Joshua Smith talks CES title, Contender Series chance

Joshua Smith walks around the CES cage before his fight. Joshua Smith became the latest CES Bantamweight Champion at the promotion's event last month. Photo Credit: CES MMA / UFC Fight Pass

CES MMA is the premiere organization in New England MMA. The Rhode Island based promotion has seen a number of fighters go on to grace the UFC octagon. In fact, every bantamweight champion CES has had, including Rob Font, Andre Soukhamthath, and Tony Gravely, has later entered the UFC. Meet the newest champ Joshua Smith, who hopes to be next in line for the walk.

“People say to me ‘what’s up champ?” Smith laughed. “My hard work is paying off. It feels great, I told everyone I’d win, people wrote me off. I don’t even know how to describe this, it is breathtaking, everyone was counting me out.”

Smith earned his belt last month at CES 62, submitting Dinis Paiva in the second round of a main event fight with a rear naked choke.

Smith pointed out that Tapology had a 95% vote that Paiva would walk away as the CES champion. The vote was probably swayed due to Paiva’s fanbase in CES, but regardless Smith felt he showcased just how wrong everyone was.

Now after his 10th pro win, Smith feels like it’s time for a call up to the big leagues.

“I feel like this is destiny,” Smith stated. “I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready for the UFC to call me tomorrow. I am ready for anything that comes my way, I’m a champion.”

CES has only put on two shows since the pandemic and as of now has nothing planned for the immediate future in the realm of public knowledge. Smith would like to stay active after winning the title, even if it means stepping up in another promotion.

“I’ll fight anyone,” Smith told MMA-Prospects. “I want to stay active, I want to heal up quick and fight again very soon. I’ll be a double champion in another promotion, a two divisional champion. I’ll fight for anyone’s belt.”

With “Dana White’s Contender Series” returning this summer, Smith is hopeful to possibly get the opportunity showcasing his talent to his future boss. Smith feels he is very close to the big show.

“I should be right around the corner,” Smith stated. “Dinis fought on “Contender Series” at 145 [pounds], that guy couldn’t finish him, I did in the second round. Don’t believe me? Keep watching, I’ll keep doing my thing until someone pays attention.”