By: Jackie Campbell
Top heavyweight contender, Greg “Ribz” Rebello, put on a show during CES MMA 44 at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI, LIVE on AXS TV Fights. The 34-year-old UFC prospect finished his opponent, Kevin Sears, by submission via anaconda choke inside the third round.
Rebello improved his record to an impressive 23-7-0, earning wins for six of his last seven fights.
Rebello credits his success to his diverse training. “My fights usually end in knockouts or TKOs but I'm well rounded,” says Rebello. “I have good wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. I can win anywhere. I just prefer to keep fights standing and use my striking.”
Minute to minute, round to round, Rebello controlled the fight on the feet and on the ground. Rebello proved that he is among the fastest heavyweights in the game with fluid footwork and well timed head movement.
“My intentions in this fight were to keep my distance, take my time and break my opponent down with boxing,” Rebello explains. “But he tried to wrestle. So when it hit the ground, I had no issues dealing with his ground game. I’m comfortable there.”
All went according to plan for Rebello’s corner, who had designed the game plan for his impressive victory over Sears.
“Training camp for this fight was perfect. I had a ton of big guys that were able to simulate my opponent perfectly,” say Rebello. “This camp was great because there weren’t many fighters in the gym that had fights scheduled in May aside from me. So I was the main focus at Tri-Force MMA and Sityodtong. I got a ton of help.”
Rebello’s camp focused on developing answers for all areas of Sears’ game. “I always tailor camps to my opponent. You have to be prepared for everything they bring to the table,” says Rebello. “I bring certain guys in for every camp. I have to make sure I am ready for everything.”
Using his strengths to steer the fight, his primary training points were in wrestling and boxing.
Looking forward, Rebello has his eyes on the UFC. “I feel the time is now for the UFC. I’m 34 years old and I’m in my prime. I don’t have a ton of miles on my body. I train smart,” says Rebello. “I am an exciting fighter. All of my fights are fun to watch. That is what the UFC wants. That is what the fans want.”
During a time when the UFC Heavyweight Division may be in need of rejuvenation across the roster, new and exciting fighters like Rebello are likely to be sought after.
“The UFC Heavyweight Division is very exciting right now. It’s probably the deepest that it has ever been,” explains Rebello. “Quite a few of the top guys have been injured lately. Heavyweights tend to get better with age. I would be another exciting fighter in that division that fans would enjoy.”
Rebello goes on to explain, “My fights on AXS TV have all been finishes. My speed and power has set me apart from my opposition. Those are my best assets. I fight smart, I game-plan well, and I always go for the finish.”
Rebello’s marketable style has earned him a solid following on the MMA circuit. Physically designed for heavyweight success, Rebello has proven his worth for pivotal opportunities with his sites set on the CES Heavyweight Title.
“As far as the CES Heavyweight Division, there is only one fight for me: That’s the title fight,” states Rebello.
While matches are made and contracts are delineated, it is back to the gym for Rebello. “In between fights I always get right back to training and lifting,” says Rebello. “I focus most on my Jiu-Jitsu, working off of my back.”
Training out of Tri-Force MMA, Rebello stays ready for whatever the next move may be, trusting in his training partners and coaches. “Tri-Force is like home for me. Keith (Jeffrey) and Pete (Jeffrey) are two of my closest friends. They have always looked out for me and have always been by my side,” explains Rebello. “They are two of the most underrated coaches you can find. Not many people know about them, but they will soon.”
MMA fans are eager to see what’s next for the heavy-handed heavyweight contender. Whether it is on his home turf of Rhode Island or in a cage across the country, Rebello is ready to put stock in his name yet again.