Category Archives: MMA

FNU COMBAT SPORTS SHOW: UFC Fight Night Recap (Pettis vs. Moreno); Boxing Results; Mayweather vs. McGregor Latest News

This week’s combat sports show features Tom, Tony and Rich having some great discussions about McGregor/Mayweather (and why Dana White didn’t add any MMA fighters to the undercard), UFC Fight Night: Pettis vs. Moreno, this week’s boxing results, and even Tony’s Phillies Superphan Bobblehead Doll:

Listen to the broadcast below:




HOUSTON, Texas – Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) has had a busy summer. In last month’s newsletter, it was reported that LFA alum accumulated $200,000 in UFC bonus money in the month of June, former RFA headliner Zach Freeman secured an “Upset of the Year”  nominee in New York City, and three inaugural LFA titles were awarded to get the summer started.

The summer continued to heat up in July. The UFC hosted 5 events along with the first 3 episodes of UFC President Dana White’s new weekly web series titled “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” throughout the month.
The number of LFA alum that participated in those events was staggering. 19 fighters that have fought for LFA or the two promotions that merged to create it (RFA and Legacy FC) competed in the UFC. UFC 213 headliner Valentina Shevchenko would have made that 20 fighters, but Amanda Nunes withdrew from their title fight on the day of the fight.
The presence of LFA alum on Dana White’s new show was just as impressive. In the first three episodes that aired in July, 17 of the 30 competitors (56.6%) had previously competed for LFA, RFA, or Legacy FC.  Each of the three episodes also featured two “LFA vs. LFA” matches. The most impressive stat, however, is the fact that an LFA fighter was signed by Dana White off of each episode.
That trend carried over into August with a fourth LFA fighter being signed to the UFC off of the fourth episode of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series”. The four LFA stars signed off of the show so far are Boston Salmon (Week 1), Sean O’Malley (Week 2), Geoff Neal (Week 3), and Julian Marquez (Week 4). There are currently 32 fighters from LFA scheduled to compete on theTuesday might summer series. LFA also currently has 19 alum ranked in the latest UFC fighter rankings.
While former LFA fighters impressed in the UFC last month with the sheer number of participants, what they accomplished in those bouts is even more important. Perhaps the biggest shining star of the bunch was former RFA featherweight champion Brian Ortega. The man known as “T-City” improved his perfect record to 12-0 and saw his UFC fighter ranking move up to #6 in the world.
Ortega did this by breaking his own UFC record at UFC 214 on July 29th. Going into his bout with fellow unbeaten star Renato Moicano, Ortega held the UFC record for most consecutive third round finishes. He extended that streak by submitting Moicano in the final frame with a $50,000 UFC “Performance of the Night” bonus winning Guillotine Choke.
The following Saturday at UFC Fight Night 114, RFA great Dustin Ortiz broke another UFC record to secure his own $50,000 UFC “Performance of the Night” bonus. Ortiz accomplished this feat by knocking out Hector Sandoval in 15-seconds to record the fastest finish in UFC flyweight history. His teammate and former RFA flyweight champion Sergio Pettis happened to headline the same card. Pettis won his marquee bout against Brandon Moreno unanimously in a pivotal battle between two Top 10 ranked UFC flyweights.
The UFC will be off for the next few weeks, but September looks to be just as big for the LFA greats competing inside the famed UFC Octagon. UFC 215 on September 9th will feature two LFA alum challenging for UFC world titles. Legacy FC great Ray Borg will headline the card for a shot at the UFC flyweight title, while Shevchenko will finally get a crack at the UFC women’s bantamweight title in the co-main event. Seven other LFA alum have UFC bouts already announced for next month as well.
LFA started August with the first title defense in the promotion’s history. Two of the inaugural LFA champions that were just crowned in June (Eryk Anders and Roberto Sanchez) have already made their UFC debut, but LFA featherweight champion Kevin “Angel of Death” Aguilar was able to defend his title in the main event of LFA 18 this past Friday. He did so by sweeping the scorecards against a very game challenger in #1 contender and world-class BJJ black belt Justin Rader.
LFA is now set to end the summer with four shows in four weeks in four different states. The quadruple-header starts next week in South Dakota at LFA 19. The promotion then heads east to Minnesota the following week at LFA 20. LFA kicks off first day of September in Missouri at LFA 21. Then the final leg of the four week trip will go down in Colorado at LFA 22.
LFA 19 – Michaud vs. Rodrigues takes place Friday, August 18th at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The event will serve as the second LFA event to take place in the state of South Dakota. RFA visited “The Mount Rushmore State” four times before the merger. LFA 19 is headlined with a welterweight war between three-time UFC vet David “Bulldawg” Michaud (11-3) and Brazilian powerhouse Ciro “Bad Boy” Rodrigues (20-7).


LFA 20 – Curry vs. Barnes takes place Friday, August 25th at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The event will serve as the third LFA event to take place in the state of Minnesota. RFA and Legacy FC hosted a combined nine events in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” before the merger.  LFA 20 is headlined with a welterweight showdown between rising star Chad “Blitz” Curry and former RFA title challenger Nick “The Phoenix” Barnes.
LFA 21 – Noblitt vs. Branjão takes place Friday, September 1st at the Branson Convention Center in Branson, Missouri. The event will serve as the first LFA event to take place in the state of Missouri. RFA visited the “Show Me State” four times before the merger. LFA 21 is headlined with a light-heavyweight battle between undefeated American prospect Kyle James Noblitt (8-0) and undefeated Brazilian prospect Antônio Paulo “Montanha” Branjão (4-0).
LFA 22 – Heinisch vs. Perez takes place Friday, September 8th at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado. The event will serve as the third LFA event to take place in the state of Colorado. RFA visited “The Centennial State” eight times before the merger. LFA 22 is headlined with an LFA middleweight title fight between Colorado’s own Ian “The Hurricane” Heinisch (8-0) and Brazilian dynamo Markus “Maluko” Perez (8-0).
The entire main card of these four events will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
In September 2016, RFA and Legacy FC officials announced that they would be merging to form the premier developmental organization in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) starting in January 2017. RFA and Legacy FC have launched the careers of over 100 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC.
Please visit for bout updates and information. LFA is on Facebook at Legacy Fighting Alliance. LFA is also on Instagram at @LFAfighting and Twitter at @LFAfighting.

Zayats defeats Vanttinen by decision in M-1 Challenge 82 main event

Mikhail Zayats was too much for Marcus Vanttinen

HELSINKI, Finland (August 6, 2017) – Russian light heavyweight Mikhail Zayats defeated Marcus “Caveman” Vanttinen by unanimous decision in last night’s M-1 Challenge 82main event, which headlined the first M-1 Global event held in Finland during the last nine years.

Zayats (23-8-0, M-1: 13-5-0) returned to an M-1 Global-promoted event for the first time in nearly six years. The Russian strongman see pictured below), who had fought the past few years in Bellator, ruined the night for local favorite Vanttinen (24-6-0, M-1: 2-3-0), one of six Finnish fighters on the Helsinki card.

International fighters represented nine different countries: Russia, Finland, Brazil, USA, Portugal, France, Switzerland, Ukraine and Sweden.
Finnish bantamweight Janne “Jambo” Elonen-Kulmala (15-5-1, M-1: 0-0-1) and Brazilian veteran fighter Heilton (Dos Santos) Davella (15-6-1, M-1: 0-1-1) fought to a three-round split-draw, Finnish flyweight Mikhail “Hulk” Silander (17-5-0, M-1: 1-0-0) took a three-round unanimous decision from Vitali Branchuk (22-7-0, M-1: 2-3-0), of Ukraine.

“Jambo” nails Davella
(L) Silander made hometown fans happy
Russian lightweight prospect Pavel Gordeev (8-1-0, M-1: 3-0-0) and Ukrainian welterweight Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko (44-12-3, M-1: 10-2-1), respectively, won three-round unanimous decisions over Brazilian Michel “Sassarito” Silva (18-7-0, M-1: 0-2-0) and American Keith “The One” Johnson (12-3-0, M-1: 1-1-0).

Gordeev is a promising prospect
(L) Butenko and Johnson put on a good show.
Also on the main card, Finnish welterweight Juho Valamaa (15-4-0, M-1: 1-0-0) made a successful M-1 debut with a first-round technical knockout victory of Portugal’s Aires Bendrouis (10-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0).

Valamaa celebrated
On the preliminary card, Swedish bantamweight Son Le “Buddah” Binh (5-3-0, M-1: 1-2-0) lost a three-round unanimous decision to Oleg Lichkovakha (8-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), fighting out of Russia, and Ukrainian heavyweight Boris “Bora” Polezhay (17-6-0, M-1: 2-1-0) defeated Finland’s Toni Valtonen (27-16-0, M-1: 6-3-0) by decision.
Russian middleweight Ruslan Shamolov (3-0-0, M-1: 3-0-0) stopped American“Motown” Moses Murrietta (5-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0) in the opening round, French lightweightArnaud Kherfallah (4-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0) used a guillotine choke to force Patrik Pietila (8-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Finland, to tap-out in round one, and Russian flyweight Akaki Khorava (2-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0) tapped out in the second round as his Swiss opponent,Frederico “Muskito” Gutzwiller (3-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0), locked on an arm-bar.
In M-1’s popular Medieval Fight, Ukrainian heavyweight Vladimir Nicheporenkodefeated Russian Yuro Slobodyanik by way of a first-round knockout.

Complete results below:
Mikhail Zayats (23-8-0, M-1: 13-5-0), Russia
Marcus Vanttinen (24-7-0, M-1: 2-3-0), Finland lbs. (kg)
Juho Valmaa (14-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland
WTKO1 (4:52 – referee stoppage)
Aires Bendrouis (10-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Portugal
Alexander Butenko (44-12-3, M-1: 10-2-1), Ukraine
Keith Johnson (12-3-0, M-1: 1-1-0), USA
Pavel Gordeev (8-1-0, M-1: 3-0-0), Russia
Michel Silva (18-7-0, M-1: 0-2-0), Brazil
Janne Elonen-Kulmala (15-5-1, M-1: 0-0-1), Finland
Heilton (Dos Santos) Davella (15-6-1, M-1: 0-1-1), Brazil
Mikael Silander (17-5-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Finland
Vitali Branchuk (22-7-0, M-1: 2-3-0), Ukraine
Boris Polezhay (17-6-0, M-1: 2-1-0), Ukraine
Toni Valtonen (27-16-0, M-1: 6-3-0), Finland
Ruslan Shamilov (3-0-0, M-1: 3-0-0), Russia
WKO1 (3:10)
Moses Murrietta (5-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0), USA
Arnaud Kherfallah (4-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), France
WSUB1 (4:22 – guillotine choke)
Patrik Pietila (8-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Finland
Oleg Lichkovakha (8-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Russia
Son Le Binh (5-3-0, M-1: 1-2-0), Sweden
Frederico Gutzwiller (3-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Switzerland
WSUB2 (1:59 – armbar)
Akaki Khorava (2-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Georgia
Vladimir Nicheporenko, Ukraine
WKO1 (1:22)
Yuri Sloboyanik, Russia

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ABOUT M-1 GLOBAL: Founded in 1997, M-1 Global has established itself in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as the premier entity for discovering and developing the world’s next-generation of superstar fighters. With its office in St Petersburg, Russia, the M-1 brand has staged more than 200 events worldwide, including M-1 Selection, M-1 Challenge, M-1 Global and M-1 Global HWGP events, in addition to co-promoting Strikeforce events and M-1 Global on the U.S. network, Showtime. Captivating live, television and broadband audiences with its superior production values and match-ups, M-1 Global events have featured some of the sport’s top names, including legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem, Keith Jardine, Ben Rothwell, Melvin Manhoef, Sergei Kharitonov, Aleksander Emelianenko, Roman Zentsov, Yushin Okami, Mike Pyle, Denis Kang, Martin Kampmann, Amar Suloev, Chalid Arrab and Stephan Struve. 2017 has been another sensational year of world-class competition, featuring a full calendar of Challenge events, fueled by a talent-rich contention system ranking M-1 Global Champions among the greatest fighters in the sport.


Bangor, Maine (August 6, 2017) –There was no place like home Saturday night for C.J. Ewer, Ryan Sanders and Fred Lear of Young’s MMA in Bangor.

Fighting in front of a sold-out ballroom a stone’s throw from their training headquarters, the three fighters atop the card at “NEF 30” Rumble in Bangor” all posted impressive victories at Cross Insurance Center.

Ewer defeated Mike “The Mustache” Hansen by submission at 1:46 of the first round to capture the vacant NEF pro middleweight title. Lear landed the NEF amateur bantamweight belt, while Sanders tightened his grip on New England’s pro lightweight scene in a non-title triumph.

It was the second consecutive August sellout in the Queen City, a tradition that began with “NEF Presents Dana White: Lookin’ For a Fight” last summer.

After his hard-fought win over the much-traveled Jay Ellis, NEF pro lightweight champion Sanders, ranked No. 1 in the region, kept his comments short and sweet while calling out the aforementioned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president.

“You took the wrong guy last year,” Sanders said. “Come get me now.”

Sanders (15-8) didn’t have an easy road against Ellis, a veteran of more than 80 pro bouts. Ellis had Sanders under control for most of the fight but left himself vulnerable to a triangle choke at 2:34 of the first round.

Ewer dispatched Hansen with a similarly swift maneuver.

“It’s a great feeling to win it in front of the home crowd,” Ewer said. “As hard as we worked (in training camp), I didn’t think anything could stop me.”

The sudden ending spoiled Hansen’s hopes of winning a title for the first time in his 13-year mixed martial arts career.

“This was by far the best training camp I ever had. We were just getting warmed up,” Hansen said. “I had a lot more to give, and I’m sure C.J. had a lot of more to give. But hey, we could do it again.”

Lear highlighted the amateur portion of the card with an authoritative second-round knockout of Walt Shea.

Only the bell saved Shea from Lear’s onslaught at the end of the opening chapter. Lear gained the advantage with a kick to the head midway through that round. After nearly locking in an arm bar that could have ended the fight, Lear bloodied the previously unbeaten Shea with a series of strikes.

The end appeared inevitable when Shea needed Lear’s help to find his corner between rounds, and another interrupted attack hastened the finish only 14 seconds later.

An emotional Lear lauded his coach, Chris Young of Young’s MMA, before fastening the belt around the teacher’s waist.

“A lot of people around here know his name, but they don’t know the man,” Lear said. “He’s the first guy in the gym in the morning and the last one to leave at night. He’s the reason we’re all here. He’s the reason we’re successful. He’s the reason some of us aren’t in jail.”

In the first two fights of Josh Jones’ amateur MMA career, Jones dispatched his opponents by one-punch knockout in a total of 24 seconds. It took Carlton Charles one fewer tick of the clock to take out Jones in the stunning conclusion to a touted tangle of former star collegiate athletes.

Charles, a product of the University of Maine football program taking his initial walk to the NEF cage, turned the tables on Jones (2-1) in a middleweight scrap. Jones again went for the early stoppage with a pair of looping shots, but Charles calmly ducked them before landing one of his own and taking the issue to the mat.

“I just love the competition,” Charles said. “You don’t get hit in the face like this on the football field.”

When the combatants regained their feet, Charles backed Jones against the cage and landed two right hands to the jaw. Jones dropped to one knee and absorbed a sharp left to the head. That persuaded the referee to step in and stop the fight, a verdict that left Jones and his First Class MMA camp visibly puzzled.

It was Charles’ second one-sided combat sports victory in a week’s time. He previously delivered a first-round TKO in the amateur boxing ring. Jones suffered his first defeat since making the transition from basketball, which he played professionally in Europe after starring at Bangor’s Husson University.

One look at Friday’s official weigh-in suggested that the bout between Roger Ewer (251 pounds) and Dustin Freeman (220) might be the typical stand-up, slug-it-out heavyweight affair. Instead, it turned into a ground-and-pound showcase that was right in Ewer’s wheelhouse. C.J.’s older brother, making his debut in the NEF hexagon at 44 years of age, hammered out the advantage throughout and earned a TKO via unanswered strikes at 2:31 of the second stanza.

Nate Boucher improved to 2-0 with a first-round stoppage of Jeremiah Barkac, who was making his cage debut. Barkac gained an early advantage in the bantamweight bout with a barrage of strikes, but Boucher cleverly gained leverage with his legs and locked in a triangle choke.

Win or lose, Bangor’s Angela Young announced that her battle with Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga would be the final fight of her career. Borga (6-3) erased any hopes of a Hollywood ending with a decisive TKO at 2:16 of the opening round. Young (2-3), wife of Chris, had never gone less than the distance in any of her prior wins or losses.

In a mutual NEF and MMA debut, Zach Faulkner delighted his home crowd with a second-round victory over David Hart via rear naked choke. The end came at 1:42.

Jesse Hutchinson also enjoyed a triumphant debut in the amateur ranks. He stopped Anthony LaPointe at 2:43 of the first round in a welterweight skirmish.

NEF also announced that the promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 31: The Old Port,” will see the company make its long-awaited debut in Portland, Maine at the brand new, state-of-the-art venue Aura.  The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 3, 2017.  Tickets will go on sale this Wednesday, August 9 at

About New England Fights

New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.

FNU Combat Sports Show: UFC 214 breakdown, Nobody Likes Dana White, Tom and Tony break down Broner vs. Garcia and Lomachenko vs. Marriaga

This week’s combat sports show is a split personality situation. We had technical difficulties getting all of us together for the show, so we recorded Tom and Tony chatting with each other on Thursday night. I’ve added my portion today. It all worked out to some incredible insight about Mayweather vs. McGregor, Dana White’s growing problem with disgruntled stars in the UFC, Broner vs. Garcia and Lomachenko vs. Marriaga. We also break down Jon Jones beating Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 and the implications for a Brock Lesnar showdown in the Octagon. It’s far from likely, but it’s intriguing. We also touch on the retirements of Juan Manuel Marquez and Wladimir Klitschko.

Tom and Tony Talk Shop:

Rich Wraps it Up:



August 11th, 2017

559 Fights is proud to announce our events will now be streamed globally via paid subscription on FloCombat, starting with 559 Fights 58 on August 11 at Tower Theatre in Fresno.

Part of the FloSports Network, FloCombat is the authority for MMA and combat sports news, events, interviews, and more.August 11th FloCombat brings you live coverage of the 559 Fights fight 58. Catch all the action and become a PRO MEMBER TODAY!

559 Fights is one of California’s top amateur mixed martial arts promotions, promoting successful events across the state since 2012 and helping to launch the careers of several of California’s top fighters.

Along with a throwback heavyweight title between Leo Cantu (10-4-1, Kerman) and Josue Aispuro (3-1, Avenal), 559 Fights 58 includes two championship bouts.

Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champ Andrew Chatman (6-0, Fresno) moves down in weight to fight Joseph Gaceta (2-1, Ridgecrest) for the CAMO State Light-Heavyweight Championship. Yuni Valencia (4-2, Farmersville) and Emilio Horta (2-2, Ridgecrest) will clash for the 559 Fights Lightweight Championship.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the Tower Theatre Box Office or www.559fights.

VIP Tables and VIP Package info text or call 559-813-0307

M-1 Challenge 82 Weights & Pictures 

HELSINKI, Finland (August 4, 2017) – The official weigh in for tomorrow’s M-1 Challenge 82 event was held today in Helsinki. Official weights are below:
Mikhail Zayats (22-8-0, M-1: 12-5-0), Russia 205 lbs. (93 kg)
Marcus Vanttinen (24-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), Finland 202 ½ lbs. (92, 9 kg)

Aires Bendrouis (10-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Portugal 172 lbs. (78,2 kg)
Juho Valmaa (14-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland 169 ½ lbs. (77,1 kg)
Keith Johnson (12-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0), USA 169 ½ lbs. (77,1 kg)
Alexander Butenko (43-12-3, M-1: 9-2-1), Ukraine 169 lbs. (77,1 kg)
Michel Silva (18-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil 153 lbs. (69,6 kg)
Pavel Gordeev (7-1-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Russia 154 ½ lbs. (70,3 kg)

Vitali Branchuk (22-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), Ukraine 125 lbs. (56,7)Mikael “Hulk” Silander (16-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland 124 ½ (56,6 kg)

Heilton (Dos Santos) Davella (15-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil 134 ½ lbs. (61,1 kg)

Helton (Dos Santos) Davella (15-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil 134  ½ lbs. 61,1 (kg)
Janne Elonen-Kulmala (15-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland 135 lbs. (61,3 kg)
Toni Valtonen (27-15-0, M-1: 6-2-0), Finland 204 ½ lbs. (92,9 kg)
Boris Polezhay (16-6-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Ukraine 204 ½ lbs. (92,9 kg)
Ruslan Shamilov (2-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Russia 184 ½ lbs. (83,9 kg)
Moses Murrietta (5-0-0, M-1: 10-0), USA 184 ½ lbs. (83,9 kg)
Arnaud Kherfallah (3-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0), France 154 lbs. (70,1 kg)
Patrik Pietila (8-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland 154 ½ lbs. (70,2 kg)
Son Le Binh (5-2-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Sweden 124 ½ lbs. (56,6 kg)
Oleg Lichkovakha (7-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Russia 125 lbs. (56,7 kg)
Frederico “Muskito” Gutzwiller (2-2-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Switzerland 125 lbs. (56.7 kg)
Akaki Khorava (2-1-0), Georgia 125 lbs. (56,7)
Vladimor Nicheporenko, Ukraine 220 lbs. (100 kg)
Yuri Slobyanik, Russia 225 lbs. (102,2 kg)
WHEN:           Saturday, August 5, 2017
WHERE:         Helsinki, Finland
PROMOTER: M-1 Global
LIVE STREAM: (11.30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. in USA)

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M-1 Challenge 82: August 5, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland
This Saturday in Helsinki, Finland

Iron Boy MMA 7 Live on Pay-Per-View August 12 from Phoenix

PHOENIX (August 3, 2017) – The United States Southwest has been turning out top mixed-martial-arts fighters on a consistent basis for more than a decade. The next generation will be showcased Saturday night, August 12, on the Iron Boy MMA 7 card, airing live on pay-per-view from Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Iron Boy MMA 7” live in the United States, starting at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT, on cable, satellite and internet pay-per-view via DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH, in addition to being available worldwide on the FITE app and website (, for a suggested retail price of only $19.95.
“We are very excited to partner with Integrated Sports Media on Iron Boy MMA 7,” said Roberto Vargas, President of Iron Boy Promotions. “This card is the most talent-packed MMA card we’ve presented, and we can’t wait to share with the rest of the country what Arizona MMA fans have already experienced – explosive, quality fights from some of the best fighters in the country.”
Arizona and New Mexico have developed a bitter fighting rivalry over the past few years. The main event continues that trend as featherweight Randy Steinke (17-11-1, TB: 1-0-0), fighting out of Glendale, AZ, takes on Frank Baca (16-4-0, IB: 0-0-0), of Albuquerque, NM.
Randy Steinke

Frank Baca
The 31-year-old Steinke has been a professional MMA fighter for the 10 years, including fights in the World Series of Fighting, Combates America and King Of The Cage. Braca is a King of the Cage veteran who most recently fought in Bellator.
Mesa, Arizona featherweight “Rollin'” Noland Hyland (3-1-0, IB: 2-0-0) meets Idaho’s Anthony Pagliaro (3-5-0, IB: 0-0-0), while featherweight Roman “El Gallito” Salazar(10-6-0, TB: 0-0-0), of Queen Creek, AZ, faces Colombian invader Dumar “Coraon de Leon” Roa (11-6-0, TYB: 0-0-0).
Arizona featherweight Andres “The Punisher” Ponce (2-5-1, IB: 0-1-0) throws-down with Boostyare “Bullit” Nefarios (2-2-0, IB: 0-1-0), of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main card features several pro-debut fighters such as Arizona bantamweight Junior Cortez vs. New Mexico’s Fallon Ring. Arizona featherweight Daniel Peru (1-0-0, IB: 1-0-0) is matched against pro-debuting Brendon Trujillo, of New Mexico, while heavyweight Waldo Cortez makes his pro debut against fellow Arizonian Darrell “Superman” Denslow (0-1-0, IB: 0-0-0). Undefeated bantamweight Kevin “Quicksand” Natividad (3-0-0, IB: 0-0-0), of Tempe, AZ, puts his perfect record on the line versus Las Vegas’ Fard “The Messenger” Muhammad.
Six amateur MMA matches are scheduled to open the “Iron Boy MMA 7” card.
Tickets are priced at $55.00, $40.00 and $30.00 and available to purchase online or at the Celebrity Theatre box office.

Twitter: @IntegratedPPV, @ironboyboxing, @FiteTV



Matt Andrikut v Mike Hansen square off in MMA action from NEF 25.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rumford, Maine (August 3, 2017) – New Mike Hansen’s dreams of becoming a mixed martial arts (MMA) champion were admittedly premature. Then they were derailed for nearly a decade by a combination of injuries, service to his country and fatherhood.


The teenage ambition that made Hansen believe he could conquer the world, or at least his little corner of it, never went away, though.


Twenty-nine months after resurrecting his career with New England Fights, Rumford’s Hansen (5-5) finally gets that coveted title shot. He will battle hometown favorite C.J. Ewer (2-0) at “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” this Saturday, August 5 at Cross Insurance Center for the organization’s vacant middleweight title. The card starts at 7 p.m.

Hansen, who turned 32 on July 21, says the opportunity fulfills an early goal while living and fighting in Massachusetts back in 2005.


“I was 19 years old and thought I had a great head on my shoulders, so I called out the (World Fighting League) champion at the time, who was John “Doomsday” Howard,” Hansen said. “I said that I wanted that belt and that I was coming after him. Knowing what I know now, he probably would have whipped the (crap) out of me.”


Howard went on to compete at the highest level with Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) and is now a veteran of 37 journeys into the cage. Hansen’s career path had many more stops, starts and detours.


He started with six amateur wins out of the gate and won his initial professional foray with ease. The title fight will take place on the eve of the 12th anniversary of that pro debut.


“Being 19 years old, I was kind of cocky. I remember telling my dad nobody could compete with my wrestling,” Hansen said. “Back then, MMA hadn’t really evolved. The wrestler had the advantage over the jiu-jitsu guy. You could just hold a guy down and snuggle and hug and sweat out a win.”


After his first knockout loss, Hansen promised his father he would quit the sport. But he had already caught the fever, and his confidence was sky high.


Hansen was training for a bout at Laconia, New Hampshire’s bike week when he suffered a broken ankle two weeks before the weigh-in. He recovered and was in training for another fight when he was stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat in what could have been a fatal case of mistaken identity.


He remarkably walked out of the hospital a day later and soon embarked on a more structured path as a combat engineer in the United States Army. While enlisted, Hansen suffered a serious shoulder injury. Even after retirement, a return to the MMA cage seemed unlikely.


Then came a fateful call from an old friend and neighbor, NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson, and the rest is history. Hansen has carved out a reputation as one who will take on any opponent in any weight class at any time, and perhaps there is no greater example than the Ewer matchup.


“The belts are vacant at 170, 185 and 205 (pounds). I can make weight for all those if I have enough time,” Hansen said. “I guess Peterson thought it made sense to kill two birds with one stone and put me in with Ewer at 185. Six weeks ago is when they called me, and at first they asked me about 170. I really liked the fight, but the weight didn’t make sense. I was sitting on the couch at 248.”


Hansen has spent most of his time in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions.  He was glaringly outweighed in his last bout, a February loss to Ras Hylton.


Only once previously has he downsized to the middleweight threshold, a February 2016 loss to Zach Elkins. In the case of Ewer, who has done most of his work at 170, meeting in the middle might play to Hansen’s advantage.


“We’re two different styles of fighters. He’s coming up in weight and I’m coming down,” Hansen said. “He’s never been in the cage against anybody with my kind of power. When I’m hitting somebody at 200 pounds, I’m hitting them with the force of somebody who’s 245. My opponents have told me they’ve never been hit harder by a guy my size. I feel like it’s my fight to lose, as long as I don’t make any mistakes and go in there with the stamina I need to have.”


Hansen is confident against Ewer, who had a 5-2 amateur record with notable wins over Ricky Dexter and Crowsneck Boutin before turning pro. He knows better, however, than to underestimate any fighter out of the Young’s MMA stable.


“I feel like I’m the more talented fighter and that I have more tools in my tool box. But I know Young’s MMA is a great camp and that he trains with a lot of great guys,” Hansen said. “Chris (Young) finds a way to set you up to fight the fight you need to win. Look at the Pat Kelly fight (against Rafael Velado). They prepared to turn that into a kickboxing fight, and then he went out and did just that.”


Hansen has seen his name rise into the New England top-five conversation. Most of the fighters ahead of him have experience with larger promotions.


He said a win over Ewer could inspire him to travel and continuing to pursue the dream. That’s consistent with the personality he has shown through this second act of his career.


“I’ve been fighting the top-level guys in NEF for about the past two-and-a-half years,” Hansen said, “I always told Peterson to set me up with a guy who’s in the top 10 or just above me. I wanted to work my way up.”


From his days as a high school state wrestling champion at Mountain Valley High School, Hansen flaunted a distaste for winning that served him well.


In those days, he wore a T-shirt that read, ‘Nobody remembers second place,’ with four gold medals beneath it. Hansen’s attitude remains, but the mainstay of Berserker’s MMA out of the Greater Rumford Community Center noted that it is never only about himself.


“I want to win the title for all the people who have supported me and trained with me in Rumford. I also want it for my gym. We’ve done this three times in the amateurs and now we’re going to do it with a pro,” he said. “(GRCC is) just a little on-profit that helps people pursue their dreams. I’d love to hang that belt on the wall. It shows people in the community what we’re capable of here, and hopefully it gets them interested and grows the gym. That’s my goal.”


Tickets for “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” are available at  For more information on the fight card and event updates, please visit


About New England Fights

New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.





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HOUSTON, Texas – Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) CEO Ed Soares announced today that the promotion will crown a new middleweight champion in September when the promotion returns to Colorado.

The main event of LFA 22 will feature the top two middleweight prospects in the sport. Colorado’s own Ian “The Hurricane” Heinisch will face Brazilian dynamo and fellow undefeated prospect Markus “Maluko” Perez for the vacant LFA middleweight title. LFA 22 – Heinisch vs. Perez takes place Friday, September 8th at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“LFA will crown a new middleweight champion at LFA 22 in Colorado,” stated Soares. “Ian Heinisch and Markus Perez are the top two middleweight prospects in the sport. On September 8th, only one will walk away with their perfect record intact with the LFA middleweight title wrapped around their waist.”
Tickets for LFA 22 – Heinisch vs. Perez are available for purchase NOW at You can also support your favorite fighter by purchasing your tickets at
Heinisch (8-0) received plenty of fanfare when he signed with the LFA earlier this year. This was due to the fact that Heinisch is widely regarded as one of the top middleweight prospects in the world. The two-time Colorado state wrestling champion from Ponderosa High School lived up to media and fans’ lofty expectations, and then some, when he made his highly-anticipated LFA debut in the main event of LFA 10. Heinisch quickly dispatched the well-versed Brazilian powerhouse Lucas Rota in less than a round with a rare Ude-Garami (Keylock) from Kesa-Gatame (Scarf Hold). This positioned him at the front of the line for a title shot. The 29-year-old will now get the opportunity to fight for the vacant LFA middleweight title in front of his home crowd at LFA 22.
Perez (8-0) is perhaps the only middleweight prospect in the world that can match the intrigue surrounding Heinisch. This is due in large part to the fact that Perez has been just as dominant in his native Brazil as Heinisch has been stateside. The man known as “Maluko” will be making his highly-anticipated international MMA debut on the heels of back-to-back wins over UFC veterans Ildemar Alcântara and Paulo Thiago. Those wins saw Perez’s stock as a top prospect skyrocket as Alcântara and Thiago have a combined 20 fights in the UFC between the two of them. The 27-year-old is now eager to showcase his talents outside of Brazil for the first time. He will get that opportunity on September 8th when he fights for the vacant LFA middleweight title.
The co-main event of LFA 22 will feature the farewell fight of one of Colorado’s most beloved and accomplished fighters when Gilbert Smith gets his hands wrapped and throws down one last time in front of his adoring home crowd. The proud Coloradan has enjoyed an MMA career that has seen him reach the highest levels of the sport.
The U.S. Army veteran and Colorado Springs resident competed on two seasons of the UFC’s hit reality television series The Ultimate Fighter. Along with being a memorable cast member on TUF 17 and TUF 25, Smith competed for the UFC and Bellator, as well as both RFA and Legacy FC before the two promotions merged to form LFA at the beginning of the year. During his time with RFA, Smith won the welterweight world title.
The man standing across the Octagon from Smith at LFA 22 will be Andrew Kapel (11-6). Kapel is a longtime friend and teammate of  Benjamin Smith, who is the man that Gilbert Smith took the RFA title from two summers ago in the main event of RFA 26. Kapel, like Benjamin Smith, is a student of Greg Nelson at The Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will look to exact a bit of revenge in the same building where Gilbert Smith submitted Benjamin Smith. The budding grudge match in Gilbert’s farewell fight has one more layer. Kapel submitted Smith’s teammate Adam Stroup last month in less than a round.
In the always exciting women’s strawweight division, Maycee Barber (1-0) will return to the LFA Octagon against RFA vet and fellow top prospect Mallory Martin (1-1) at LFA 22. Barber burst on to the MMA scene in June with a dominant professional MMA debut at LFA 14. Barber submitted undefeated prospect Itzel Esquivel via armbar in the first round of a bout that took place in her opponent’s hometown. Now Barber will return to the LFA Octagon in her home state. She will face a fellow Coloradan prospect in Martin who is no stranger to the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield. It was in this same venue where Martin submitted the Gilbert Smith trained Melissa Parker via Rear Naked Choke at RFA 34. Now the table is set for a showdown between the top two strawweights in “The Centennial State” as the 19-year-old Barber faces the 23-year-old Martin on the main card of LFA 22.
Currently Announced Main Card (Televised on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT):
Main Event | Middleweight Title Bout (185 lb)
– Ian Heinisch (8-0) vs. Markus Perez (8-0)
Co-Main Event | Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
– Gilbert Smith (12-6) vs. Andrew Kapel (11-6)
Women’s Strawweight Bout (115 lb)
– Maycee Barber (1-0) vs. Mallory Martin (1-1)
In September 2016, RFA and Legacy FC officials announced that they would be merging to form the premier developmental organization in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) starting in January 2017. RFA and Legacy FC have launched the careers of over 100 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC.
LFA 22 will serve as the third LFA event to take place in the state of Colorado. RFA visited “The Centennial State” eight times before the merger. Further information about LFA 22 will be announced soon. The entire main card of LFA 22 will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
Please visit for bout updates and information. LFA is on Facebook at Legacy Fighting Alliance. LFA is also on Instagram at @LFAfighting and Twitter at @LFAfighting.