Bangor, Maine (August 6, 2017) –There was no place like home Saturday night for C.J. Ewer, Ryan Sanders and Fred Lear of Young’s MMA in Bangor.
Fighting in front of a sold-out ballroom a stone’s throw from their training headquarters, the three fighters atop the card at “NEF 30” Rumble in Bangor” all posted impressive victories at Cross Insurance Center.
Ewer defeated Mike “The Mustache” Hansen by submission at 1:46 of the first round to capture the vacant NEF pro middleweight title. Lear landed the NEF amateur bantamweight belt, while Sanders tightened his grip on New England’s pro lightweight scene in a non-title triumph.
It was the second consecutive August sellout in the Queen City, a tradition that began with “NEF Presents Dana White: Lookin’ For a Fight” last summer.
After his hard-fought win over the much-traveled Jay Ellis, NEF pro lightweight champion Sanders, ranked No. 1 in the region, kept his comments short and sweet while calling out the aforementioned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president.
“You took the wrong guy last year,” Sanders said. “Come get me now.”
Sanders (15-8) didn’t have an easy road against Ellis, a veteran of more than 80 pro bouts. Ellis had Sanders under control for most of the fight but left himself vulnerable to a triangle choke at 2:34 of the first round.
Ewer dispatched Hansen with a similarly swift maneuver.
“It’s a great feeling to win it in front of the home crowd,” Ewer said. “As hard as we worked (in training camp), I didn’t think anything could stop me.”
The sudden ending spoiled Hansen’s hopes of winning a title for the first time in his 13-year mixed martial arts career.
“This was by far the best training camp I ever had. We were just getting warmed up,” Hansen said. “I had a lot more to give, and I’m sure C.J. had a lot of more to give. But hey, we could do it again.”
Lear highlighted the amateur portion of the card with an authoritative second-round knockout of Walt Shea.
Only the bell saved Shea from Lear’s onslaught at the end of the opening chapter. Lear gained the advantage with a kick to the head midway through that round. After nearly locking in an arm bar that could have ended the fight, Lear bloodied the previously unbeaten Shea with a series of strikes.
The end appeared inevitable when Shea needed Lear’s help to find his corner between rounds, and another interrupted attack hastened the finish only 14 seconds later.
An emotional Lear lauded his coach, Chris Young of Young’s MMA, before fastening the belt around the teacher’s waist.
“A lot of people around here know his name, but they don’t know the man,” Lear said. “He’s the first guy in the gym in the morning and the last one to leave at night. He’s the reason we’re all here. He’s the reason we’re successful. He’s the reason some of us aren’t in jail.”
In the first two fights of Josh Jones’ amateur MMA career, Jones dispatched his opponents by one-punch knockout in a total of 24 seconds. It took Carlton Charles one fewer tick of the clock to take out Jones in the stunning conclusion to a touted tangle of former star collegiate athletes.
Charles, a product of the University of Maine football program taking his initial walk to the NEF cage, turned the tables on Jones (2-1) in a middleweight scrap. Jones again went for the early stoppage with a pair of looping shots, but Charles calmly ducked them before landing one of his own and taking the issue to the mat.
“I just love the competition,” Charles said. “You don’t get hit in the face like this on the football field.”
When the combatants regained their feet, Charles backed Jones against the cage and landed two right hands to the jaw. Jones dropped to one knee and absorbed a sharp left to the head. That persuaded the referee to step in and stop the fight, a verdict that left Jones and his First Class MMA camp visibly puzzled.
It was Charles’ second one-sided combat sports victory in a week’s time. He previously delivered a first-round TKO in the amateur boxing ring. Jones suffered his first defeat since making the transition from basketball, which he played professionally in Europe after starring at Bangor’s Husson University.
One look at Friday’s official weigh-in suggested that the bout between Roger Ewer (251 pounds) and Dustin Freeman (220) might be the typical stand-up, slug-it-out heavyweight affair. Instead, it turned into a ground-and-pound showcase that was right in Ewer’s wheelhouse. C.J.’s older brother, making his debut in the NEF hexagon at 44 years of age, hammered out the advantage throughout and earned a TKO via unanswered strikes at 2:31 of the second stanza.
Nate Boucher improved to 2-0 with a first-round stoppage of Jeremiah Barkac, who was making his cage debut. Barkac gained an early advantage in the bantamweight bout with a barrage of strikes, but Boucher cleverly gained leverage with his legs and locked in a triangle choke.
Win or lose, Bangor’s Angela Young announced that her battle with Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga would be the final fight of her career. Borga (6-3) erased any hopes of a Hollywood ending with a decisive TKO at 2:16 of the opening round. Young (2-3), wife of Chris, had never gone less than the distance in any of her prior wins or losses.
In a mutual NEF and MMA debut, Zach Faulkner delighted his home crowd with a second-round victory over David Hart via rear naked choke. The end came at 1:42.
Jesse Hutchinson also enjoyed a triumphant debut in the amateur ranks. He stopped Anthony LaPointe at 2:43 of the first round in a welterweight skirmish.
NEF also announced that the promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 31: The Old Port,” will see the company make its long-awaited debut in Portland, Maine at the brand new, state-of-the-art venue Aura. The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 3, 2017. Tickets will go on sale this Wednesday, August 9 at www.auramaine.com.
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.