Tag Archives: amateur MMA

IT’S NORTH AGAINST SOUTH IN NEW ENGLAND TURF WAR AT NEF 28

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (March 14, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) presents its next mixed-martial-arts event “NEF 28: INVINCIBLE” on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional catchweight bout to the card.  Ricky Dexter (1-0) will face Keenan Raymond (3-3) at a fight weight of 160-pounds.

After a successful amateur career that saw him claim the NEF MMA Amateur Welterweight Title, Ricky Dexter made his pro debut last month at “NEF 27.”  He was able to drop Matt Denning in the first round with a vicious body shot that had thousands in the Colisee cringing.  The Bangor, Maine native will make his first appearance as a member of Young’s MMA at “NEF 28,” having previously fought under the banner of Team Irish.

“Keenan Raymond is coming to my home turf, and I’m going to show him how tough we are up North,” said Dexter.  “I’m new to the pro ranks, but I’ve got the work ethic of a seasoned vet. I’ve got the strength of a middle weight and the cardio like the Diaz brothers and I’m always looking for the finish. Hungry for April 29th!”

Representing Southern New England will be Providence, Rhode Island’s Keenan Raymond.  A longtime competitor on the New England MMA scene, Raymond will look to work off some cage rust as he has not fought since January 2016.  He is by no means a one-dimensional fighter.  Raymond has displayed a solid foundation in both striking and mat work throughout his career with finishes coming by way of knockout as well as submission.  He currently trains at Ricardo Cavalcanti Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mayo Quanchi Judo and Wrestling.

“I’m sure Ricky’s a game opponent, but I can promise he’s never faced a force like me,” said Raymond. “I’m healthy and my versatility will finish this fight one way or another.”

New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 28: INVINCIBLE,” on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at www.TheColisee.com.

For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website atwww.NewEnglandFights.com.  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA/, follow the promotion on Twitter and Instagram @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, regulatory affairs and advertising.

COMBATE AMERICAS HITS BURBANK, CALIFORNIA ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16; LIVE ON AZTECA AMERICA AND UFC FIGHT PASS®

ATOMWEIGHT MAIN EVENT:
KYRA BATARA VS VANESA RICO FERNANDEZ

Featherweight Co-Main Event:
Erick Sanchez vs. Andres “The Bullet” Quintana

Plus:
Erick “Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez vs. Danny “The Realist” Ramirez

Jose “Froggy” Estrada vs. George Hernandez

Tickets for “Combate11” on sale now
NEW YORK – January 25, 2017 – Combate Americas today announced the main event – a women’s atomweight (105 pounds) showdown between Kyra “Mogwai” Batara (5-4) and eight-time Spanish national Judo champion Vanesa Rico Fernandez (2-2) – as well as three additional bouts for the league’s 11th live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, which takes place at Burbank Events Center in Burbank, Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 16, and airs live on Azteca America (10 p.m. ET/PT) and UFC FIGHT PASS® (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

The event will also air via tape delay in Mexico the following night, Friday, Jan. 20 at 11 p.m. CT., on TV Azteca, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: AZTECA; Latibex: XTZA), one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world.

Priced from $45, tickets for the event – “Combate11” – can be purchased online at ItsMySeat.com.

In the featherweight (145 pounds) co-main event between two of the sport’s fastest rising stars, Urijah Faber-protégé Erick Sanchez (7-2) will collide with Combate Americas newcomer Andres “The Bullet” Quintana (9-2).

Elsewhere on the live telecast, fellow knockout artists Erick “The Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez (5-1) and Danny “The Realist” Ramirez (5-2) will face off in a lightweight (155 pounds) attraction, while unbeaten, heavy-handed Jose “Froggy” Estrada (2-0) will take on submission artist George “Furious” Hernandez (4-3), also at lightweight.

Additional bouts for “Combate11”, including a flyweight (125 pounds) matchup featuring Heinrich “Ricky Scraps” Wassmer (4-1) of Los Angeles, Calif., will be announced soon.

Kyra Batara vs. Vanesa Rico Fernandez

The 4-foot-11, 22-year-old Batara of Las Vegas, Nev. has been unstoppable in La Jaula, the Combate Americas cage, winning all three of her matchups, including a second round (4:13) TKO of Jenny “The Phoenix” Silverio that Batara produced in an unprecedented manner – a ground and pound assault with Silverio locked in a “twister,” the patented submission move created by Batara’s famed mentor, Eddie Bravo.

Making her U.S. debut, Rico Fernandez (2-2) of Alicante, Spain holds a second-degree black belt in Judo and is a 13-year member of the Spanish national Judo team and former national freestyle wrestling champion.  Her two professional MMA career victories to date both came by way of submission.

Erick Sanchez vs. Andres Quintana

The 5-foot-10, 26-year-old Sanchez of Sacramento, Calif. is an explosive finisher who will enter La Jaula for the third time in his career, on a three-fight winning streak.

The Team Alpha Male member has put away all three of his last opponents by way of (T)KO or submission, including his last adversary – Mike Segura – whom Sanchez forced to tap out from a rear-naked choke just 50 seconds into their meeting at Combate Americas last April 18.

Fighting out of Roswell, N.M., the 6-foot-, 25-year-old Quintana is another devastating force who has earned all but one of his nine professional career wins by way of (T)KO.

Quintana will attempt to bounce back from his only loss in nearly five years – a first round (2:10) TKO (body kick and punches) at the hands of Adrian Diaz, on May 19.

Erick Gonzalez vs. Danny Ramirez

The 5-foot-10, 25-year-old Gonzalez of Torrance, Calif. will risk a three-fight win streak, including two consecutive victories under the promotion of Combate Americas.

Gonzalez has notched four of his five professional wins to date via (T)KO.  In his last start, he handed Cuban upstart Yoandy Carrillo his first career defeat by way of TKO (punches) in the second round (3:13) of battle.

A native of Los Angeles and former U.S. Marine, the 5-foot-9, 27-year-old Ramirez fights out of Sacramento and, like his opponent, has claimed victory in all but one of his five conquests, via (T)KO.

The hard-hitting Ramirez scored a third round (1:02) TKO (punches) on Chuck Seang in his last appearance on August 27.

Jose Estrada vs. George Hernandez

In less than one year as a professional, the 5-foot-6, 26-year-old Estrada, known best to his fans as “Froggy,” has already earned the reputation of a brutal puncher, scoring first-round knockout wins in each of his two starts, both of which took place in La Jaula.

The Fillmore, Calif. resident made a mark in his professional debut, putting Jonathan Quiroz flat on his back with a single punch in just under two minutes.

The 5-foot-10, 35-year-old Hernandez of Santa Rosa, Calif. will seek his first win under the Combate Americas banner, and attempt to stop a three-fight skid.

After turning professional just two years ago at age 33, Hernandez cruised to victory in his first four bouts, defeating three of his opponents by way of submission and the fourth by way of TKO.

UFC FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service which gives fans access to exclusive live UFC events and fights, exclusive live MMA and combat sports events from around the world, exclusive original and behind the scenes content and unprecedented 24-7 access to the world’s largest fight library.

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Amateur MMA at The Visalia Convention Center

559 Fights Ruiz vs. Elizondo is back at The Visalia Convention Center for 559 Fights Saturday, Jan. 21! Doors open at 6, first fight is at 7. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased at the Visalia Convention Center or www.559fights.com

VIP Info – text or call 559-813-0307

Official Fight Card – Camo MMA

559 Fights 53 is brought to you by Swanson Fahrney Ford!

559 Fights Amateur Promotion of The Year from FU News!

In case you missed all the action…
Watch the new 559 Fights #53 Promo Video
Check out the 559 Fights #52 Highlight video
559 FIGHTS #52 Andrew Chatman VS Aaron Mathis
Watch Andrew Chatman in action against Aaron Mathis at 559 Fights #52 Main Event!
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Get your 559 Swag from our Facebook Store! Perfect for past fighters looking to commemorate your career with 559!

The 5th Quarter in Visalia will be the Official Weighin location for fight 53!

The 5th Quarter in Visalia will also be the place to be for what will be an epic After Party immediately following Fight 53!

Russia dominates 2016 World MMA Championship Sweeps all 7 weight classes

 

Team Russia celebrates its victory with (center) Fedor Emelianenko
(photo gallery of new champions below)
MONTE CARLO, Monaco (December 1, 2016)- Team Russia parlayed its recent European Championship domination into a repeat performance at this past weekend’s World MMA Championship, by sweeping all seven weight classes in Studio City, Macau, China.
Close to 100 fighters competed, representing 23 countries including Russia, Kazakhstan, Spain, Australia, Belgian, China, Colombia, France, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Tajikistan, Germany, Hungary, Macao, Nepal, India, South Korea, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei and Italy.
Russian middleweight Gamzat Hiramagomedov and light heavyweight Magomed Ankalayev are repeat world champions.
In team scoring, Asian team champion Kazakhstan won two Silver and four Bronze medals, Ukraine two Silver and two Bronze, Czech Republic one Silver and two Bronze, Chinas one Silver and two Bronze, Kyrgyzstan two Bronze, and one Bronze for France, India, Spain and Moldova.
“I would like to thank each athlete of our National MMA Team, our coaches, doctors and all the Russian MMA Union employees,” said MMA living legend Fedor Emelianenko, WMMAA honorary president and president of the Russian MMA Union. “The fighters had a long way, put in a lot of effort, and made it to the top. Despite an ever-growing competition level, our athletes achieved 100-percent of the set goals thanks to a great training camp, fight strategy and their spirit.
“We are proud to have two-time world champions in Magomed Ankalayev and Gamzat Hiramagomedov.  It’s a pleasure to follow the fighters’ personal evolution from fight to fight. The world champions will receive their accolades of Sports Master of International Level.”
Here’s a breakdown of results from each weight class:
BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION: -61.2 kg (135 lbs.)
1. Omar Nurmagomedov (Russia)
2. Artur Mykytenko (Czech Republic)
3. Mirat Bekishev (Kazakhstan)
3. Chun Bo Yuan (China)
FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION: -65.8 kg (145 lbs.)
1. Kurban Taigibov (Russia)
2. Elnur Veliev (Ukraine)
3. Uulu Mustafa Rakhmatilla (Kyrgyzstan)
3. Roman Molodij (France)
LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION: -70.3 kg (154 lbs.)
1. Murad Ramazanov (Russia)
2. Sheng Liu (China)
3. Altynbek Bakhtygeldinov (Kazakhstan)
3. Leos Brichta (Czech Republic)
WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION: -77.1 kg (170 lbs.)
1. Alibeg Rasulov (Russia)
2. Goyta Dazaev (Kazakhstan)
3. Syed Abdul Nazzeur Ibrahim (India)
3. Uulu Tologon Rakhmanberdi (Kyrgyzstan)
MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION: -84 kg (185 lbs.)
1. Gamzat Khiramagomedov (Russia)
2. Idris Gezalov (Ukraine)
3. Murad Abdurahmanov (Kazakhstan)
3. Rong Fan (China)
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION: -93 kg (205 lbs.)
1. Magomed Ankalaev (Russia)
2. Robert Lau (Germany)
3. Erkinbek Inzhel (Kazakhstan)
3. Darwin Rodriguez (Spain)
HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION: +93 kg (+205 lbs.)
1. Amirkhan Isagadzhiev (Russia)
2. Alimzhan Suleimanov (Kazakhstan)
3. Viktor Pavlichek (Czech Republic)
3. Nicolae Scorohod (Moldova)
 
 
World bantamweight champion Omar Nurmagomedov
World featherweight champion Kurban Taigibov
World lightweight champion Murad Ramazanov
World welterweight champion Alibeg Rasulov
World middleweight champion Gamzat Khiramagomedov
World light heavyweight champion Magomed Ankalaev
World heavyweight champion Amirkhan Isagadzhiev
INFORMATION:
Twitter:  @theWMMAA
Instagram: @worldmmaa
ABOUT WMMAA:  The goal of the World MMA Association is to provide unbiased structure and guardrail the growth of MMA as the official world governing body for Mixed Martial Arts.  A non-profit organization founded in 2012, WMMAA is on a mission to develop a standardized and regulated organization, including competition, training, officiating, testing and growth when necessary.  More than 50 countries have been granted WMMAA membership.

HEAVYWEIGHTS WILL BATTLE FOR SUPREMACY ON NOVEMBER 4 IN LEWISTON

Lewiston, Maine (September 27, 2016) – OnFriday, November 4, 2016 at the historic Androscoggin Bank Colisee, New England Fights (NEF) and Classic Entertainment & Sports (CES) will team up for a joint super-show featuring the stars of New England’s two most prestigious mixed-martial-arts promotions.

 

The televised portion of the fight card, “CES 39,” will air live on AXS TV.  Earlier today, NEF executives announced the first fight scheduled for the non-televised portion of the card, “NEF 26.”  Maine heavyweights Ras Hylton (2-0) and Kevin Smith (3-2) will collide in a battle of two of the region’s largest mixed-martial-artists.

 

Standing in at a towering 6’6,” and holding a black belt in Taekwondo, undefeated Ras Hylton, has become a quick fan-favorite during his short time in NEF.  “Ras-squath,” as he has become known amongst his many fans, made his NEF cage debut in February of this year, downing Zak Bergeron (0-1) just over a minute into the first round of their “NEF 21” bout.  Hylton would follow up that performance with a highlight-reel head-kick knockout of Matt Glover (1-1) which will undoubtedly be in the running for “KO of the Year” honors.  He is currently a member of First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine.

 

“I am looking forward to fighting Kevin Smith November 4th,” said Hylton when reached for comment.  “Young’s puts out great fighters and I’m sure he will live up to their reputation.  The more wins you get, the tougher your opponents are.  He will be my strongest challenge in the cage so far.”

 

It has been over two years since Kevin Smith stepped into an MMA cage to compete.  Prior to that time, Smith had been undefeated on NEF events.  All three of his victories with the promotion were finishes – two by way of submission and one knockout.  Like Hylton, Smith has never had to rely on the judges’ scorecards.  He is a member of Young’s MMA of Bangor, Maine.  During his time off from active cage competition, Smith took stock of his life goals and decided to make a career of mixed-martial-arts.

 

“I knew deep down that fighting is what I was made to do, and I won’t be happy doing a regular job,” shared Smith, “so I put everything aside to focus on this full time and my ultimate goal is to make it to the big show and fight in Bellator or the UFC.”

 

Tickets for “CES vs. NEF: Supremacy” start at $25 and are available now  atwww.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009, extension 525.

 

For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visitwww.CESMMA.com and www.NewEnglandFights.com.

VELADO CAPTURES GOLD, HALL RETAINS AT NEF 25

Lewiston, Maine (September 10, 2016) – New England Fights (NEF) held its most-recent event, “NEF 25: HEROES & VILLAINS” Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  The event featured both mixed-martial-arts and professional boxing bouts.

 

On the boxing portion of the card, John Webster (9-7-1) defeated Zenon Herrera (0-3) via unanimous decision on the eve of Webster’s 48th birthday.  Webster’s last boxing victory came back in 2004, also in Lewiston, prior to his taking off a decade from active competition.

 

Also in the boxing ring, Casey Kramlich (5-0-1) remained undefeated as he stopped John Ortolani (0-1) in the fourth round via technical knockout.  Likewise, Brandon Montella (5-0) kept his pro record perfect with a second-round stoppage of Tollison Lewis (2-2).

 

Rachael Joyce (2-0) won a unanimous decision over Jessica Borga (2-2) in a highly-anticipated women’s amateur bout.  Rafael Velado (4-0) captured the amateur lightweight title with a first-round submission of Jimmy Jackson (3-3).  Caleb Hall (8-3) retained the amateur featherweight title, and in doing so handed bantamweight champion Johnny Crafts (4-1) the first loss of his career, in a very close split decision on the judges’ scorecards.

 

Aaron Lacey (3-0) kept his unbeaten streak alive with a first-round submission of Cory Trial (0-1) on the professional MMA portion of the card.  Mike Hansen (5-4) handed Matt Andrikut (2-1) the first loss of his career in the co-main event, while Jesse Erickson (8-5) submitted Crowsneck Boutin (2-3) in the main event of the evening.

 

NEF also announced that it would co-promote its next event with Classic Entertainment & Sports (CES).  The two largest fight promotions in New England will present a joint card titled “Supremacy” on November 4 in Lewiston at the Colisee.

 

The results from Lewiston, Maine:

PROFESSIONAL MMA

 

Jesse Erickson def. Crowsneck Boutin via rear-naked choke, round 1

Mike Hansen def. Matt Andrikut via armbar, round 1

Taylor Trahan def. Matt Denning via armbar, round 1

Aaron Lacey def. Cory Trial via rear-naked choke, round 1

Walter Smith-Cotito def. Elias Leland via D’arce Choke, round 2

 

AMATEUR MMA

 

Caleb Hall (c) def. Johnny Crafts via split decision (145 Title)

Rafael Velado def. Jimmy Jackson via Kimura, round 1 (155 Title)

Frank Johanson def. Caleb Swoveland via armbar, round 1

Rachael Joyce def. Jessica Borga via unanimous decision

Walt Shea def. The Slenderman via unanimous decision

 

PROFESSIONAL BOXING

Casey Kramlich def. John Ortolani via TKO, round 4

Brandon Montella def. Tollison Lewis via TKO, round 2

John Webster def. Zenon Herrera via unanimous decision

 

NEF and CES present “SUPREMACY,” a night of mixed-martial-arts cagefights, on November 4, 2016 in Lewiston, Maine. Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009, extension 525.

GLOVER VACATES; A NEW LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION TO BE CROWNED AT NEF 25

It was a bitterly cold night in Lewiston last February when Ryan Glover (3-1) won the New England Fights (NEF) mixed-martial-arts (MMA) amateur light-heavyweight title.  The months to come would see Glover accept a new job that would take him up and down the East Coast.  With little time to train to defend the title, and in the interest of doing right by the division, Glover recently made the difficult decision to relinquish the championship.

 

NEF executives were quick to act.  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced that Victor Irwin (2-0) would meet Nick Shea (2-0) to fill the vacancy.  The two undefeated athletes are scheduled to face-off to determine a new light-heavyweight champion at “NEF 25: HEROES & VILLAINS” onSeptember 10, 2016 in Lewiston.

 

Irwin was a standout wrestler at Brewer High School in Brewer, Maine at 195-pounds where he was a Class-A state champion.  His love for the sport is so strong that when Irwin attended Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) and learned the school did not have a wrestling program, he created one himself.  As a college freshman in 2014 Irwin went to Nationals and achieved All-American status.  He currently trains out of Young’s MMA in Bangor, Maine.

 

“I’ve thought a lot about this fight and I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what I say,” said Irwin, “it matters what I do, and come September 10thyou’re gonna see some serious doing.”

 

2015 was a great start to the MMA career of Nick Shea.  In February of that year, he won his debut fight over the much more experienced Jacob Cameron (1-5) via first-round technical knockout.  Later in the year, Shea would go on to defeat Ruben Redman (0-1) by decision in a hard-fought contest.  It would earn Shea a nomination for the “Rookie of the Year” in the 2015 NEF Year-End Awards.  On September 10 in Lewiston, Shea will attempt to become the first member of the First Class MMA fight team to capture gold in the NEF cage.

 

“It’s an honor to fight someone from Young’s MMA,” said Shea.  “I believe this will be my biggest test in the cage to date.  I’m grateful and excited to compete for the amateur light heavyweight title.  Victor and I will put on an exciting fight on Saturday, September 10th!”

 

New England Fights’ next event, “NEF 25: HEROES & VILLAINS,” takes place on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets start at just $25 and are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisée box office at 207.783.2009 x 525.  Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event.

 

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.”

 

Help us Pack the Mack!

It’s that time again! Our entirely FREE show is on Saturday, June 25th at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.  Tickets can be printed at UNLVTickets.com or picked up from any MMA gym or promotional partner in Las Vegas.

Doors open at 5:30pm with the first fight starting at 6:00pm.  Seating is open and first come, first served so get there early! All ages welcome.

 

Who will be the next Future Star of MMA?
Come to the show and find out!

COMBAT SPORTS GIVE BEZANSON DIRECTION AFTER FAMILY TRAGEDY

Lewiston, Maine (June 13, 2016) – Combat sports gave Mike Bezanson (1-0) direction. They also helped him cultivate the relationship with his father that he always coveted but could never seem to grasp.

Now, on the eve of Father’s Day, less than a week past the four-year anniversary of his dad’s untimely death, Bezanson is poised to take another step in the career that was their shared dream.

Bezanson, 21, of Lancaster, N.H., returns to the New England Fights hexagon to take on Shawn Bang (1-1) of Auburn, Maine, in a welterweight bout at “NEF 24: Promised Land.” Their amateur bout is one of the many attractions on theSaturday, June 18 card at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

“I think this fight is going to be good for me, because I’ll be able to show my skills against an opponent with more in-cage experience than I have,” Bezanson said. “Also, the fact that June 18 is the day before Father’s Day makes this a sentimental and emotional fight for me.”

The encore comes almost a year to the day after Bezanson stopped Jeff Dustin (0-1) by technical knockout via strikes in his mixed martial arts debut on June 13, 2015. Bang has split his first two verdicts in the NEF cage.

Bezanson’s showboating, stick-and-move style drew mixed reviews from the large crowd that witnessed his rookie effort. Some booed the relative lack of action, perhaps suspecting that Bezanson was toying with an overmatched opponent.

It was all part of his plan to relish the moment and take advantage of the opportunity.

“Truthfully we had a game plan to get experience,” Bezanson said. “If I have any thoughts of going pro, I need to get as much experience as I can. If you go in there and knock a guy out in 10 seconds, don’t get me wrong, you got a knockout and that’s great, but you’re not learning what it takes to get comfortable on the other side of that 10 seconds. You don’t know how much energy you’re going to need.”

Bezanson never lacked energy, or personality, from childhood. He describes himself as a young man who never got into any serious trouble, and never experimented with drugs or other disorderly conduct, but one who freely challenged authority.

He gravitated to the boxing ring as a freshman in high school. It gave him direction. It also provided a foundation for the on-again, off-again relationship with his father, Jamie.

“Before I took up boxing, my dad wasn’t really involved much in my life. He would come and go, you know, for personal reasons,” Bezanson said. “When I started boxing, we got really close. Boxing and racing were his things. He would tell anybody and everybody that I was boxing and how proud he was, and that meant a lot to me.”

Jamie Bezanson never had the chance to watch his son develop as a fighter. On June 15, 2012, during annual “Bike Week” in Laconia, his motorcycle crossed the center line and struck another vehicle.

The elder Bezanson succumbed to his injuries. He was 37.

“I lost it for a while. I stopped boxing. Mentally, I was just in a very emotional place,” Bezanson said. “Then right next to my house, Kaze Dojo opened up. I said, ‘That’s something I could do.’”

Bezanson began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Greg Williams. He proved himself a natural talent, winning the gold medal in his debut at the Vermont Open.

Then came the natural progression to MMA, where his stand-up skills proved too difficult for Dustin to defend. Bezanson commanded the cage with the poise and surgical precision of a veteran.

“I’m a pretty confident guy all around. I really wasn’t that nervous. I figure why be scared if you’re prepared and you’ve put in all that training?” he said. “Ninety percent of fights are lost before you even get into the cage. If you let the emotions get to you, you’re not going to perform to the best of your ability.”

Bezanson suffered a catastrophic knee injury in training shortly thereafter. He has spent most of the past year recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus.

Once he returned to the gym, Bezanson spent much of his time focused on his evolving ground game. It should be tested royally by Bang, a former high school wrestler from a renowned regional fighting family.

“Striking is definitely one of my strengths. I’m a lanky dude, and I try to use that to my full advantage,” Bezanson said. “But I’ve worked really hard on my ground game in training. I didn’t really get a chance to show it in my first fight, but I know I will this time.”

Bezanson sees his second foray into the cage as the true beginning of what he hopes will be a prolific career.

In addition to the many fans who will make the four-hour round trip from the North Country to watch him, Bezanson knows he will have one special set of eyes in his corner.

“Boxing taught me a lot of discipline. MMA is the same thing. People can use it however they want, but that’s what it does for me,” he said. “It’s something I like to do and something that I know makes my father proud all at the same time.”

The opening bell on June 18 is set for 7 p.m. The current docket includes five pro boxing fights, three pro MMA bouts and eight amateur MMA skirmishes. Tickets for “NEF 24: Promised Land” start at $25 and are available atwww.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009, extension 525.

For more information on the events 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 DOCTOR IS IN; BANG RETURNS TO NEF MMA CAGE

Lewiston, Maine (June 2, 2016) – At most New England Fights (NEF) events, Steve Bang, Sr. (1-1) would be on the other side of the cage either watching one of his sons do battle or acting as the cageside physician.  On June 18, 2016, however, as he has done twice in the past, Bang will enter the mixed-martial-arts cage (MMA) in Lewiston as a competitor.  The 46 year-old bariatric surgeon from Auburn, Maine will take on 48 year-old Stacy Lupo (0-0) in an amateur MMA lightweight bout at “NEF 24: PROMISED LAND.”

 

“I love competition and how it drives us to improve and become a more perfect version of ourselves,” said Dr. Bang.  “It has been a year since I have battled in the cage.  This past year has been filled with the accomplishment of personal milestones and athletic goals with many more yet to be realized.  Amidst all of this chaos, the stars have once again aligned to give me the opportunity to reenter the battle arena where the stakes of competition, for me, are highest.”

 

A native of Riverton, Wyoming, Dr. Bang graduated from Brigham Young University in 1994 and then from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1998.  Coming from the medical field, he is well aware of the risks he takes every time he enters the cage.

 

“Just days after turning 47, I will face a warrior intent upon bodily harm and yet I find myself incredibly blessed and thankful for the health and privilege to do so,” Dr. Bang continued.  “I bring the health of mind, body and spirit beyond what is required to just be a participant.  I have checked all of the boxes that give me the tools required to be a victorious warrior at any age.”

 

Dr. Bang currently trains alongside his sons at Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ).  Steve Bang, Jr. (1-1), Skyler Bang (0-0), Shawn Bang (1-1) and foster son Conner Murphy (1-0) will join their father in cage competition at “NEF 24.”

 

“I am passionate about my training, and take advantage of every metric available to quantify and qualify that training.  By every metric, I am at my peak performance levels.  I am in the best shape of my life,  better than I have ever been. One day that trend will indeed head south, but today is not that day.  I do not take this health and privilege for granted.  Every moment of life and every opportunity we are given is a gift and I plan to take full advantage of it as if it were my last.”

 

Dr. Bang’s opponent, at “NEF 24,” Stacy Lupo, while making his debut in the MMA cage, is a longtime veteran of combat sports.  Lupo currently trains out of the Shatterproof Combat Club in Dexter, Maine, but he has been a martial artist for an amazing 32 years.  He holds black belts in both Taekwondo and Shotokan karate.  He was an accomplished wrestler in high school, placing in states his senior year.  For more than a decade, Lupo ran his own martial arts academy before closing shop to concentrate on raising his family.  In the 1980s and 1990s, Lupo competed in amateur boxing and kickboxing.  His last kickboxing bout saw him win a unanimous decision over Don Labbe in the main event of a 1995 card in Lewiston.

 

“I don’t know Steve personally, but like me, he is an old man in a young man’s sport, so I give him his due and my respect,” said Lupo.  “As the saying goes, ‘be wary of old men in a world where men die young.’  I want to thank him for giving me the chance to compete in a sport I’ve always loved – so, thank you Steven Bang, I look forward to our meeting.”

 

“I do not know my opponent personally, but I respect anyone willing to do what it takes to get to the cage door,” said Bang in closing.  “That next single step across the threshold commands another whole level of respect.  As with the warriors of old, we will battle with the same intensity to maim, kill or disable until compelled to mercy by the referee.  Then we will have a bond that cannot be understood, nor shared, by anyone who has never been there.”

 

NEF returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine on June 18, 2016 with “NEF 24: PROMISED LAND.”  Tickets for “NEF 24” start at just $25 and are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisée box office at 207.783.2009 x 525.

 

For more information on the events 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.