Tag Archives: Josh Jones


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (November 30, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to Lewiston onSaturday, February 3, 2018 with the fight promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 32: Super Saturday.”  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur middleweight bout to the card.  Josh Jones (2-2) is scheduled to meet Mark Gardner (1-0) at a fight weight of 185-pounds.

Josh Jones’ rise to the top of the NEF middleweight division in 2017 was nothing short of meteoric.  A former basketball star at Erskine Academy in South China, Maine and draftee of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Developmental League, Jones has honed his craft in the martial arts at First Class MMA of Brunswick.  It took him a mere 24-seconds combined to knock out his first two opponents this past year.  Jones’ four-second knockout of Anthony Spires (0-3) went viral worldwide and was featured on major websites like Bleacher Report.  After back-to-back losses to finish the year, Jones is looking to rebound with a win to open 2018.

“I am very honored and blessed to have the opportunity to compete against Mark,” said Jones. “Mark has shown to be an awesome competitor. I look forward to the challenge on February 3rd. As an MMA fighter and competitor, it is always a privilege to step into the cage and perform under the lights for New England Fights.”

Mark Gardner made his debut in the NEF cage earlier this month in Portland.  Gardner faced another up-and-coming middleweight in the form of Carlton Charles (1-1).  Last summer, it was Charles who handed Josh Jones his first loss.  Gardner impressed many in attendance with his gutsy performance against Charles.  He had an answer for everything Charles threw at him early in the fight, dispatching Charles in the second round by technical knockout.  For those who have followed Maine combat sports for some time, Gardner’s toughness comes as no surprise.  His gritty, workmanlike style has been the hallmark of his team, the Academy of MMA in Portland, for many years.

“I’m excited to get back in the cage for my next fight,” declared Gardner. “I learned a lot from my first fight and have been working on my technique. I can’t say much about my opponent, I don’t really know anything about him – I just fight who my coach tells me to fight.”

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 32: Super Saturday,” will see the company make its return to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 3, 2018.  Tickets are on-sale now online atwww.TheColisee.com.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (June 28, 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 middleweight contest to the fight card.  Josh Jones (2-0) will take on the debuting Carlton Charles (0-0) at a fight weight of 185-pounds.

It has taken Jones a mere 24-seconds combined to polish off his first two opponents.  His four-second victory over Anthony Spires (0-3) earlier this month set an all-time NEF record for fastest knockout. Video of the punch went viral almost immediately, giving Jones worldwide notoriety with exposure on major sports websites like Bleacher Report.

Prior to joining First Class MMA of Brunswick, Maine, Jones was known for his exploits on the basketball court.  He led Erskine Academy to a class B Maine state championship in 2004.  Later, as a senior at Husson University in Bangor, Jones averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds per game and was named “player of the year” by the Maine Basketball Writers and Coaches Association.  He was drafted by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Developmental League (NBDL).

For all his accomplishments on the hardwood and the MMA cage, Jones is not resting on his laurels.  His focus now is on the future and his upcoming fight on August 5 with Carlton Charles.

“Carlton Charles is another opponent that I have to respect and I know my teammates and coaches at First Class will have me prepared for everything,” said Jones. “I am trying to be well-rounded so that I can win anywhere in the cage. I look forward to another opportunity to showcase my talents.”

Where Jones excelled on the basketball court, his opponent Carlton Charles was a star on the football field.  Charles played for Windham High School and was later an assistant coach of the team when they won a class A Maine state championship in 2009.  He would go on to play for the University of Maine Black Bears Division I NCAA team.  Charles had a career season in 2011, playing in all 13 games for the Black Bears that year with a series of receptions and special teams tackles to his credit.

The Charles family name will be familiar to longtime NEF fans as Carlton is the younger brother of MMA and boxing veteran Nate Charles.  Carlton has been training with  Nate for his MMA debut as a member of team Charles Family Fighting.

“I’m just really excited, thankful and extremely blessed for the opportunity to fight,” said Carlton Charles when reached for comment. “It’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do, but with football it was hard to be able to find the time to train. I’ve seen the videos of Josh’s first two fights and it is impressive what he has been able to do in the short amount of time that he has been training. I feel it should be a fun matchup with both of our athletic backgrounds and hopefully we can put on a great fight.”

“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 atwww.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


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.




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.