UNCASVILLE, Conn. (Oct. 23, 2015) – Rafael Carvalho (12-1) won the title that was vacated by Brandon Halsey (9-1) after missing weight in his last appearance, finishing the former undefeated fighter during an enthralling middleweight encounter in the main event of ”Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho.”
Carvalho had the belt wrapped around his waist by Bellator MMA President Scott Coker after sending Halsey to the mat in a heap, with a perfectly placed liver kick in front of a packed house at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
“I want to thank my team for everything,” Carvalho said after the win. “I have believed in myself from the beginning and I knew this time would come.”
The 29-year-old Brazilian fighter was an exorbitant underdog heading into the matchup, but as the saying goes, that’s why they fight. The next time Carvalho enters an arena, his banner will now hang from the rafters.
Ward Stops Olson to the Delight of Partisan Crowd
Much like the last time Brennan Ward (12-3) competed in his homestate of Connecticut, “Irish” caught Dennis Olson (14-10) with a right hand that sent“The Menace” to the mat, where Ward quickly pounced and forced the hand of referee John McCarthy. The finish came at 4:37 of the opening round.
Olson proved to be tough enough to withstand multiple flurries from Ward, even landing an upkick that seemed to hurt Ward when he tried to score a finish early. But Ward refused to let up, making sure he sent his friends and family home with a smile on their faces.
“I’m a hometown guy. Dennis and I talked a lot of stuff before the fight, but it was a battle in there. I have nothing but respect for him. He’s tough as hell. He almost knocked me out off his back with an elbow.
“I love this arena and my hometown fans, I was just trying to be patient, but he’s tough on the ground. My coach and dad told me that if I’m patient and land the right hand then the rest would be history.” Ward said. “[Andrey] Koreshkov is a tough dude, if I’m next in line then hopefully we can bang out.”
There are plenty of matchups that make sense for a striker the caliber of Ward, Bellator MMA fans will need to keep close tabs as 2016 quickly approaches.
Yamauchi Equals Featherweight Submission Record
The Bellator MMA debut of Isao Kobayashi (17-3) didn’t go as planned at “Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho,” as Goiti Yamauchi (19-2) finished the Japanese fighter with a rear-naked choke submission at 3:50 of the final frame.
With the win, Yamauchi tied former Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion Pat Curran, Daniel Straus, Alexandre Bezerra and Marlon Sandro for most submissions (15) in 145-pound history.
After the contest, the 22-year-old had some pointed words for current featherweight champion Patricio Freire.
“It feels great to get the victory, Kobayashi is a tough opponent. I feel my performance was good. We trained hard to improve my technique and I had a big performance today,” Yamauchi said. “Patricio, I know you will beat Daniel Straus. Accept my fight afterwards. I will be the next champion.”
”Venom” Showcases Ground Game in Opening Round Finish
In the opening main card bout at “Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho,” Michael Page (9-0) remained undefeated after finishing Charlie Ontiveros (6-4) with vicious elbows at 3:20 in the first round.
Previously, “Venom” has usually showcased his striking while standing upright, but on Friday, Page quickly took dominant position on the mat against his opponent and dropped perfectly placed elbows to the jaw of Ontiveros, forcing the Bellator MMA newcomer to verbally submit.
“I know I can finish anyone. I know I don’t have to prove anything. I hope he’s okay, I’m sorry I finished it like that, but you know I like to impress people,” Page said following the fight. “It’s down to Bellator and my coaches as to what happens next, but whoever they put in front of me the same thing is going to happen.”
With the win, Page has now finished eight of his nine wins as a professional in the opening round, a trend that the 28-year-old hopes to parlay into a title shot sooner rather than later.
Preliminary Card Results:
Kemran Lachinov (1-1) def. Ilya Kotau (1-0) via submission (Kneebar) 2:57, R2
Damien Trites (7-6) def. Keenan Raymond (2-2) via submission (Kimura) 1:17, R2
Kin Moy (8-2) def. Walter Smith-Cotito (3-4) via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 3:53, R3
Billy Giovanella (9-4) def. Brandon Polcare (1-1) via submission (Triangle Choke) 2:19, R1
Matt Bessette (16-7) def. Kevin Roddy (15-16) via submission (heel hook) 3:47, R1
Kevin Haley (4-3) def. Mike Zichelle (7-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Matt Secor (7-2) def. Jeremie Holloway (7-1) via submission (heel hook) 4:54, R2
Marius Enache (3-3) def. Pete Rogers Jr. (3-2) via submission (Americana) 2:37, R2
Sam Watford (1-0) def. TJ Hepburn (4-2) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lewiston, Maine (October 23, 2015) – New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its next event, “NEF XX: A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE” on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. The event will feature a first for Maine – mixed-martial-arts (MMA) bouts and professional boxing bouts on the same event with an MMA cage and a boxing ring set up side-by-side. Earlier today, the promotion announced the full fight card for the event.
The professional boxing portion of the card will be headlined by Northeast Junior Welterweight Champion Brandon “The Cannon” Berry (9-1) in an eight-round bout against former Mexican Pacific Coast Super Featherweight Champion Roberto “El Viejo” Valenzuela (73-69-2, 56 KOs). Berry triumphantly returned to action last summer after suffering a severe shoulder injury in a November 2014 bout.
A very hungry Josh Parker (0-1) returns to the ring to face Elias “Danger Mouse” Leland (0-0) in a four-rounder. Parker and Leland are well known to NEF fans as regulars on the promotion’s MMA events. Parker is the founder and head coach of Ruthless MMA & Boxing in Benton, Maine. Leland is a member of Jay Jack and Amanda Buckner’s Academy of MMA in Portland, Maine.
In addition, Ernesto Ornelas (0-0), a professional MMA fighter from the Choi Institute in Portland, returns to his boxing roots in his pro ring debut against Brandon Ali Garvin (0-4). Ornelas was a multiple time Golden Gloves champion as an amateur boxer in his native state of California.
Middleweights Tollison Lewis (1-0) and Zenon “Ka’Bar” Herrera (0-0) will round out the boxing card. Lewis won his pro boxing debut in the first NEF boxing event in October 2014 over veteran John Webster (8-7-1), while Herrera, an experienced MMA fighter and kickboxer, is a nine-year veteran of the US military, having completed numerous tours of the Middle East where he saw combat in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq.
On the professional MMA portion of the fight card, Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (11-8) will defend the NEF MMA Professional Lightweight Title in a five-round bout against the challenge of Jimmy “Jimbo Slice” Davidson (7-1). Boyington is coming off a huge win last weekend against Rodrigo Almeida (12-3) on the undercard of a World Series of Fighting (WSOF) nationally-televised event. The challenger Davidson is no stranger to gold, having captured other MMA titles in the New England region. He represents world-renown Muay Thai team Sityodtong.
In one of the most highly anticipated MMA fights in New England history, former NEF MMA Professional Featherweight Champion Ray “All Business” Wood (6-1) takes on Vovka “KGB” Clay (3-0). Recognized as two of the most promising prospects in the area, Wood and Clay are both predicted by pundits to be future candidates for the major leagues of the sport.
Crowsneck Boutin (1-1) will look to rebound from his first professional loss last month when he meets Matt Bordonaro (2-0). The bout will be a rematch from their amateur days when Bordonaro defeated Boutin by submission at “NEF IX” in Biddeford, Maine. It will also be Boutin’s debut in the 170-pound welterweight division.
Two title bouts will headline the amateur MMA portion of the “NEF XX” fight card. Dustin Veinott (4-3) defends the NEF MMA Amateur Flyweight Title against Ryan Burgess (1-0), while Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (5-1) does battle with Caleb Horner (6-2) to crown an inaugural NEF MMA Amateur Featherweight Champion. A women’s strawweight fight will feature Randi Beth Boyington (1-1) facing Erin “Fun Size” Lamonte (3-0).
“This card has something for everyone,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “You like MMA? We got it. You like boxing? We got it. You like the heavyweights? We got ’em. You like women’s fights? We got ’em. This is like the Super Bowl of NEF events. This is the one event you simply cannot afford to miss.”
Promotion executives further announced that the “NEF XX” event will be dedicated to the memory of NEF staff member Susan Isham, 47, who lost her life in a tragic car accident last weekend in Bethel, Maine. Susan had worked backstage for the promotion beginning in 2013, handling check-ins at the backdoor of the Colisée. She was a beloved mother and grandmother, known for her hard work ethic and charming, upbeat personality. Susan was involved in many causes in the Bethel community.
“We’re all still in shock at Susan’s sudden passing last Friday,” said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “She was a valued member of the NEF team, a good friend, and a kind, charitable person. She will be missed by all who knew her. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time. ‘NEF XX’ will be proudly dedicated to her memory.”
The “NEF XX” fight card (subject to change and approval of the Combat Sports Authority of Maine):
140 Brandon Berry 9-1 (West Forks) vs Roberto Valenzuela 73-69-2 (Romanza Gym)
155 Tollison Lewis 1-0 (CMBJJ) vs Zenon Herrera 0-0 (Independent)
140 Josh Parker 0-1 (Ruthless MMA & Boxing) vs Elias Leland 0-0 (AMMA)
118 Ernesto Ornelas 0-0 (Choi Institute) vs Brandon Ali Garvin 0-4 (Frazier’s)
155*TITLE Bruce Boyington 10-8 (c) (Boyington’s TKD) vs Jimmy Davidson 7-1 (Sityodtong)
205 Matt Andrikut 1-0 (Conviction MMA) vs Jesse Baughman 0-0 (Team Link)
170 Crowsneck Boutin 1-1 (Choi Institute) vs Matt Bordonaro 2-0 (Victory MMA)
150 Jon Lemke 4-3 (Team Irish) vs Matt Denning 2-0 (CMBJJ)
145 Ray Wood 5-1 (Young’s MMA) vs Vovka Clay 3-0 (Boston BJJ NH)
145 Derek Shorey 3-2 (Shatterproof Combat Club) vs Damon Owens 2-0 (Young’s MMA)
125 Kevin Barrett 0-0 (Young’s MMA) vs James Alexander 1-10 (F2 Arena)
145 *TITLE Aaron Lacey 5-1 (Young’s MMA) vs Caleb Horner 6-2 (F2 Arena)
125 *TITLE Dustin Veinott 4-3 (c) (CMBJJ) vs Ryan Burgess 1-0 (Berserkers MMA)
265 Bryce Bamford 0-0 (First Class MMA) vs Bryce Locke 0-0 (Independent)
200 Jacob Cameron 1-5 (Independent) vs Victor Irwin 0-0 (Young’s MMA)
225 Joe Krech 0-0 (Independent) vs Mike Williams 0-0 (CMBJJ)
185 Ruben Redman 1-3 (Mass Effect MMA) vs Caleb Farrington 2-0 (Team NEU)
185 Dominique Bailey 0-1 (Independent) vs Anthony Spires 0-0 (Independent)
175 Caleb Swoveland 0-0 (Ruthless MMA & Boxing) vs TBD
155 Ricky Dexter 3-2 (Team Irish) vs Steve Bang 3-3 (CMBJJ)
155 Rafael Velado 1-0 (First Class MMA) vs Ken Dunn 0-2 (Maine Kyokushin Karate)
155 CJ Ewer 4-2 (Young’s MMA) vs Jason Lachance 2-2 (MMA Athletix)
155 Matt Hanning 1-1 (Independent) vs Levi Sewall 0-0 (Young’s MMA)
145 Caleb Hall 5-3 (Choi Institute) vs Matt Tamayo 0-0 (F2 Arena)
140 David Thompson 0-1 (Shatterproof Combat Club) vs Pierce Wiegman 0-0 (First Class MMA)
125 Justin Witham 0-3 (Shatterproof Combat Club) vs Brent Ouellette 0-0 (CMBJJ)
115 Erin LaMonte 3-0 (Gracie Fitness) vs Randi Beth Boyington 1-1 (Boyington’s TKD)
New England Fights’ next event, “NEF XX: A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE,” takes place on November 21, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. The event will mark the first time in Maine history a mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event and a professional boxing event have taken place together on the same show. Tickets for “NEF XX” start at just $25 and are on sale now atwww.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisée box office at 207.783.2009 x 525. For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”
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.