Tag Archives: Jessica Borga

FIRST WOMEN’S MMA TITLE FIGHT IN MAINE AT NEF 28

 

Lewiston, Maine (March 17, 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 an amateur women’s title fight to the card. Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga (5-2) returns to take on “Scary” Kerri Kenneson (4-1) to crown a new NEF MMA Amateur Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

 

The bout is historic in that it will not only determine the first NEF women’s champion, but the fight will represent the first female MMA title matchup ever held on Maine soil.

 

“Our women’s division has grown so much in the past couple of years,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  “It was time to add a title picture to the mix.  This is the first of what we hope to be many female title fights between superior athletes in the NEF cage.”

 

Jessica Borga, a Florida resident, will be making her third appearance in the NEF cage in less than a year.  She dropped a hard-fought decision to Rachael Joyce (3-0) last September at “NEF 25.”  Borga returned to Maine a few weeks later to win a decision over Brianne Genschel (0-1), delivering an impressive, dominant performance against the black belt.  Borga trains out of Champions MMA in Lakeland, Florida and is currently on a three-fight win streak.  She is the holder of two regional titles won in her home state, and she is looking to add a third belt to her collection on April 29.

 

“I’m so honored and excited to be back in the NEF cage not only to fight for such a great promotion, but to fight for their first-ever women’s title against a great opponent,” said Borga.  “I can’t wait to put on a show for everyone, and I promise I won’t disappoint!”

 

A native of Bow, New Hampshire, Kerri Kenneson trains with Team Link in Hooksett.   She has won her last four in a row, including a victory over NEF veteran Kylie O’Hearn (1-2) last summer.   Kenneson’s sole loss came in her MMA debut two years ago this April.  Coming off a win on a fight card last month in New York State, Kenneson is confident that she will defeat Borga and claim the NEF bantamweight title at “NEF 28.”

 

“If I haven’t already done so, this fight will solidify that I am the best in the Northeast, and I’ll be coming for the rest,” Kenneson declared.  “She’s all for show. She’s about to feel what I’m capable of and she’s not going to like it.”

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 at www.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.”

NEF 26 MMA CARD FEATURES WOMEN’S FIGHTS, TITLE FIGHTS, RETURNS, DEBUTS AND MORE

Lewiston, Maine (October 21, 2016) – New England Fights (NEF) presents its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 26: SUPREMACY,” on Saturday, November 19 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Earlier today, NEF executives announced the full fight card for the event which will be the fight promotion’s grand finale for 2016.

 

In the main event, “The” Ryan Sanders (10-8) will meet Jon Lemke (5-6) in a professional lightweight bout.  It will be Sanders’ first fight in Lewiston since November 2014.  Much has been made of the fact that Sanders and Lemke are former teammates.  The bout is considered a “dream match” by Maine fight fans, especially those from the Bangor-area familiar with the rivalry between Sanders’ camp Young’s MMA and Lemke’s camp Team Irish.

 

The co-main event of the evening will feature an interesting “coach vs. coach” battle.  “Shatterproof 2.0” Derek Shorey (4-7), head of the Shatterproof Combat Club, is scheduled to face Ruthless MMA & Boxing founder Josh Parker (4-8) in a professional featherweight contest.  Shorey is coming off a big win in Rhode Island earlier this fall, while Parker will be returning to the MMA cage after spending the last three years competing as a boxer.

 

Rounding out the professional portion of the card will be undefeated prospect Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (3-0) and Taylor Trahan (6-6) in a featherweight bout.  Lacey and Trahan both submitted their respective opponents at “NEF 25” last month.  Many local followers of the sport feel that Lacey is just a handful of wins away from getting the call to the major league of the sport.  Trahan will be looking to play the role of spoiler while also avenging the loss of his Team Link teammate John Santos (3-5) to Lacey in Bangor this past August.

 

The amateur portion of the card will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Nick “The Guardian” Gulliver (3-0) and Yorgan DeCastro (2-2).  DeCastro stepped up to the plate to face Gulliver when no other heavyweight in the region would do so.  Gulliver has been on a path of destruction, ripping through three opponents in a combined two minutes.

 

Two women’s fights are on tap for “NEF 26.”  Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga (2-2) returns from Florida to meet Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Brianne Genschel (0-0).  Genschel’s First Class MMA teammate “Hollywood” Hannah Sparrell (1-1) will also be in action against Fernanda Araujo (4-4-2).

 

Jay Jack and Amanda Buckner’s The Academy in Portland, Maine will send two new fighters to the cage at “NEF 26.”  Chad Pierce (0-0) will debut against Shatterproof’s  Lyman Curtis (0-0), while Phil Chiasson (0-0) meets Rik Seymour (0-0) of 3Ronin Athletics.  Both bouts will take place in the 155-pound lightweight division.

 

The full “NEF 26” fight card (subject to change and approval of the Combat Sports Authority of Maine):

 

 

PROFESSIONAL

 

155 Ryan Sanders 10-8 (Young’s) vs Jon Lemke 5-6 (Team Irish)

 

145 Josh Parker 4-8 (Ruthless) vs Derek Shorey 4-7 (Shatterproof)

 

145 Aaron Lacey 3-0 (Young’s) vs Taylor Trahan 6-6 (Team Link)

 

 

AMATEUR

265*TITLE Nick Gulliver 3-0 (First Class) vs Yorgan DeCastro 2-2 (SSSF)

265 Kevin Smith 3-2 (Young’s) vs Ras Hylton 2-0 (First Class)

 

210 Mike Swan 0-0 (Choi) vs Joe Krech 0-2 (Independent)

 

185 Nash Roy 2-2 (Young’s) vs Chris Smith 1-0 (Berserkers)

 

170 Darren Ducharme 0-0 (CMBJJ) vs Tom Burgess 2-0 (Berserkers)

 

155 Ken Dunn 0-3 (Independent) vs Angelo Rizitello 0-1 (Shatterproof)

 

155 Chad Pierce 0-0 (Academy) vs Lyman Curtis 0-0 (Shatterproof)

 

155 Phil Chiasson 0-0 (Academy) vs Rik Seymour 0-0 (3Ronin Athletics)

 

145 Alex Clark 3-1 (Young’s) vs Shawn Lunghi 1-0 (S. Tampa Jiu Jitsu/MMA)

 

145 Hannah Sparell 1-1 (First Class) vs Fernanda Araujo 4-4-2 (Defensive Edge)

 

135 Brianne Genschel 0-0 (First Class/Foundry) vs Jessica Borga 2-2 (Champions)

 

135 Fred Lear 3-2 (Young’s) vs Robby Fraser 1-1 (S. Tampa Jiu Jitsu/MMA)

 

The opening bell on Saturday, November 19 is set for 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.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 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 @nefightsand join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”

 

THE BLACK WIDOW AND THE BLACK BELT; FIRST WOMEN’S FIGHT ANNOUNCED FOR NEF 26

Lewiston, Maine (October 6, 2016) – New England Fights (NEF) presents its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 26: SUPREMACY,” on Saturday, November 19 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.  Earlier today, NEF executives announced the addition of an amateur bantamweight women’s bout to the fight card.  Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga (2-2) returns to Maine to take on Brianne Genschel (0-0) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

 

Borga made her NEF cage debut last month against Rachael Joyce (2-0).  She traveled more than 1500 miles from Lakeland, Florida for the fight.  While Borga was on the losing end of a unanimous decision to Joyce, she realizes that the most important part of her amateur career is gaining experience through taking tough fights.

 

“I’m not slowing down anytime soon,” said Borga, “and love to take on any challenges and get better each fight. The more experience the better! So thankful for the girls that are stepping up to fight! I’m ready to put on an amazing show.”

 

Brianne Genschel, while making her in-cage debut at “NEF 26,” is a longtime practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) in which she holds a black belt.  She is a BJJ instructor at The Foundry in Farmington, Maine.  Genschel also trains with, and will represent, First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine.  Like her opponent, she promises an exciting fight for the fans on November 19.

 

“I’m really looking forward to stepping into the cage for my first fight with NEF, and especially against such an established opponent,” said Genschel.  “I can’t wait to represent my teams- Foundry BJJ and First Class MMA.  I have been training hard for this opportunity, and promise to put on a good show and leave it all in the cage!”

 

The opening bell on Saturday, November 19 is set for 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.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 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.

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.

FROM MAINE TO FLORIDA, FINDING FIGHTS IS THE CHALLENGE FOR FEMALE MMA ATHLETES

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (September 4, 2016) – Rachael Joyce has her civil engineering degree from the University of Maine. Jessica Borga is a veterinary technician from Lakeland, Florida.

Read those one-line biographies of the two women and they probably do not fit whatever is your personal profile of a mixed-martial-artist. And perhaps that presumption, and maybe a lingering societal bias against female fighters, is the reason Joyce and Borga have struggled mightily to find opponents in their corners of the country.

Each woman will end what is almost a one-year hiatus from the cage when Joyce (1-0) welcomes Borga (2-1) to Maine in a bantamweight bout at “NEF 25: Heroes and Villains.” New England Fights returns to its hub venue, Androscoggin Bank Colisee, on Saturday, September 10.

“I’ve had one fight, last October. I’ve found it really hard to find fights. It’s just tough. Maine doesn’t have the population density for it. It’s just hard to find that pool of fighters,” Joyce said. “Early in your career you want to build that experience close to home. It’s the best thing for your whole team, given the commitment that is involved.”

Joyce, who lives in the Penobscot County village of Veazie, splits her training time between Bangor, Portland and Boston.

The competitive grass is no greener for Borga, who is known to her fans as “The Black Widow” and is coached by Ross Kellin.

“My coach has scheduled fights for me that have fallen through. I was supposed to fight eight times this year, and this will be my first one.

Borga was beaten badly in her previous bout, a November 2015 clash against Caitlin Sammons for which she weighed in at 126.5 pounds, just above the flyweight limit.

She said that women feel added pressure to make drastic weight cuts due to the lack of available fight opportunities, and in her case it was especially dangerous.

“I learned that I will never fight at 125 again,” Borga said “It was my own fault. I lost 25 pounds in two weeks. I was sick in camp, and I fought sick.”

Before the episode was over, Borga was hospitalized twice with strep throat, a kidney infection and a bladder infection.

“I do believe (the weight cut) was part of it,” she said. “You’re putting that strain on your body and your mind. My mental game struggled with what I had to put myself through. I think it’s harder for women, also. I won’t ever do that again. I learned that it’s better to withdraw than to take a loss.”

Borga has experienced no such issues in this camp. She said her energy level is way up and that she can train harder for longer periods of time.

She also is eager to visit from the Sunshine State, an eagerness that isn’t lost on her opponent.

“When an opponent is flying up from Florida, that’s exciting,” Joyce said. “It shows that she’s really committed to it. It is hard to find opponents who are as committed as you are.”

Both women are BJJ blue belts. Joyce has trained in the discipline for more than two years.

It is an extension of her childhood, when she played three varsity sports in each year of high school. She joked that she strongly considered a fourth.

“I was always the girl who tried to convince my parents to let me play football,” Joyce said. “They would not hear any of it. I’m sure they’re thrilled that their 20-something-year-old daughter is now a fighter. No, they’re supportive, but now it’s my decision.”

Joyce never tried individual sports before the combat realm, but she quickly developed into a fan of women’s MMA as it exploded in popularity at the UFC level.

“Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey were coming up, and then (UFC president) Dana White had his famous line that ‘there will never be women in UFC,” Joyce said. “I saw what they were doing and I said, ‘I can do that. I’m going to do that.’”

Now the women wait for a spike in female participation that has not appeared to follow the success of those international role models.

Joyce said she received invitations to fight in New Jersey earlier this year but that those, also, would have required an uncomfortable cut to a same-day weigh-in of 125 or even 115 pounds.

So she retreated into a game of train-and-wait. Thanks to the like-minded, equally fight-challenged Borga, the wait is almost over.

“I’ve always loved MMA, always loved fighting. I guess I was known for that as a kid. Everybody who knows me always pushed me to get into this,” Borga said. “I tried eight years ago and found out right away that I was pregnant, so that put a stop to it. When my son turned five, I said, ‘It’s now or never.’ I started training and developed really fast. My coaches said I had a knack for it.”

The opening bell on September 10 is set for 7 p.m. The current docket for “NEF 25: Heroes and Villains” includes four professional boxing matches, six pro mixed martial arts bouts and five amateur MMA scraps. Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.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 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.”

THREE WOMEN’S FIGHTS, TWO TITLE FIGHTS AND NEW FACES FIND A HOME ON NEF 25 CARD

 

Lewiston, Maine (August 19, 2016) –New England Fights (NEF) today announced the full fight card for the promotion’s next event, “NEF 25: HEROES & VILLAINS.”  It is scheduled to take place onSaturday, September 10, 2016 in Lewiston.   The dynamic card will feature professional boxing bouts, as well as both professional and amateur mixed-martial-arts (MMA) contests.

 

On the boxing portion of the card, Brandon Montella (4-0) will meet Tollison Lewis (2-1) in a four-round light-heavyweight contest, while longtime Maine middleweight John “Rumble” Webster (8-7-1) returns on the eve of his 48th birthday to battle Zenon “K-Bar” Herrera (0-2).  Rounding out the pro boxing portion of the card will be Casey “Buzzsaw” Kramlich (4-0-1) and Connor Barry (0-1) in a four-round bout.

 

The professional side of the MMA card will feature a total of three Bellator and one Invicta veterans.  Jesse “The Viking” Erickson (7-5) and Jon Lemke(5-6) will rematch their previous bout won by Lemke at Bellator 93 in 2013.  Bellator 144 competitor Walter Smith Cotito (3-4) returns to Maine after a three-year absence to meet Elias “Danger Mouse” Leland (2-1), while Valerie “Valociraptor” Aspaas (0-0) herself returns to Maine after three years to make her pro debut against Invicta 16 veteran Sarah “SwitchKick” Click (0-1).

 

The amateur MMA card will be headlined by two title fights.  Rafael “Deez Nuts” Velado (3-0) takes on Jimmy Jackson (3-2) for the vacant amateur lightweight title.  Amateur bantamweight champion Johnny Crafts (4-0) steps up in weight to challenge Caleb Hall (7-3) for Hall’s featherweight crown.

 

The amateur card will also feature two women’s bantamweight bouts with Brianne Genschell (0-0) and Melissa Trahan (0-0) making their respective cage debut against one another, while Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga(2-1) is scheduled to meet Rachael Joyce (1-0).

 

The full “NEF 25” fight card (subject to change):

 

PROFESSIONAL BOXING

 

175 POUNDS: Brandon Montella vs. Tollison Lewis

160 POUNDS: John Webster vs. Zenon Herrera

155 POUNDS: Casey Kramlich vs. Connor Barry

PROFESSIONAL MMA

 

205 POUNDS: Mike Hansen vs. Matt Andrikut

155 POUNDS: Jesse Erickson vs. Jon Lemke

145 POUNDS: Matt Denning vs. Taylor Trahan

135 POUNDS: Elias Leland vs. Walter Smith Cotito

125 POUNDS: Sarah Click vs. Valerie Aspaas

 

AMATEUR MMA

155 POUND*TITLE: Rafael Velado vs. Jimmy Jackson

145 POUND*TITLE: Caleb Hall (c) vs. Johnny Crafts

155 POUNDS: Caleb Swoveland vs. Frank Johanson

135 POUNDS: Walt Shea vs. Joel Downing

135 POUNDS: Brianne Genschell vs. Melissa Trahan

135 POUNDS: Jessica Borga vs. Rachael Joyce

 

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.

 

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.”

 

SECOND WOMEN’S MMA FIGHT ANNOUNCED FOR NEF 25

Lewiston, Maine (August 18, 2016) – OnSeptember 10, 2016 New England Fights (NEF) returns to Lewiston with its next event, “NEF 25: HEROES & VILLAINS.”  Just 48-hours following the announcement of a professional women’s mixed-martial-arts (MMA) bout between Sarah “SwitchKick” Click (0-1) and  Valerie “Valociraptor” Aspaas (0-0), the promotion confirmed a second women’s fight for the card.  In the amateur bantamweight division, Rachael Joyce (1-0) will take on Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga (2-1).

 

Rachael Joyce is a member of Team Irish and Gracie Barra Bangor based in Brewer, Maine.  She made her amateur MMA debut in October 2015 against Christine Brothwell (0-2).  Joyce won the fight via knockout in the second round.  She has since had difficulty finding opponents until Borga stepped up to take the bout at “NEF 25.”  Joyce currently holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

 

“This fight has been a long time coming for me, and NEF has finally made it happen,” said Joyce.  “I am a completely different fighter than I was a year ago, and I’m ready to show everyone on September 10th in the NEF cage against a committed opponent.  If someone is willing to travel from Florida for an amateur fight she is ready for a brawl.  That’s my kind of fight.”

 

Like Joyce, Jessica Borga won her first amateur MMA fight by knockout.  It took her a mere 14-seconds to put Victoria McCollum (0-1) away in the summer of 2015.  Borga followed up that performance with another first-round finish two months later.  She trains out of Champions MMA in Lakeland, Florida where, also like Joyce, she is a BJJ blue belt.

 

“I’m always looking to forward to fighting worthy opponents,” said Borga when reached for comment.

 

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.

 

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.”