Tag Archives: Maine

NEW CHAMPIONS CROWNED, MAIN EVENT THRILLS AS NEF 31 SELLS OUT AURA FOR PORTLAND DEBUT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (November 3, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) made its long-awaited debut in Portland, Maine on Saturday night before a sold-out crowd at Aura.

In the main event of the evening, hometown favorite Paul Gorman (11-9) took on James Blair (5-2) in a 130-pound catchweight contest.  The crowd was on the edge of its collective seat for a thrilling three-round war that will be a definite “fight of the year” candidate for 2017.  Gorman pulled off the unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.

The ever-popular John “First Class” Raio (3-8) returned to the NEF cage after a three-year retirement.  Raio faced a game Zenon Herrera (0-6) and came out with the win in the third round when Herrera tapped out to a guillotine choke.

On the amateur side of the card, three new champions were crowned.  Terrance Jean-Jacques (3-0) became the new NEF Amateur Heavyweight Champion with a unanimous decision victory over defending champion Nick Gulliver (4-1).  Justin Witham (4-4) is the new flyweight titleholder after defeating Nate Boucher (2-1) by split decision.  Hilarie Rose (5-3) made history as the first women’s champion in promotion history by capturing the strawweight title against Alex Walker (4-2).

Two milestones were set early in the night as Jayda Bailey (1-0) became the youngest fighter to ever emerge victorious in the NEF cage, while Garry Carr (1-0) took the honor of the oldest fighter to ever win in the NEF cage.  Bailey turned 18 just eight days prior to the event.  Carr is 56 years young.

In addition to an evening of fights, fans were able to meet special guest Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (24-5).  Souza is currently the number-four ranked middleweight in the UFC.

The results from Portland, Maine:

PROFESSIONAL

Paul Gorman def. James Blair via unanimous decision

John Raio def. Zenon Herrera via guillotine, round 3

AMATEUR

Hilarie Rose def. Alex Walker via TKO, round 1

Justin Witham def. Nate Boucher via split decision

Terrance Jean-Jacques def. Nick Gulliver via unanimous decision

Carl Langston def. Henry Clark via unanimous decision

Mohammed al Kinani def. Phil Pearson via KO, round 1

Isaac Therrien def. Chad Weymouth via TKO, round 1

Francesca Morabito def. Carol Linn Powell via unanimous decision

Emmett Huber def. Will McCall via guillotine, round 1

Bill Cole def. Nathan Pete via rear-naked choke, round 2

Garry Carr def. David Hart via rear-naked choke, round 1

Mark Gardner def. Carlton Charles via TKO, round 2

Sarah Matulis def. Chelsea Elizabeth via TKO, round 1

Jayda Bailey def. Danae Dostie via TKO, round 1

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.

NEF ANNOUNCES MONUMENTAL FIGHT CARD FOR PORTLAND DEBUT

Portland, Maine (October 6, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) will make its long-awaited debut in Portland on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Aura with “NEF 31: The Old Port.”  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the full fight card for the event featuring a full slate of professional and amateur mixed-martial-arts bouts.

Maine fan-favorite Paul Gorman (10-9) is scheduled to take on James “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” Blair (5-1) in the main event of the evening.  Gorman, the former NEF bantamweight titleholder and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt out of the Academy in Portland, makes his return to the NEF cage after a three-year absence.  Blair is a hot prospect from the world-renowned American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida where he trains alongside a veritable murderers’ row of current and former world champions like Mike Brown (26-9), Tyron Woodley (18-3-1), and Joanna Jędrzejczyk (14-0) just to name a few.

Reigning NEF Professional Middleweight Champion CJ Ewer (3-0) will be in action when he takes on Crowsneck Boutin (2-3) in a non-title affair.  Ewer captured the 185-pound title over the summer when he submitted Mike Hansen (5-6) at “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor.”  Boutin will be coming off a year-long layoff from competition.

“The Blackpool Ripper” Matt Probin (0-0) makes his pro MMA debut against rugged veteranJosh Parker (6-9).  Both Probin and Parker have extensive backgrounds as professional boxers.  Probin has trained and competed in Muay Thai in Thailand.  Parker is the founder of Ruthless MMA & Boxing of Waterville, Maine.

John “First Class” Raio (2-8) will come out of retirement to face Zenon “K-Bar” Herrera (0-5).  Raio last fought in the summer of 2015.  He is the head coach of First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine.  Herrera, a veteran of both the United States Army and Marine Corps, is looking for his first win since joining the professional ranks two years ago.

The amateur side of the card will feature a total of three title fights.  NEF Amateur Heavyweight Champion Nick “The Guardian” Gulliver (4-0) will defend his strap against WWE signeeTerrance Jean-Jacques (2-0), while Nate Boucher (2-0) and Justin Witham (3-4) square off for the vacant flyweight title.  Alex Walker (4-1) and Hilarie Rose (4-3) will make history when they battle for the first-ever NEF women’s championship in the strawweight division.

The Walker-Rose fight will be one of four female bouts featured on the “NEF 31” amateur card.  Carol Linn Powell (0-0), wife of former NEF Professional Lightweight Champion and current UFC competitor Devin Powell (8-3), is scheduled to make her cage debut against Francesca Morabito (0-0). Jayda “Lil Killah” Bailey (0-0) makes her debut just eight days after her 18th birthday, the legal minimum age for competing in MMA in Maine, in a bantamweight bout with Danae Dostie (0-0) while Sarah Matulis (0-0) and Chelsea Elizabeth(0-0) face off in yet another double amateur debut.

The full “NEF 31” fight card (subject to change and approval of the Combat Sports Authority of Maine):

 

PROFESSIONAL MMA

180 CJ Ewer 3-0 (Young’s MMA) vs Crowsneck Boutin 2-3 (Independent)

 

150 John Raio 2-8 (First Class MMA) vs Zenon Herrera 0-5 (Independent)

 

145 Josh Parker 6-9 (Ruthless MMA & Boxing) vs Matt Probin 0-0 (CMBJJ/Young’s MMA)

 

135 Paul Gorman 10-9 (The Academy) vs James Blair 5-1 (American Top Team)

 

AMATEUR MMA

 

265*TITLE  Nick Guilliver 4-0 (c) (First Class /Foundry) vs Terrance Jean-Jacques 2-0 (Team Link)

 

125*TITLE  Nate Boucher 2-0 (CMBJJ) vs Justin Witham 3-4 (Shatterproof Combat Club)

 

115 *TITLE Alex Walker 4-1 (Kaze) vs Hilarie Rose 4-3 (USMMA)

265 Matt Glover 1-1 (Berserkers MMA) vs Jason Field 0-2 (Kenney’s MMA)

 

175 Carlton Charles 1-0 (Charles Family Fighting/Fire&Iron Athletics) vs Nate Evans 0-0

 

170 Mohammed al Kinani 0-0 (Evolution Athletix) vs Phil Pearson 0-1 (First Class MMA)

 

170 David Grant 0-0 (Evolution Athletix) vs Tom Rials 0-0 (Nostos)

 

155 Will McCall 1-2 (Evolution Athletix) vs Chad Pierce 1-0 (The Academy)

 

155 Nick Banks 0-0 (Choi Institute) vs Emmett Huber 0-1 (The Academy)

 

155 Garry Carr 0-0 (CMBJJ) vs David Hart 0-1 (Kenney’s MMA)

135 Sarah Matulis 0-0 (Shatterproof Combat Club) vs Chelsea Elizabeth 0-0 (First Class MMA)

 

135 Danae Dostie 0-0 (Kenney’s MMA) vs Jayda Bailey 0-0 (Young’s MMA)

 

135 Carl Langston 6-9 (Young’s MMA) vs Henry Clark 3-3 (Choi Institute)

 

135 Kam Arnold 1-0 (CMBJJ) vs Caleb Costello 3-4 (Young’s MMA)

 

135 Carol Linn Hawkins 0-0 (Nostos) vs Francesca Morabito 0-0 (Choi Institute)

 

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 31: The Old Port,” will see the company 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 are on sale now at www.auramaine.com.

CHARLES LOOKS TO MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW TO START MMA CAREER

Portland, Maine (August 31, 2017) –New England Fights (NEF) will make its long-awaited debut in Portland onFriday, November 3, 2017 at Aura with “NEF 31: The Old Port.”  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur mixed-martial-arts bout to the card.  Carlton Charles (1-0) will take on Nate Evans (0-0) at a catchweight of 175-pounds.

Carlton Charles shocked the Maine MMA community earlier this month with his stunning first-round technical knockout of Josh Jones (2-1) at “NEF 30” in Bangor.  Jones had looked indestructible to that point, only needing 24-seconds to finish his first two opponents combined.  In turn, it took Charles only 23-seconds to polish off Jones in his amateur debut.  It was, indeed, one of the most impressive debuts in NEF history.

Charles’ athleticism comes as no surprise, however, to those who know him.  He excelled in football for Windham High School.  As an assistant coach, Charles later lead Windham to a Class A state championship.  He went on to play for the NCAA Division I University of Maine Black Bears.  Currently, Charles trains MMA with Charles Family Fighting alongside his older brother, and seven-fight NEF veteran, Nate Charles.

“I’m real excited about the opportunity to fight in Portland,” said Charles. “Not often have we seen MMA in Portland, so it’s definitely going to get a lot of attention. It’s a bit closer to home than Bangor was, so I feel like I’ll have a lot of support there. I hope to put on a good show and look to build on the success of my first fight. I know my opponent will be tough so I am training hard to be prepared.”

Nate Evans will be making his debut on November 3rd.  Like Charles, Evans’ background is in football.  He was a star quarterback for Sumter Central High School in Livingston, Alabama.  Also like Charles, Evans has begun training and combat sports and is hoping to make a successful transition from the gridiron to the MMA cage.

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 31: The Old Port,” will see the company 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 are on sale now at www.auramaine.com.

WOMAN WILL MAKE HISTORY AS YOUNGEST MMA COMPETITOR EVER IN MAINE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (August 30, 2017) –New England Fights (NEF) will make its long-awaited debut in Portland onFriday, November 3, 2017 at Aura with “NEF 31: The Old Port.”  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur mixed-martial-arts bout to the card.  Jayda “Lil Killah” Bailey (0-0) is scheduled to face Danae Dostie (0-0) in a female bantamweight contest.

Bailey, a senior at Hermon High School in Hermon, Maine, will turn 18 (the legal minimum age for one to compete in MMA in Maine) a mere eight days before the fight, thereby making her the youngest person in history to ever compete in a regulated MMA fight in the state.  She has trained in the martial arts since the age of four and has been a member of Young’s MMA in Bangor since age twelve.  Bailey also wrestles for Bucksport High School as Hermon does not have a team.  At the age of 15, she traveled to New Mexico to train at the world famous Jackson Wink MMA Academy where she worked with the likes of former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm (11-3).  Bailey regularly competes in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments throughout the New England region.

“I’ve been wanting to fight for as long as I can remember,” said Bailey. “November 3rd will be the day I can showcase what I have, and begin my career with a bang.”

Standing opposite Bailey in the cage will be a fellow amateur debut in the form of Danae Dostie.  Dostie is a graduate of Fryeburg Academy High School in Fryeburg, Maine where she was a standout athlete on the track and field team.  She currently serves as a member of the military police with the Maine Army National Guard.  Dostie represents Kenney’s MMA of Lisbon, Maine.

“I’m very excited for my first fight in NEF,” said Dostie. “It will be fun to see how this fight goes. I know either way I will learn a lot.”

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 31: The Old Port,” will see the company 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 are on sale now at www.auramaine.com.

HOMETOWN PRIDE IS ON THE LINE IN BANTAMWEIGHT BATTLE AT NEF 31

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (August 24, 2017) –New England Fights (NEF) will make its long-awaited debut in Portland onFriday, November 3, 2017 at Aura with “NEF 31: The Old Port.”  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur mixed-martial-arts bantamweight bout to the card.  Henry Clark (3-3) is scheduled to face Carl Langston (6-9) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

Henry Clark is a member of the Choi Institute based in Portland.  Since his debut in the fall of 2014, Clark has been known for producing exciting moments in the NEF cage.  In a memorable bout with Langston’s Young’s MMA teammate, and current NEF MMA Amateur Bantamweight Champion, Fred Lear (6-2), Clark held onto a triangle choke while Lear viciously slammed him not once but twice.  He will look to break a two-fight losing streak with what Clark predicts to be a dominant performance against Langston in front of his hometown fans.

“Portland is my town,” declared Clark. “On November 3rd, I’m showing up to prove that. I’ve got a great opponent in Carl who always shows up to fight, but I’m planning on keeping it a dominant, one-sided affair. Truly my only desire is that of violence, my only intention is victory. Both will be achieved.”

Like Clark, Carl Langston calls Portland home.  With a background in Taekwondo, Langston has thrilled NEF fans on numerous occasions with his prolific striking abilities.  He knocked out Alex Johnson (2-3) with a series of violent kicks to the body in Langston’s last NEF appearance.  Langston says this will be his last amateur fight before turning professional.

“This will be my last amateur fight and there isn’t any better way to go out fighting for NEF’s first card  in my hometown in Portland,” stated Langston.  “I’m super pumped to be part of this card! As far as my opponent, he’s a good guy and I have nothing bad to say about him, but come fight time, I’m going to walk through him. He won’t make it out of the second round. He has nothing to offer me.”

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 31: The Old Port,” will see the company 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 are on sale now at www.auramaine.com.

NEF FLYWEIGHT TITLE WILL BE UP FOR GRABS IN PORTLAND

Portland, Maine (August 21, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) will make its debut in Portland on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Aura with “NEF 31: The Old Port.”  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur mixed-martial-arts title bout to the card.  Nate Boucher (2-0) will face Justin Witham (3-4) with the winner to be crowned the new NEF MMA Amateur Flyweight Champion.  The 125-pound title currently sits vacant.

Nate Boucher brings a background in wrestling with him to the cage.  He competed for Mountain Valley High School (MVHS) in Rumford, Maine prior to training in MMA.  Boucher made his NEF debut in 2014, just months after his eighteenth birthday – the legal age limit for competing in MMA in Maine.  Earlier this month in Bangor, Boucher made his return to the NEF cage.  He was victorious by first-round submission over Jeremiah Barkac (0-1).  Boucher is currently a member of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ).

“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that my childhood dream is coming true,” said Boucher when reached for comment. “This fight was only a matter of time. All my years of training is for this moment.”

Justin Witham got off to a slow start in his amateur career.  He lost his first three in a row prior to his first victory over Brent Ouellette (0-1) by technical knockout in the first round.  Witham is currently riding a two-fight win streak.  Earlier this year, he submitted previous flyweight champion Ryan Burgess (2-2) in a non-title bout, avenging an earlier loss to Burgess.  Witham represents the Shatterproof Combat Club.

“Much respect to my opponent and anyone who steps inside the cage,” said Witham. “Every fighter has a fight that makes or breaks him. I will not break. This is the culmination of three years of hard work. Blood, sweat and tears – time away from my loved ones. Capturing the 125-pound title means everything to me and I will not be leaving without it over my shoulder!”

NEF’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 are on sale now 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.

NEF SELLS-OUT AGAIN IN BANGOR AS LOCAL FIGHTERS SHINE IN THE CAGE

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.

RUMFORD’S HANSEN GETS LONG-AWAITED SHOT AT MMA GOLD

 

Matt Andrikut v Mike Hansen square off in MMA action from NEF 25.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rumford, Maine (August 3, 2017) – New Mike Hansen’s dreams of becoming a mixed martial arts (MMA) champion were admittedly premature. Then they were derailed for nearly a decade by a combination of injuries, service to his country and fatherhood.

 

The teenage ambition that made Hansen believe he could conquer the world, or at least his little corner of it, never went away, though.

 

Twenty-nine months after resurrecting his career with New England Fights, Rumford’s Hansen (5-5) finally gets that coveted title shot. He will battle hometown favorite C.J. Ewer (2-0) at “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” this Saturday, August 5 at Cross Insurance Center for the organization’s vacant middleweight title. The card starts at 7 p.m.

Hansen, who turned 32 on July 21, says the opportunity fulfills an early goal while living and fighting in Massachusetts back in 2005.

 

“I was 19 years old and thought I had a great head on my shoulders, so I called out the (World Fighting League) champion at the time, who was John “Doomsday” Howard,” Hansen said. “I said that I wanted that belt and that I was coming after him. Knowing what I know now, he probably would have whipped the (crap) out of me.”

 

Howard went on to compete at the highest level with Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) and is now a veteran of 37 journeys into the cage. Hansen’s career path had many more stops, starts and detours.

 

He started with six amateur wins out of the gate and won his initial professional foray with ease. The title fight will take place on the eve of the 12th anniversary of that pro debut.

 

“Being 19 years old, I was kind of cocky. I remember telling my dad nobody could compete with my wrestling,” Hansen said. “Back then, MMA hadn’t really evolved. The wrestler had the advantage over the jiu-jitsu guy. You could just hold a guy down and snuggle and hug and sweat out a win.”

 

After his first knockout loss, Hansen promised his father he would quit the sport. But he had already caught the fever, and his confidence was sky high.

 

Hansen was training for a bout at Laconia, New Hampshire’s bike week when he suffered a broken ankle two weeks before the weigh-in. He recovered and was in training for another fight when he was stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat in what could have been a fatal case of mistaken identity.

 

He remarkably walked out of the hospital a day later and soon embarked on a more structured path as a combat engineer in the United States Army. While enlisted, Hansen suffered a serious shoulder injury. Even after retirement, a return to the MMA cage seemed unlikely.

 

Then came a fateful call from an old friend and neighbor, NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson, and the rest is history. Hansen has carved out a reputation as one who will take on any opponent in any weight class at any time, and perhaps there is no greater example than the Ewer matchup.

 

“The belts are vacant at 170, 185 and 205 (pounds). I can make weight for all those if I have enough time,” Hansen said. “I guess Peterson thought it made sense to kill two birds with one stone and put me in with Ewer at 185. Six weeks ago is when they called me, and at first they asked me about 170. I really liked the fight, but the weight didn’t make sense. I was sitting on the couch at 248.”

 

Hansen has spent most of his time in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions.  He was glaringly outweighed in his last bout, a February loss to Ras Hylton.

 

Only once previously has he downsized to the middleweight threshold, a February 2016 loss to Zach Elkins. In the case of Ewer, who has done most of his work at 170, meeting in the middle might play to Hansen’s advantage.

 

“We’re two different styles of fighters. He’s coming up in weight and I’m coming down,” Hansen said. “He’s never been in the cage against anybody with my kind of power. When I’m hitting somebody at 200 pounds, I’m hitting them with the force of somebody who’s 245. My opponents have told me they’ve never been hit harder by a guy my size. I feel like it’s my fight to lose, as long as I don’t make any mistakes and go in there with the stamina I need to have.”

 

Hansen is confident against Ewer, who had a 5-2 amateur record with notable wins over Ricky Dexter and Crowsneck Boutin before turning pro. He knows better, however, than to underestimate any fighter out of the Young’s MMA stable.

 

“I feel like I’m the more talented fighter and that I have more tools in my tool box. But I know Young’s MMA is a great camp and that he trains with a lot of great guys,” Hansen said. “Chris (Young) finds a way to set you up to fight the fight you need to win. Look at the Pat Kelly fight (against Rafael Velado). They prepared to turn that into a kickboxing fight, and then he went out and did just that.”

 

Hansen has seen his name rise into the New England top-five conversation. Most of the fighters ahead of him have experience with larger promotions.

 

He said a win over Ewer could inspire him to travel and continuing to pursue the dream. That’s consistent with the personality he has shown through this second act of his career.

 

“I’ve been fighting the top-level guys in NEF for about the past two-and-a-half years,” Hansen said, “I always told Peterson to set me up with a guy who’s in the top 10 or just above me. I wanted to work my way up.”

 

From his days as a high school state wrestling champion at Mountain Valley High School, Hansen flaunted a distaste for winning that served him well.

 

In those days, he wore a T-shirt that read, ‘Nobody remembers second place,’ with four gold medals beneath it. Hansen’s attitude remains, but the mainstay of Berserker’s MMA out of the Greater Rumford Community Center noted that it is never only about himself.

 

“I want to win the title for all the people who have supported me and trained with me in Rumford. I also want it for my gym. We’ve done this three times in the amateurs and now we’re going to do it with a pro,” he said. “(GRCC is) just a little on-profit that helps people pursue their dreams. I’d love to hang that belt on the wall. It shows people in the community what we’re capable of here, and hopefully it gets them interested and grows the gym. That’s my goal.”

 

Tickets for “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” are available at CrossInsuranceCenter.com.  For more information on the fight card and event updates, please visit NewEnglandFights.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.

 

RUMBLE IN BANGOR FIGHT CARD FILLED WITH MAINE FAN-FAVORITES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (July 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 full fight card for the event.

In the main event of the evening, Bangor’s own CJ Ewer (2-0) will meet Mike Hansen (5-5) of Rumford, Maine in a five-round contest to crown a new NEF MMA Pro Middleweight Champion.  Ewer is a member of local gym Young’s MMA while Hansen represents Berserkers MMA based in the River Valley region of the state.  Ewer had a highlight-reel knockout over Ruben Redman (0-1) in his last bout at the Cross – exactly one year to the day he will meet Hansen.

The co-main event of the evening will see Ewer’s Young’s teammate, undefeated Bangor prospect Aaron Lacey (4-0) take on Bellator veteran Bryan Goldsby (17-16).  Goldsby will represent Lacey’s most-seasoned challenge to date.  Lacey has been nothing short of “Relentless” – his nickname – since turning pro.  He has submitted three of his four opponents in the first round.  Only John Santos (3-5) was able to survive three full rounds with Lacey last summer in Bangor.  Lacey won that fight via split decision in a rugged, back-and-forth, “fight of the night” performance.

Rounding out the pro card will be another Young’s cornerstone, “The” Ryan Sanders (14-8), who will meet Milwaukee, Wisconsin veteran Jay Ellis (14-68) in a welterweight contest.  Sanders is the reigning NEF MMA Pro Lightweight Champion, having defeated Jon Lemke (6-8) in a tournament final last April to claim the title.  The bout with Ellis will be a non-title affair.  Sanders is riding a four-fight win streak which began one year ago to the day at the Cross.

Headlining the amateur portion of the fight card will be an NEF MMA Amateur Bantamweight Title fight.  Fred Lear (5-2) of Bangor will do battle with Jefferson, Maine’s Walt Shea (2-0) for the vacant 135-pound championship.  Lear and Shea will continue a competitive rivalry that has developed in the amateur ranks in recent years between Lear’s camp Young’s MMA and Shea’s team of First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine.

Opening the night will be a women’s fight between Angela Young (2-2), wife of Young’s MMA founder and head coach Chris Young, and Florida’s Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga (5-2).  The scrap is expected to be an exciting one.  Young, a Registered Nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC), has put on several “fight of the night” performances that have sent audiences into a frenzy.  Borga will make her third trip to Maine in the past year to compete in the NEF cage.

The full “NEF 30” fight card (subject to change):

PROFESSIONAL MMA

185*TITLE C.J. Ewer 2-0 (Young’s MMA) vs Mike Hansen 5-5 (Berserkers MMA)

170 Ryan Sanders 14-8 (Young’s MMA) vs Jay Ellis 14-68 (Team Knockout)

145 Aaron Lacey 4-0 (Young’s MMA) vs Bryan Goldsby 17-16 (Jorge Gurgel)

 

AMATEUR MMA

135*TITLE Fred Lear 5-2 (Young’s MMA) vs Walt Shea 2-0 (First Class MMA)

265 Roger Ewer 0-0 (Young’s MMA) vs Dustin Freeman 0-0 (Independent)

185 Josh Jones 2-0 (First Class MMA) vs Carlton Charles 0-0 (Charles Family Fighting/Fire&Iron Athletics)

170 Anthony Lapointe 0-1 (Titan Athletics) vs Jesse Hutchinson 0-0 (CMBJJ)

160 Zachary Faulkner 0-0 (Titan Athletics) vs David Hart 0-0 (Kenney’s MMA)

145 Robbie Kiah 1-0 (Young’s MMA) vs Robert H. Norris III (Independent)

135 Nate Boucher 1-0 (CMBJJ) vs Jeremiah Barkac 0-0 (Independent)

135 Angela Young 2-2 (Young’s MMA) vs Jessica Borga 5-3 (Champions MMA)

“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

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.

WOMEN’S FIGHT AT RUMBLE IN BANGOR WILL PROVIDE THE FIREWORKS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (July 3, 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 female amateur bantamweight bout to the fight card.  Angela Young (2-2) will meet Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga (5-3) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

If there is anyone who knows about putting on exciting fights, it is Angela Young.  The wife of Young’s MMA founder Chris Young, a mother, and a full-time nurse, she has brought the heat in all four of her previous contests for NEF, earning several “Fight of the Night” honors.  Young had the crowd on the edge of its seat for her thrilling encounter with Christine Brothwell earlier this year – a fight she won via unanimous decision.  She has never backed down, even when on the losing end of a slugfest like the one she had with Kylie O’Hearn on Cape Cod last year, and it has made her one of the most popular fighters with the NEF audience.  Based on their styles, Young predicts yet another strike-fest full of fireworks when she meets Borga on August 5th.

“I’m beyond excited for the match up with Borga for NEF in Bangor,” said Young. “I respect her as a fighter and even more so for traveling to Maine once again take a fight. Neither one of us are afraid to stand and bang, making this a fight people aren’t going to want to miss.”

Jessica Borga of Florida will make the trip north to compete in Maine for the third time in less than a year.  She made her NEF debut last September and quickly became a favorite of Pine Tree State fight fans.  Last November, Borga put on a dominant performance in Lewiston, winning a unanimous decision over black belt Brianne Genschel.  She has captured multiple regional titles in the southeast portion of the country.  Borga looks forward to returning to fight in front of her Maine fans once again.

“I can’t wait to be back at NEF for 2017,” exclaimed Borga when reached for comment.  “I’ve been waiting to come back and show what I’ve learned. I appreciate Angela Young stepping up to put on a show for everyone.  I’ll be ready and can’t wait to show my improvements.”

“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.