixed martial arts. His opponent, Greg Rebello of Providence, R.I., knows he does, even after losing his last bout to Dan Cramer at the Bellator Fighting Championships in April.

The war of wills between one fighter’s own self-doubt and the other’s straightforward confidence makes the showdown between Lightfoot and Rebello on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 an important step for both fighters as they each look to move one step closer toward their ultimate goal of championship glory. The two will face another in the light heavyweight main event of Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Road To Glory” cage fighting show at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.

“I know I lost the decision,” said Rebello (12-3, 6 KOs) in reference to his fight against Cramer, “but I didn’t get beat up. I was just frustrated. He was always one step ahead of me. What that tells me is with a couple of adjustments, I could’ve won that fight.

“I’m pretty much right there.”

Lightfoot (6-1, 4 KOs), a Somersworth, N.H., native and former collegiate wrestler at Norwich University in Vermont, is admittedly less certain about his own ability. After knocking out Steve Skrzat of Burrillville, R.I., in his last fight in April, Lightfoot found himself wondering whether or not he was good enough to compete at the next level.

“On paper, it looked like I would kill that guy,” Lightfoot said, “but I took a lot of damage. I got punched in the face a lot, and it made me question myself. The fact is my autopilot kicked in, and my autopilot is wrestling. I won, but I got rocked so badly I barely remember it.”

For both fighters, this showdown on Sept. 9 will answer the obvious questions – one, is Lightfoot an elite fighter knocking at the doorstep, and two, how quickly can Rebello get back to the big stage after suffering a setback against Cramer? Rebello – the favorite on paper – doesn’t think his next big test is that far away.

“Cody is 6-1. He’s never been knocked out and has fought a lot of tough opponents,” Rebello said. “I can’t see how beating a guy like him doesn’t put me right back on top.”

That is, if Lightfoot doesn’t pull off the upset. Rebello – a former cast member on ‘The Ultimate Fighter 11: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz’ reality television show – certainly doesn’t lack confidence, but even he knows Lightfoot’s elite wrestling ability could be a problem on Sept. 9 despite the perception that Rebello prefers to fight on the ground as opposed to exchanging blows in stand-up fashion.

“I’m not a wrestler,” he said. “Everyone thinks I am, but I’m a striker. I’m not going to try to outwrestle him. He has the credentials. There’s no way you’re going to teach me to get to his level overnight. Granted, a lot of my fights end up on the ground, but if you go back and look at my first few fights, I would just go out there trying to knock everyone out. The people I trained with would tell to go back and work on my wrestling, or else I wouldn’t make it to the next level.

“I’m glad I listened, otherwise I’d have a lot more losses on my record right now.”

While Rebello hopes to stay on his feet, Lightfoot plans on putting his wrestling background to use. After a stellar career at Marshwood High School in Maine that included a state championship, Lightfoot went on to earn All-New England honors at Norwich, which is also the alma mater of current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contender and former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) featherweight champion Mike Brown and Bellator veteran Dennis Olson of Amherst, N.H.

“From what I’ve seen of [Rebello], he has no problem exchanging as long as no one is hitting him,” Lightfoot said. “If he gets tagged hard, he goes into autopilot.

“The fact is I’d be shocked if he’s able to take me down. I have a lot of respect for him, and he’s a really good athlete, but I haven’t been taken down yet.”

Truthfully, Lightfoot needs this win in order to get to where Rebello is now, which is Lightfoot’s primary goal on Sept. 9. Rebello, who had won 11 consecutive bouts before losing to Cramer, is still in the mix for a major fight, especially if he comes away victorious against a rising star such as Lightfoot.

“This is my toughest opponent by far. This is my first real test,” Lightfoot said. “He has a ton of experience on the big stage, having fought for Bellator a few times and on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ That’s where I want to get, and he’s already done it.

“On paper, he’s the heavy favorite, but I truly feel like that won’t be the case inside the cage. This is a good fight for me. I’d give anything to fight on the biggest stage. That’s why I do this. If this fight gets me there, that would be amazing. I hope someone notices. I have my doubts that I can win, but I think I can.”

 

Rebello, who is moving up to 205 pounds to fight Lightfoot after facing Cramer at middleweight, isn’t quite as desperate for a win, but knows he needs to bounce back quickly from the loss to Cramer in order to prove his second stint at Bellator was a worthwhile learning experience, not a step in the wrong direction.

“I guess everyone has an off day,” Rebello said. “Cramer is a tough kid. He didn’t have as many fights as I did, but he had a lot more big fights. He had fought on Pay-Per-View and has won at the UFC. I knew he would have the edge as far as experience goes.

“I learned that when you get to that next level, everyone is so good at everything, and you can’t afford to make one mistake. He totally shut down my game plan. Looking back on it, this fight will help me the next time I get to that level.”

The undercard of “Road To Glory” features Providence, R.I., lightweight Mike “The Beast” Campbell (9-4, 6 KOs); lightweight Jeff “Candyman” Anderson (9-4, 2 KOs) of Lincoln; middleweight Todd “The Hulk” Chattelle (8-6, 7 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I.; lightweight Pete Jeffrey (4-4, 2 KOs) of Smithfield, R.I.; power-punching middleweight Scott Rehm (5-5, 5 KOs) of Brookline, Mass.; and Skrzat. The full card will be announced shortly.

Tickets for “Road To Glory” 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 “Road To Glory.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)

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