Category Archives: New England Fights

BELLATOR VET REPRESENTS BIG TEST FOR LACEY AT RUMBLE IN BANGOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (June 23, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Cross Insurance Center on Saturday night, August 5, 2017 with the fight promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor.”  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of a professional featherweight bout to the fight card.  Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (4-0) will take on Bryan Goldsby (18-15) at a fight weight of 145-pounds.

Goldsby will be the most experienced fighter Bangor-area prospect Aaron Lacey has ever faced in the cage.  He has four Bellator bouts under his belt and has faced national stars such as Will Campuzano (14-6) and Jeff Curran (36-17-1).  Goldsby made his NEF debut earlier this month, not in the MMA cage but in the boxing ring.  The August 5th bout will represent his return to the cage after more than a three year absence.

Lacey put on a “fight of the night” performance last year in Bangor in a brutal back-and-forth war against John Santos (3-5).  It was the only fight of Lacey’s pro career thus far to make it to the judges’ scorecards.  He has finished all three of his other opponents via first-round submission.  The fight with Goldsby will be Lacey’s first since last November.

“Fighting in Bangor last year was a dream come true, but it also showed me I have a lot to work on,” said Lacey. “I have been nonstop since then and have made giant improvements. Goldsby is a seasoned opponent who has fought at some of the highest levels the sport has to offer. This will be a big test for me and I’m looking forward to showing everyone just how dangerous I can be!”

“NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” will be held at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Tickets are on sale now at www.CrossInsuranceCenter.com.

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.

A NEW NEF BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION WILL BE CROWNED IN BANGOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (June 21, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Cross Insurance Center on Saturday night, August 5, 2017 with the fight promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor.”  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur championship bantamweight contest to the fight card.  Fred Lear (5-2) is scheduled to meet Walt Shea (2-0) for the vacant NEF MMA Amateur 135-pound championship.

A member of Young’s MMA based in Bangor, Lear is riding a two-fight win streak into the first hometown fight of his career.  In February of this year, Lear defeated Shea’s First Class MMA teammate Michael Crespo (3-3) with a second-round technical knockout.  He is a finisher, with all but one of Lear’s five victories coming by way of technical knockout or submission.  He is promising local fans a crowd-pleasing fight against Shea on August 5th.

“Walt Shea has shown tremendous poise and fortitude in his back-to-back wins,” proclaimed Lear.  “My job over the next eight weeks is to work hard, stay humble, and listen to my teammates and coaches who have carried me to this point in my career. This is an extraordinary opportunity and it is my responsibility to seize it. This isn’t about myself or an ammy title. This is about Bangor and delivering on the fight this town deserves.”

Walt Shea has been to the judges’ scorecards twice in his time with NEF, and twice Shea has emerged victorious.  He made his debut last September with a split decision win over Joel Downing (0-1).  Shea followed up that appearance with a unanimous decision over Alan Bustamante (0-1) earlier this year at “NEF 27.”  He is a member of First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine, as well as The Foundry in Farmington, Maine.

“It’s an honor to be fighting for the amateur 135-pound title at “NEF 30,'” said Shea. “Honestly, it’s hard to believe considering almost two years ago I was just an overweight fan watching my cousin Nick Shea compete in the cage. My opponent, Fred Lear, is a tough kid who comes from another tough gym in Young’s MMA and always brings a ton of energy into the cage, so be ready for a war of cardio and willpower from each of us. I’d like to thank my family for standing behind me in this adventure, along with my head coach at First Class MMA, John Raio, and all my other outstanding coaches and my talented teammates.”

“NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” will be held at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Tickets are on sale now at www.CrossInsuranceCenter.com.

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.

MILITARY VETERANS WILL VIE FOR PRO MMA TITLE IN BANGOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (June 20, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Cross Insurance Center on Saturday night, August 5, 2017 with the fight promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor.”  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of a professional championship middleweight contest to the fight card.  CJ Ewer (2-0) will take on Mike “The Mustache” Hansen (5-5) for the vacant NEF MMA Pro 185-pound championship.

CJ Ewer serves as a member of the United States Air Force security forces.  When not defending the nation overseas, Ewer trains at Young’s MMA in Bangor.  He is an accomplished wrestler, with two Maine state high school championships and a New England district championship to his credit.  Ewer wrestled under legendary coach Ted Reese while attending the University of Southern Maine (USM).  Upon joining the MMA circuit, he put together a 5-2 record as an amateur prior to turning pro.  Ewer’s last fight was one year ago to the day in Bangor at “NEF PresentsDana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”  He dropped Ruben Redman (0-1) with a highlight reel knockout that brought White and his web series co-stars to their feet at ringside.

“Mike is a tough-as-nails opponent, and I look forward to testing myself against him,” said Ewer of the upcoming title fight with Hansen.  “At the end of the fight, the most prepared fighter will win. Mike will not out work me in preparation, nor does he have training  partners that I have. I look forward to bringing the 185-pound belt back to Young’s MMA on August 5th.”

Mike Hansen, like CJ Ewer, proudly served his country.  Hansen was a combat engineer in the United States Army before retiring from the service.  Also like Ewer, Hansen comes from a wrestling background with a Maine state title earned during his time with Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine.  A founding member of team Berserkers MMA, Hansen has a reputation for taking on all comers.  He has never backed down from a challenge, sometimes battling behemoths two weight classes larger than himself.

“I’ve been working towards this moment for years now,” stated Hansen. “I busted into the Maine MMA scene just over two years ago and have been fighting top ranked fighters and the guys that everyone else runs from to prove that I can fight. CJ Ewer is a great competitor coming from the best camp in the state at Young’s MMA. I have nothing but respect for them up there, and I know he will come ready to fight. With that being said, I will be ready for war, and I’m coming home with the gold that night. He’s just another man locked in the cage with me, and anyone who has had that caged locked behind them across from me knows I’m not an easy win.”

“NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” will be held at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Tickets are on sale now at www.CrossInsuranceCenter.com.

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.

KELLY CAPTURES LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE AND JONES BREAKS KNOCKOUT RECORD IN LEWISTON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 18, 2017) – Ray “All Business” Wood returned to Maine with multiple Bellator Fighting Championships bouts under his belt, seeking a triumphant homecoming at “New England Fights 29: Stars & Stripes.”

The fighting pride of Bucksport simply ran into someone with more upper-level experience in the mixed martial arts cage. Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra put on a ground-and-pound clinic and scored a unanimous decision in the main event Saturday night at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Bezerra (20-5) looked every bit the part of a nine-time Bellator veteran, defying every attempt by Wood to gain a semblance of control during the 15-minute skirmish. Wood’s last-ditch attempts to lock in a choke and gain shoulder leverage went by the boards early in the third round, and Bezerra maintained top and side control until the final bell.

Two scorecards had Bezerra pitching a shutout at 30-27, while the third went his way at 29-28. Wood, a former NEF featherweight champion now living in Amarillo, Texas, and training out of Nick’s Fight Club, dipped to 8-4 as a professional with his third consecutive defeat.

History was made on two fronts in the amateur MMA portion of Saturday’s 12-fight card.

Pat Kelly (4-0), 52, of Rockport, became the oldest titleholder in NEF history, defeating Rafael Velado (4-1) by unanimous decision in a battle of unbeaten warriors to take Velado’s amateur lightweight belt.

Earlier in the evening, Josh Jones (2-0) delivered a vicious right hand to knock out Anthony Spires (0-3) in four seconds, shattering the organization’s previous mark for quickest stoppage.

Three encounters in the ring brought professional boxing back to the NEF stage for the first time since November 2016. Wins by undefeated Jason Quirk (6-0) and Casey Kramlich (8-0-1) and a no-contest in the bout between Russell “The Haitian Sensation” Lamour (15-2) and Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (1-0) gave Portland Boxing Club the upper hand.

Ras Hylton (2-0), Matt Denning (5-6) and Josh Parker (6-9) also prevailed in pro MMA. Kam Arnold (1-0), Jon Tefft (2-0) and Alex Walker (3-1) celebrated victory in the amateur hexagon.

Most observers expected the Kelly-Velado showdown to end up on the mat, given Kelly’s long career as a champion wrestler and coach and Velado’s black belt prowess in jiu-jitsu.

Kelly’s wisdom in staying on his feet allowed him to stay in control throughout. He landed resounding punches to punctuate each of the first two rounds. After his lone takedown in the third round, recognizing that he probably controlled the fight in the judges’ eyes, Kelly allowed Velado to get off the canvas.

It was the last in a series of the all the right moves for the man with the physique of a competitor in his 20s. Kelly prevailed by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28. In a tremendous act of sportsmanship, a smiling Velado wrapped the title belt around Kelly’s waist.

Jones rocked Spires’ world with a vicious hook, raising the former pro basketball player’s record to 2-0 with two early stoppages in his career with First Class MMA.

Hylton and Tefft gave First Class two more first-round victories.

“Rasquatch,” outweighed by almost 30 pounds, finished Oklahoma’s Eric Ramsey with a series of 10 unanswered bombs to stay unbeaten as a pro.

Tefft lost a pair of trunks in the process but gained his second amateur win against no defeats, earning what was officially a first-round TKO over Mike Williams of Lewiston’s Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Each man had a chance to end the fight early, but it was Tefft finishing the round with a reversal and a series of strikes. Williams (injured left shoulder) then failed to answer the bell for the second stanza.

Denning shut down Dominic Jones (1-1) with a standing rear naked choke at 2:05 of the first round for his second consecutive victory.

Parker absorbed a vicious kick to the back of his left leg from Andre Belcarris (0-2) in round two, but he dominated the first and third sessions to eke out a unanimous verdict.

Arnold was triumphant in his MMA debut, dropping Glenn Kasabian (1-3) to his knees and finishing with a resounding right-left combination for a TKO at 1:54 of the first round.

Walker (4-1) won her fourth consecutive bout in an eagerly anticipated women’s strawweight scrap with Sarah Ziehm (1-1). The New Hampshire native locked in an armbar late in the first round, resulting in a technical submission at the referee’s discretion with three seconds remaining.

The Lamour-Boyington bout was ballyhooed as Maine’s version of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, and Boyington’s unorthodox style gave the veteran Lamour some difficulty. The second round was stopped twice briefly, and finally halted for good after an accidental head butt sent a bloodied Boyington face-first to the deck.  Since it was too early to take the bout to the scorecards at that stage, the fight was ruled a no-contest.

Kramlich defeated Bellator MMA veteran Bryan Goldsby by third-round knockout. A right cross sent Goldsby to one knee, where he remained for the count of 10.

Quirk dispatched veteran Borngod Washington by second-round TKO.

“NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” will be held at Cross Insurance Center in Maine’s Queen City on Saturday. August 5. Tickets are available beginning Monday at ticketmaster.com.

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.

DIRIGO ALUM DALEY BALANCES WORK, FAMILY AND MMA CAGEFIGHTING

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 14, 2017) – Derek Daley believes that his mixed martial arts training gives him an edge in his career. He also recognizes that training with First Class MMA makes him a better mixed martial artist.

 

It’s a busy life for Daley, a law enforcement officer and father of a 6-year-old daughter, Ella. He will break away for a few frenzied moments on the night ofSaturday, June 17, when he returns to the New England Fights hexagon for the first time in a year.

 

Daley, 27, is one of seven fighters who will represent his Brunswick gym at “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes.” The opening bell is set for 7 p.m. at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

 

“I’ve improved in every area, and I’ve really improved my cardio,” Daley said. “My first fight I was worried about what might happen if I got to the third round.”

 

There was barely time to break a sweat. Daley, a two-time Maine high school wrestling champion at Dirigo High School in Dixfield who later played college football at Husson University, dispatched Johel Stephenson in only 55 seconds.

 

“We had a game plan to hit him with a straight jab to set him up for an overhead right, then get it down to the mat and finish it with ground-and-pound,” Daley said. “It actually went exactly as we planned it, which was great.”

 

This time, Daley (1-0) takes on the more seasoned Frank Johanson (2-2) of Lewiston’s Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a featherweight amateur scrap.

 

Daley joins Ras Hylton, Dominic Jones, Rafael Velado, Josh Jones, Jake Deppmeyer and Jon Tefft in the First Class contingent on the docket. He was lured to the training center and the MMA phenomenon by another local police officer with fighting in his blood, Nick Gulliver of Jay.

 

“I had been training jiu-jitsu at the Foundry in Farmington,” Daley said. “Nick said (MMA) would translate well to law enforcement, and he was right. Plus, John and Jody (Raio) are just great people.”

 

Raio’s experience on the high school and college wrestling mat has made him a natural mentor for Daley, who hit the 100-win plateau early in his junior year at Dirigo.

Daley won the 119-pound state title as a sophomore and backed it up as a senior at 135 pounds, not far from where he fights today at 145.

 

“Derek is a tremendous athlete and one of our best wrestlers,” Raio said. “He has a solid attitude and gives 100 percent every class and sparring session.”

 

It’s admittedly difficult for Daley to balance his competitive passion with his blossoming police career.

 

He began as an officer in Wilton. After moving to Richmond, he applied for work in three surrounding cities. Augusta was first to make him an offer.

 

“I’ve been there since November and it’s a perfect fit for me,” Daley said. “I have a great sergeant and a great team.”

 

Police work is a family tradition. Daley’s father, Hart, is Chief Deputy of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department.

 

It was not a case of a father wanting his son to fill his shoes.

 

“I majored in physical education,” Daley noted. “Dad said, ‘Be a teacher. Don’t go into law enforcement.’ But it’s one of those things that must be pretty stubborn in the family, because my brother and I both are police officers. The schedule is tough and unpredictable.”

 

First Class MMA helps Daley bring his commitments as cop and fighter under one roof. “It’s a great workout. I’m not really into traditional weight lifting. I mean, I did it when I played college football (Husson). This way I get a workout, but it doesn’t feel like I’m working,” he said. “It definitely makes me feel more comfortable if I ever have to get into a physical confrontation as an officer.”

 

Raio, now retired from the cage after a run as one of NEF’s most popular fighters in its infancy, understands the home vs. work vs. family balance. He is the father of two and was employed full time with the U.S. Postal Service when he got the itch to try combat sports once again.

 

Still, he is high on his pupil’s potential if Daley ever decides to focus fully on the cage.

 

“The sky is the limit for him in this sport. I can see him getting to the UFC or Bellator if that is the path he chooses,” Raio said. “He is an outstanding police officer and a great father as well. He puts his daughter first in everything he does.”

 

Daley returns the compliments, insisting that even if his foray into MMA winds up being a cup of coffee, he will continue to train at First Class for fitness purposes. He describes the atmosphere as a tight circle of friends and a brotherhood.

 

“It’s a great group of guys. There are no egos,” Daley said. “I was kind of worried about that when I first showed up. Was I going to be (a target) because I’m a police officer, or were there a bunch of guys all looking to be the alpha dog? But it’s quite the opposite. It’s like a big family. You’re punching a guy in the face, but you’re family.”

 

That goes double for his friendship with Gulliver, who is undefeated as an amateur heavyweight.

 

“I feel like a baby gorilla with its mom when I’m working out with Nick,” he quipped. “I think for him it’s enjoyment just to pound on me.”

 

It certainly reduces the stress when he gets the opportunity to pick on someone his own size at an NEF card, although Daley knows better than to take the veteran Johanson lightly.

 

The CMBJJ fighter enters on a two-fight winning streak, and he defeated First Class’ Deppmeyer in February.

 

“Frank is a tough opponent. I saw his fight against Jake,” Daley said. “He has a tough chin. He takes shots and just keeps coming forward.”

 

Even though he fought in front of thousands at the state wrestling showcase four times as a high school student, Daley is humble enough to acknowledge that an NEF show is a different animal.

 

“I was a complete nervous wreck, like almost to the point where I was ready to puke behind the curtain,” he said of his debut. “Then once I stepped in the cage, it went away and I just did what I had to do. I was able to shake off the rust a little bit.

 

“But it’s still different from wrestling. Back then I wasn’t getting punched in the face.”

 

The June 17 card features four professional MMA fights, four pro boxing matches, and seven amateur skirmishes in the cage. Tickets to “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” start at $25 and are available by calling (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or at www.thecolisee.com. For more information on the fight card, please visitwww.newenglandfights.com.

THE FIGHTING PRIDE OF BUCKSPORT RETURNS FOR ONE MORE BATTLE

Lewiston, Maine (June 13, 2017) – Ray “All Business” Wood has received his mail in Florida, Maine, South Carolina and Texas, to name just a few corners of the United States. He’s comfortable with a nomadic existence, especially when his highest goals are at stake.

 

The Pine Tree State is where Wood’s mixed martial arts dream evolved, however. And in any endeavor at any chapter of life, sometimes home is where you can go to recapture the magic.

 

That’s at least some of the inspiration for one of the most popular combatants in New England Fights history as he sets foot in that regional cage for the first time in 28 months.

Wood (8-3) will lock up with Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra (19-5) in a featherweight bout that promises nothing but fireworks at “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” onSaturday, June 17. The opening bell at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

“I’m coming off two losses, so it’s good to get back where it all started,” Wood said. “It’s a good time to rekindle the fire.”

 

No shortage of major factors have contributed to the hiccup in Wood’s winning ways. For starters, Wood, who turns 28 on June 6, has been juggling his career with life’s ultimate responsibility since last summer, when his wife, Tiana, gave birth to their first child, Liem.

 

It’s also worth noting that his two losses have come against undefeated fighters in the elite Bellator Fighting Championships. Wood tapped to a first-round choke at the hands of Adam Piccolotti (9-0) on May 14, 2016. After a brief stint to embrace the newfound challenges of fatherhood, Wood returned to the fray in December and dropped a unanimous decision to second-generation MMA prospect A.J. McKee, Jr. (8-0).

 

Wood is quick to point out that a busier life is no excuse for a change in performance. Rather, it empowers him with new purpose as he plies his non-traditional trade.

 

“It’s definitely been a lot of big changes. Now I have a kid. That changes everything,” he said. “That gives me a lot more to fight for. If I go out and perform, that provides more opportunities and gives me more to offer my family.”

 

The only other loss on Wood’s docket coincided with his most recent experience in Maine. Crafty veteran Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison (20-11) took the NEF featherweight belt via fifth-round submission.

 

Wood left Maine shortly thereafter for Gaffney, South Carolina. He now resides with his family in Amarillo, Texas.

 

“I wasn’t originally from Maine,” said Wood, who grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, before moving to Bucksport in seventh grade. “I kind of knew I wanted to leave and see what was out there.”

 

He took many pieces of Maine with him, though. Wood, a high school wrestler, found himself sorely missing that competition after graduation, so he took up jiu-jitsu.

 

Shortly thereafter, he heard that a gentleman named Chris Young was training MMA fighters at a home-based sweatshop in Bangor.

 

“He was holding workouts in his basement. This was before his gym (Young’s MMA) even started. It was a weird thing,” Wood recalled. “Looking back on it, who just shows up at somebody’s house, knocks on the door and says, ‘Hey, I hear you guys train MMA?” You just hope you have the right house.

 

“I love to compete, and I loved wrestling,” he added. “I knew when my wrestling days were over that I needed to find something to fill that void.”

 

Mixed martial arts provided that platform. Wood picked up three wins before stopping Ahsan Abdullah (7-8) on strikes at the inaugural NEF card in February 2012.

 

Wood emerged as a mainstay with the growing organization, culminating with his July 2013 victory in Bangor over Lenny Wheeler (9-6, 1 NC) for the vacant title.

 

“When I first started, I had no illusions of fighting professionally or anything like that. My passion found me,” Wood said. “NEF does a great job preparing guys. They’ve sent a bunch of guys on to fight at the next level. They keep fighters busy. I was able to win a title, and it certainly didn’t hurt my career. I’m glad I was able to fight for them early on.”

 

While he’s back under the familiar black banner, the competition remains at a world-class level. Bezerra, 29, is a nine-time Bellator veteran.

 

The Brazilian, now based out of Philadelphia, lost a decision to unbeaten Andre Harrison (16-0) in his last fight. Prior to that, he split two wars with UFC vet Levan Makashvili (14-2-1), and then won two quick stoppages.

 

“He’s got a lot of experience. He’s been in with the best of the best. He has a combination of toughness and skill,” Wood said. “He’s like me in that he likes to take the fight to you. We’re not going to be in there playing patty-cake.”

 

Ups and downs are the nature of even the most successful MMA careers. Wood has learned not to let the recent losses leave him awestruck by the caliber of opponents at the next level.

 

“You have to stay true to your training, You have to remember why you fell in love with the sport in the first place,” he said. “A fight is a fight, no matter where it takes place or who is watching. You just have to pay attention to what you know.”

 

The time between his past two birthdays has been a period of learning in both Wood’s personal and professional lives.

 

As the new father discussed his upcoming return to New England via phone, his infant son was audible in the background.

 

“He’s 10 months old. It’s crazy how quickly that time goes,” Wood said. “He’s a little bit feisty. I can kind of tell he’s going to be an athlete.”

 

Wood’s return headlines a card that tentatively features four professional MMA fights, four pro boxing matches, and seven amateur skirmishes in the cage.

 

Tickets to “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” start at $25 and are available by calling (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or at www.thecolisee.com.

 

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.

AGE IS NOTHING BUT A NUMBER IN LEWISTON TITLE FIGHT

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 12, 2017) – There are wink-and-nudge undertones when 38-year-old Rafael Velado declares “I’m the young guy, for once” as he contemplates his New England Fights amateur lightweight title defense on Saturday, June 17. Then again, he is, by nearly a decade-and-a-half.

 

It’s a disservice to label hall of fame competitor and coach Pat Kelly a sentimental favorite in his quest to win the 155-pound strap. Yet the 52-year-old assuredly is, as evidenced by at least one internet poll that shows him as the clear people’s choice to win the fight.

 

Velado vs. Kelly is a bundle of contradictions, an intriguing mix of styles, perhaps even a pairing that defies logic. It’s certainly a spotlight neither man would have predicted for himself five years ago. It’s also a clash of undefeated warriors that promises to rock the house at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

 

“You can buy a ticket for this fight, but I truly believe you’re only going to need the edge of your seat,” Kelly, an amateur wrestling legend from the Camden-Rockport region. “I think we’re going to light the place up.”

 

“Everybody seems excited, and wouldn’t that be a cool story? If I end up saying later on, ‘I fought a guy when he was 52, and he beat my butt,’ the moral of the story is don’t ever count anybody out,” Velado said.

 

Just to clarify, Velado (4-0) doesn’t expect that to happen. A black belt in jiu-jitsu fighting out of First Class MMA of Brunswick, he looks to extend his winning streak over fighters from Young’s MMA of Bangor.

 

Velado claimed the vacant crown with a first-round demolition of Jimmy Jackson last September. Prior to that, Mike Peitersen took Velado the distance in his toughest test to date.

 

“It makes sense from a record standpoint, but I’ve fought four times since the last time Pat did, and two of those were against his training partners,” Velado said. “If you look at strength of opposition, I don’t know that it’s that close. I’m not saying that means it won’t be a good match. I just don’t think it’s very comparable. But we all know the MMA magic can happen.”

 

Due to lengthy rehabilitation from a knee injury, Kelly (3-0) hasn’t fought since June 15, 2015 at “NEF 18: Made in America,” when he won by technical knockout over Steve Bang Sr. He beat Bang’s son and namesake in the same manner and also defeated Frank Dellasala in his debut, which came at welterweight.

 

The champion wrestler (University of Maine) and coach (Camden Hills High School, where he mentored now-UFC star Tim Boetsch) weighed in at over 200 pounds before he began the three-hour round trip to and from Bangor, four times each week.

 

“I’m an amateur’s amateur,” Kelly said. “I got into this four years ago to stay in shape, make contacts, make new friends and enjoy the experience. When they asked me if I’d like to try getting in the cage, it was, ‘Yeah, I’ll give that a shot.’

 

Kelly said he was welcomed with open arms, then “beaten to a pulp,” by the likes of Bruce Boyington, Ryan Sanders and Aaron Lacey – all accomplished pro fighters from the Bangor gym.

 

It wasn’t long, predictably, before he fell in love with the concepts of competition and self-discipline all over again.

 

“There’s a bold truth to this sport,” Kelly said. “It’s one-on-one, locked in a cage with the other guy, and what are you going to do to survive? I love that feeling.”

 

Conventional wisdom dictates that the fight will go to the ground quickly. Then it’s a case of which fighter can assert his will and expertise.

 

Velado doesn’t lack for training partners who test his mettle every day. Six of them are scheduled to appear in the same cage at NEF 29. First Class owner John Raio also mirrors Kelly in terms of size and decorated wrestling background.

 

“Pat and I have been in (combat sports) a long time. We’ve both won against some excellent people and some not-so-excellent people,” Velado said. “The road to winning against me, a guy has to be better in two disciplines and also have a better game plan.”

 

Interesting choice of words, when you consider Kelly’s admission that he is more inclined to fly by the seat of his pants.

 

“My coaches talk about a game plan, but I don’t know if I’m a game plan kind of guy. I go right back to how I know to survive. That’s the warrior in me,” Kelly said. “What you have are two guys who are not going to give up. I think that’s part of the interest. That’s what makes it a good fight.

 

“Raf is experienced,” he continued. “He’s undefeated. He’s the champion. I’m the old guy coming in and trying to knock him off. There are a number of parallels that make this a fascinating fight.”

 

The combatants’ thoughtful words in separate interviews even followed the same wavelength.

 

Velado graciously said he understands the fans’ desire to see Kelly keep turning back time, extend his own record as the oldest winner in NEF history and add the distinction of oldest champion to that list.

 

“I actually am a fan of Pat,” Velado said. “The MMA fan in me is rooting for him. I’d like to see him have whatever level of success is just short of winning. Mentally it wouldn’t wreck me if I lost the fight.”

 

Likewise, Kelly is prepared for the possibility that the outcome won’t go his way.

“I don’t ever train to lose, but often times winning comes in unique ways,” he said.

If his four children perceive the merits of his commitment to MMA as more than a midlife crisis, Kelly believes he has already won the greatest battle of all.

 

“Yes, of course you want to win, but I also want them to see that when you have a personal goal, you can’t just say you want it. You have to go get it,” he said. “When I spend all that time driving back and forth, whether I’m talking to myself to thinking or listening to music, most of the time when I’m chasing this thing, I’m on my own. And I know my kids and students can see that.”

 

The June 17 card tentatively features four professional MMA fights, four pro boxing matches, and seven amateur skirmishes in the cage. Tickets to “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” start at $25 and are available by calling (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or at thecolisee.com.

 

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.

 

DREAM MATCHES, BELLATOR VETERANS & TITLE FIGHTS TOP NEF 29 FIGHT CARD

Lewiston, Maine (June 1, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on June 17 with a fight card featuring both mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts.  Earlier today, the promotion announced the full fight card for the event.  The fight card is subject to approval of the Combat Sports Authority of Maine (CSAM).  The boxing portion of the card will begin at 7 pm EDT with the MMA card to immediately follow.

 

In a highly-anticipated “Superfight,” Maine MMA star Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (14-9 MMA, 1-0 boxing) will take on Maine’s premier boxer Russell “The Haitian Sensation” Lamour, Jr. (15-2, 7 KOs) in a six-round boxing bout.  The fight will be a dream match for fans who never expected to see each sports’ top in-state athletes face one another.  Boyington and Lamour have both been featured in nationally-televised bouts on NBC and ESPN in recent years.  Lamour is the former New England Middleweight Champion, while Boyington held the NEF MMA Lightweight Title until relinquishing it last year to sign with the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) global promotion.

 

“Bruce and Russell are at the top of their respective games,” noted NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson.  “Russell is a great boxer, and he’s going to face a superb striker in the form of Taekwondo black belt Bruce Boyington.  This is a true dream match for Maine fight fans.”

 

The professional MMA portion of the fight card will feature the long-awaited return of former NEF MMA Featherweight Champion Ray “All Business” Wood (8-3) as he faces Brazilian prospect Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra (19-5).  Wood left Maine more than two years ago to re-settle in South Carolina and then Texas.  Both Wood and Bezerra are veterans of the Bellator cage with a dozen fights between them for the national promotion.

 

“When you consider both sides, this is probably the highest-level fight to ever take place in NEF,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  “This fight could easily be slid into any UFC card on FS1 or Fox and steal the show.  Either one of these athletes could get the call up after this fight.  Our fans are about to see something special.”

 

The amateur MMA card will be headlined by a title fight with Rafael “Deez Nuts” Velado (4-0) defending the amateur lightweight championship against Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Famer Pat Kelly(3-0).  At age 52, Kelly will be the oldest fighter to ever challenge for an NEF title.

 

In addition to the fights, legendary boxer James “Buster” Douglas (38-6-1, 25 KOs) will make an appearance at “NEF 29” as the guest of honor.  Douglas will hold an hour-long meet-and-greet with fans at the Colisee from 6 pm to 7 pm prior to the opening bell.  Longtime fans will remember Douglas as the architect of the greatest upset in professional sports history with his knockout of “Iron” Mike Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) in 1990 to claim the world heavyweight title.  Douglas halted the 37-fight undefeated streak that opened Tyson’s pro career.

 

The full “NEF 29” fight card (subject to change and approval of CSAM):

 

PROFESSIONAL BOXING

200 Crowsneck Boutin (Independent) vs. Cristiano Pedro (Cugno)

168 Jason Quirk (PBC) vs. Borngod Washington (Meekins)

160 Russell Lamour (PBC) vs. Bruce Boyington (Boyington’s TKD)

154 Casey Kramlich (PBC) vs. Bryan Goldsby (Jorge Gurgle)

 

PROFESSIONAL MMA

265 Ras Hylton (First Class/Dragon Fire) vs. Eric Ramsey (Trinity)

145 Alexandre Bezerra (Daddis) vs. Ray Wood (Nick’s)

145 Dominic Jones (First Class) vs. Matt Denning (CMBJJ)

145 Andre Belcarris (NE Assassins) vs. Josh Parker (Ruthless)

 

AMATEUR MMA

155*TITLE Rafael Velado (First Class) (c) vs. Pat Kelly (Young’s)

185  Mike Williams (CMBJJ) vs. John Tefft (First Class)

185 Anthony Spires (Independent) vs. Josh Jones (First Class)

150 Jacob Deppmeyer (First Class) vs. Ben Harrington(CMBJJ)

145 Derek Daley (First Class) vs. Frank Johanson (CMBJJ)

140 Glenn Kasabian (Nostos) vs. Kam Arnold (CMBJJ)

115 Alex Walker (Kaze) vs. Sarah Ziehm (CMBJJ)

 

 

New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES,” on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at www.TheColisee.com.  The event will be broadcast live on the FloCombat app on Roku and Apple TV and streamed live at www.FloCombat.com.

 

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.

MAINE GETS ITS OWN VERSION OF MCGREGOR-MAYWEATHER WITH JUNE 17 SUPERFIGHT

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (May 19, 2017) – It was once rare for two athletes from different combat sports disciplines to compete against one another.  In 1963, legendary catch wrestler and judo practitioner Gene Lebell took on journeyman boxer Milo Savage in a match credited as the grandfather of modern mixed-martial-arts (MMA).  Later, in 1976, boxing world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali faced Japanese wrestler and martial artist Antonio Inoki in an exhibition bout in Tokyo broadcast globally on closed-circuit television, a precursor to pay-per-view.

 

Recent years have seen more and more MMA fighters and boxers transition between the two sports.  For some time now, rumors have swirled over a potential meeting of boxing mega-star Floyd Mayweather and reigning UFC lightweight kingpin Conor McGregor.  Should the bout happen, it will undoubtedly be one of the highest-ever grossing matchups financially.  And while both sides work out the details for that contest, Maine fight fans will get their own superfight on Saturday, June 17 in Lewiston when Russell “The Haitian Sensation” Lamour, Jr. (15-2, 7 KOs – boxing record) meets Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (14-9 – MMA record) in a six-round middleweight boxing match.  It will be the boxing headliner of a hybrid MMA and boxing event presented by New England Fights (NEF) at the venerable Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

 

It is not that boxers and MMA fighters have never met each other in Maine in the past.  They do often in NEF, which promotes both sports.  What makes this a “superfight” is the status of each athlete in the state.  Indeed, Lamour and Boyington are to the current local fight scene what Mayweather and McGregor are to the global scene.  They are both mega-stars in-state, each with his own army of loyal fans.

 

“With all the talk of McGregor versus Mayweather, it’s an interesting match,” said Lamour’s coach and head of the Portland Boxing Club Bob Russo.  “One of the best middleweights in New England in boxing versus one of the best lightweights in New England in MMA . I was pleasantly  surprised when we were called out by Boyington. We had been offered a few different opponents that we agreed to and I guess they had second thoughts. Then we got the call that this challenge was on the table.  This is something that will create a real buzz among boxing and MMA fans.”

 

Lamour is the face of present-day professional boxing in Maine.  He won more than 100 amateur bouts and is an eight-time regional Golden Gloves champion, a five-time New England regional champion and a Bronze Medalist in the 2009 USA Boxing championships among numerous other accomplishments.  Lamour competed in the semi-pro World Series of Boxing where he was ranked number-one in the North American middleweight conference.  As a professional, Lamour has been outstanding.  He captured the New England Middleweight Title in 2014.  Lamour has competed on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights boxing series before a national audience.

 

“I will fight anyone that ends up in front of me,” said Lamour.  “I respect the MMA fighters, they are all tough guys, but to challenge in the boxing ring is a major mistake.  I’ll be in great shape and ready.  He better be too!”

 

Bruce Boyington, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), is no stranger to the boxing ring.  He won his professional boxing debut in 2014 on an NEF card.  Boyington is a world-class striker.  He is a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, an eight-time Maine state champion and a two-time national champion with countless tournament championships and medals to his credit in the traditional martial art.

 

It is Boyington’s success in the MMA cage, however, for which he is most well known.  His flashy striking and knockout prowess earned him a reputation as the “human highlight-reel” of NEF.  He captured the NEF MMA Pro Lightweight Title in 2014 and defended it successfully three times before relinquishing the belt to sign with the global World Series of Fighting (WSOF) promotion in 2016.

 

Since signing with WSOF, Boyington has fought on some of the largest stages the world has to offer, including Madison Square Garden in New York City on the undercard of an event broadcast nationally on NBC.  He has traveled as far as Russia to fight for major international promotion Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB).  With WSOF taking some time to regroup under new ownership as the “Professional Fighters League,” Boyington was looking to stay active while awaiting his next national bout.  The opportunity to fight in front of his many hometown fans one more time was irresistible.

 

“Boxing is his game, but I’ve had 25 professional fights and over 100 Taekwondo fights in my time,” said Boyington.  “I’m excited and honored to share the ring with the best boxing has to offer.  The only thing I’m ever after is a challenge, and I have one in Russell. It’s exciting to compete back home where it all essentially began for me with NEF, so I thank Matt (Peterson, NEF co-owner) and Nick (DiSalvo, NEF co-owner) for the opportunity and to Russell – let’s dance baby!”

 

New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES,” on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online atwww.TheColisee.com.

 

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.

THE FIGHTING FIREMAN WILL MAKE NEF DEBUT ON JUNE 17

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (May 16, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday, June 17, 2017with the fight promotion’s next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES.”  The event will feature a full slate of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of a professional boxing bout to the fight card.  Jason “The Fighting Fireman” Quirk returns to the ring against Borngod Washington in a four-round super middleweight bout.

 

The fight will represent the first appearance for Quirk in the NEF boxing ring.  After a stellar amateur career, Quirk turned pro in late 2014.  He has been perfect (5-0, 3 KOs) over the course of his pro career thus far.  When Quirk steps into the ring onJune 17, it will have been more than a year-and-a-half since his last fight, and he is looking forward to competing once again.  He trains out of the Portland Boxing Club (PBC) and works as a firefighter with the Portland Fire Department – Local 740 IAFF.  Quirk also served his country for four years as a member of the Coast Guard.

 

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and getting to work,” said Quirk immediately following a training session at PBC.  “We’ve had a good camp so far, and I’m training hard for this fight. I’m grateful for NEF considering me for this card and I’m ready to put on a show.”

 

Borngod Washington is about as seasoned of a veteran as one will find in the boxing world.  The native of Queens, New York has fought in the pro ranks since 2007.  Washington’s career highlight came in 2011 when he scored a fourth-round TKO victory over Ricky Dawson (4-1, 1 KO), brother of former light-heavyweight champion of the world Chad Dawson (34-5, 19 KOs).  Washington also took current light-heavyweight contender Sean Monaghan (28-0, 17 KOs) the distance in a four-round bout, losing a majority decision on the judges’ scorecards.  He currently trains with John Wesley Meekins (25-5-2, 17 KOs) in New York.  Meekins challenged Meldrick Taylor (38-8-1, 20 KOs) for the IBF Junior Welterweight Title in 1989.

 

“I’m excited to come to Maine and fight with my new trainer John Wesley Meekins in my corner,” said Washington.  “I’m returning to form and ready to go, and I thank NEF for the opportunity to fight in Maine.  I’ve got people from different areas coming to see the fight, and I know I’ll be ready”.

 

New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES,” on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online atwww.TheColisee.com.

 

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.