Tag Archives: Maine

FEMALE STRAWWEIGHT BOUT RESCHEDULED TO NEF 28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (March 16, 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 an amateur women’s bout to the card.  Alex Walker (2-1) will meet Katie Baker (0-0) at the strawweight limit of 115-pounds.

 

Walker and Baker were originally scheduled to face each other last month at “NEF 27.”  Unfortunately, a medical issue forced Walker to withdraw from the contest just days before the fight.  Now fully healed, Walker is back training regularly at the Kaze Dojo in Lancaster, New Hampshire in preparation for “NEF 28.”

 

“Injuries have plagued me and my team for the last two years, but I am healthy now, so watch out,” exclaimed Walker.  “I am going on a run and nothing will stop me!”

 

Losing her opponent so close to the event was definitely a disappointment for Baker and her many fans.  Training in the martial arts from an early age, the eighteen-year-old had waited years to compete in the MMA cage.  Baker is a member of Young’s MMA in Bangor, Maine.  She made her amateur boxing debut last year.

 

“I was really bummed when Alex withdrew from our fight,” said Baker.  “You make the sacrifices it takes to train and diet, not to mention the disappointment of those who purchased tickets. But I knew, and our fans knew, Alex is a warrior and would not back out unless something was wrong.  I’m looking forward to finally meeting her in the cage on April 29th.”

 

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.”

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.

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.

DANGER MOUSE LOOKS TO CONTINUE HIS WINNING WAYS AT NEF 28

Lewiston, Maine (March 13, 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 bantamweight bout to the card.  Elias “Danger Mouse” Leland (3-2) returns to take on Andre “The Finisher” Belcarris (0-0) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

Leland, a resident of South Portland, Maine, is a mainstay of the NEF cage.  He fought his sophomore amateur contest at “NEF I” back in February 2012 and has competed on eight of the promotion’s cards since, including one appearance as a professional boxer.  Holding a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt from the Academy of MMA in Portland, it should come as no surprise that all three of Leland’s professional victories have come by way of submission.  He forced veteran Nick Santos to tap to an arm triangle choke last month at “NEF 27.”  In doing so, Leland snapped a two-fight losing streak.  He will look to stay on the winning track on April 29.

“I’m very excited to get back in the cage once again,” said Leland.  “I want to keep this momentum going.  I’m ready for war and putting in more work this year than I ever have before.  Be prepared for a hell of a fight – you will be sorry if you miss it! Mother f**king beast mode!”

Andre Belcarris will make his professional debut at “NEF 28,” but he already has a wealth of experience in the MMA cage.  He began competing in the sport as an amateur in 2010 and has had more than 30 fights since – an astounding number for an amateur mixed-martial-artist.  Belcarris fights out of Bennington, Vermont where he is a member of team Northeast Assassins.  In direct contrast to Leland’s mat skills, Belcarris is a striker with 11 knockout wins to his credit in the amateur ranks.

“I am honored to share the cage with a fighter of Eli’s caliber,” stated Belcarris when reached for comment.  “It means that my time has finally come. Expect fireworks!”

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.

TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING; LONG-AWAITED DEBUT WILL FINALLY HAPPEN AT NEF 28

Matt Probin delivers a flying knee on a Muay Thai fight card in Thailand

 

Lewiston, Maine (March 10, 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 featherweight bout to the card.  Matt “Pretty Boy” Probin (0-0) will meet Rob “The Beast” Best (0-0) at a fight weight of 145-pounds.

Probin, a well known boxer, kickboxer and mixed-martial-artist, came to Maine and began training in the Pine Tree State in 2015.  A native of Blackpool, England, Probin had spent time training in North Carolina prior to arriving in Maine.   He put together a 6-2 record as an amateur MMA competitor and won a regional title in the Carolinas.  While he has not competed in MMA since moving to Maine, Probin has stayed active competing in other combat sports.  He is 2-2 as a professional boxer, and he has also spent time training Muay Thai in Thailand in recent years.  Probin even competed at the world famous Bangla Boxing Stadium – one of Thailand’s premier Muay Thai venues.  He will make his professional MMA debut on April 29 as a member of Bangor, Maine’s Young’s MMA.

“I feel like this has been a long time coming,” said Probin when reached for comment.  “I’m excited to make my debut for NEF and put on a show for my friends and fans in my adopted hometown. Don’t blink!”

With more than two-dozen fights since 2011, Rob Best has been one of the Northeast’s most continuously active MMA competitors in recent years.  As an amateur, Best captured a regional lightweight title in New York state.  He is a member of Mohawk Valley MMA based in the Utica area.  Like Probin, the bout on April 29 will be Best’s professional MMA debut.

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.

A DEBUT AND A RETURN ON APRIL 29 IN LEWISTON

Lewiston, Maine (March 9, 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.  Tollison Lewis (1-5) is scheduled to face “The Dominator” Dominic Jones (0-0) at a fight weight of 150-pounds.

Lewis has been absent from the NEF cage since picking up his first MMA victory as a professional last spring.  On April 29, it will be just over a year since Lewis submitted Zenon Herrera (0-5) in front of a capacity crowd in Lewiston at “NEF 22.”  A two-sport athlete, Lewis has split his time in the last couple of years between the NEF cage and the NEF boxing ring where he has put together a record of 2-2.  He currently represents Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) in Auburn, Maine.

“First off, I’d like to thank NEF for having me on another show,” said Lewis.  “I’d like to thank my team and coaches – we are putting in lots of work preparing for this fight with Dominic. As for my opponent, he’s already looking past me. He thinks it will be a walk through. He wants an easy fight for his debut, but it’s not happening. He’s a talented guy, but I’ll have the experience, size, power, striking and BJJ. He’s a very good wrestler, but I’m not worried about being on the ground. This will be a war and I will have my hand raised at the end. Dom, let’s do it baby – let’s do the talking in the cage!”

Jones will be making his professional debut, as well as his NEF debut, on April 29.  He got an early start in the martial arts, training Taekwondo with his father at six-years-old.  Jones would go on to excel in wrestling during his high school days.  He later entered the MMA ranks after joining First Coast Full Contact/Team Riot in his native Jacksonville, Florida.  Jones put together an impressive 8-1 record as an amateur while capturing three regional titles.  Since moving to New England, Jones has trained at First Class MMA in Brunswick, Maine.

“I’m excited for this fight,” said Jones.  “Much respect to Tollison. This is a great fight to kick off my pro debut. I’m training very hard for this bout and I want to show the Maine crowd and NEF who I am! I’m not looking back at the past on what I’ve done as amateur – this is the future and it’s the next level that I have my eyes on.”

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.

KNOCKOUT ARTIST UP NEXT FOR HARVEY AT NEF 28

Lewiston, Maine (March 8, 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 featherweight bout to the card.  Josh “Hook On” Harvey (3-0) will meet Eric “Money” Mendiola (2-1) at a fight weight of 145-pounds.

Harvey, the former NEF amateur division lightweight champion, is undefeated to date since making his professional debut last spring.  With a solid amateur boxing background, as well as the pedigree of a two-time Maine state wrestling champion, matchmakers have had difficulty in finding opponents willing to step into the cage with him.  The Young’s MMA prospect has displayed both devastating knockout power and slick submission skills throughout his career thus far.  Most recently, Harvey submitted Richie Collingham (3-4) last month at “NEF 27.”

“‘Money’ and I are the type of fight that takes the spotlight, and I know it’s one that people will be talking about for a long time,” remarked Harvey on the upcoming fight.  “I’m prepared for war in this kill-or-be-killed contest.”

Mendiola, a product of Mohawk Valley MMA in the Utica, New York area, will make his first appearance in the NEF cage on April 29, but he is far from a newcomer to the sport of MMA.  He had more than twenty amateur fights prior to turning pro in 2015.  Mendiola has built a reputation as a knockout artist.  After numerous knockout finishes in the amateur ranks, Mendiola put the lights out for his first two pro opponents, both in under a minute.  He will look to rebound from his first loss as a pro last fall.

“I’m a different kind of focused for this fight, mentally and physically,” stated Mendiola when reached for comment.  “Harvey looks like a tough kid with a good record, and I’m up for the challenge. I have a bad taste in my mouth from a couple of months ago, and I’m coming to lay it all on the line and showcase all of my skills. Let’s get to 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.”

THOUSANDS BRAVE WINTER WEATHER FOR LEWISTON MMA EVENT

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (February 11, 2017) – A nor’easter 48 hours earlier, sub-zero temperatures, heavy snowfall at bell-time, and a blizzard looming on the horizon could not stop more than 2,500 devoted fight fans from getting their fill of mixed-martial-arts action at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday night.  The event marked fight promotion New England Fights’ (NEF) five-year anniversary at the venerable fight arena.

The show was headlined by the semi-finals of the NEF Professional MMA Lightweight Title tournament.  Jon Lemke (6-7) advanced to the finals with a first round technical knockout of Jesse Erickson (9-6).  Ryan Sanders (13-8) joined Lemke in the final round with a first-round knockout of John Ortolani (8-11).

Ras Hylton (1-0) was victorious in his professional debut over Mike Hansen (5-5), while former NEF Amateur MMA Welterweight Champion Ricky Dexter (1-0) also entered the pro ranks with a verbal submission win over Matt Denning (3-6) after a brutal body shot.

On the amateur portion of the fight card, Victor Irwin (3-0) became the new light-heavyweight champion with a submission of Ryan Glover (3-2).

NEF further announced that its next MMA event, “NEF 28: INVINCIBLE,” would originate from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

The full results of “NEF 27: RESURGENCE”:

 

PROFESSIONAL

Ryan Sanders def.  John Ortolani via KO, round 1

Jon Lemke def. Jesse Erickson via TKO, round 1

Ras Hylton def. Mike Hansen via verbal submission

Ricky Dexter def. Matt Denning via verbal submission

Josh Harvey def. Richie Collingham via D’arce choke, round 1

Elias Leland def. Nick Santos via arm triangle, round 1

 

AMATEUR

Victor Irwin def. Ryan Glover via rear-naked choke, round 1

Walt Shea def. Alan Bustamante via unanimous decision

Justin Witham def. Ryan Burgess via anaconda choke, round 2

Alex Clark def. Henry Clark via unanimous decision

John Tefft def. Sean Worcester via TKO, round 2

Sarah Ziehm def. Nicole Burgess via rear-naked choke, round 3

Fred Lear def. Michael Crespo via TKO, round 2

Devin Corson def. Winston Cortez via unanimous decision

Zeal McGrew def. Pete Grinnell via TKO, round 1

Frank Johanson def. Jacob Deppmeyer via triangle choke, round 3

Ross Dannar def. Phil Chason via unanimous decision

Angela Young def. Christine Brothwell via unanimous decision

 

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.”

Ryan Glover Ready to Rock at NEF February 11th

 

By: Kalle Oakes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (February 9, 2017) – Championships have played a defining role in Ryan Glover’s young life.

That tradition dates back to his junior year at Mountain Valley High School, when Glover achieved the rare double of a team state championship in football and an individual heavyweight wrestling title in the space of three months.

He has continued that tradition as a mixed martial artist, winning the New England Fights light heavyweight amateur strap in only his fourth career foray into the cage.

Growing up in blue-collar Rumford and Mexico also taught Glover that sports aren’t everything, however. That is why his initial title defense against Victor Irwin at “NEF 27: Resurgence” will be his first appearance in the hexagon in 53 weeks.

Glover-Irwin will headline the amateur segment of an ambitious card Saturday, February 11 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

“I was on the road in Florida and Virginia a lot for work all summer and didn’t have time to train with the guys I usually train with,” Glover said. “You have to pay the bills before you can go do this stuff. This is just for fun. I hope (Irwin) knows I’ll be prepared for this one.”

Once the opening bell tolls, Glover (3-1) will have experienced more title bouts in the cage than non-title trials. He also battled in an unforgettable slugfest for the NEF amateur heavyweight belt, one that went to his opponent in that fight by a close but unanimous decision.

His experience is one of the reasons Glover envisions a triumphant return.

“He’s a good athlete, but a young kid who doesn’t have any experience beyond the first round,” Glover said. “When I had my first title fight, that was my first time going into a second round and I was kind of dead in the water at that point.”

Glover won the title with a second round submission via arm lock over Mike Williams.

That rapid ascent through the New England heavyweight ranks so early in his career shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed Glover’s athletic achievements. He has always been ahead of the usual learning curve.

As a junior on an undefeated 2010 Mountain Valley football powerhouse that featured senior standouts Cam Kaubris and Christian Durland, Glover’s work at linebacker was so impressive that he was named the Lewiston Sun Journal player of the year.

“It helps,” Glover said of his gridiron background. “I’ve seen some of the biggest venues there are when it comes to high school sports.”

State wrestling finals packed in two of Maine’s most hallowed indoor sports facilities – Augusta Civic Center and the old Bangor Auditorium – during Glover’s four years on the mat.

Glover made the jump from the 215-pound class to 285 his sophomore year, even though he tipped the scales far beneath the limit. It was a tradition started by Berserker’s MMA stablemate and fellow NEF star Mike “The Mustache” Hansen about six years earlier.

“Mike was kind of the guinea pig for wrestling against those bigger heavyweights,” Glover said. “That’s the way (Coach) Gary Dolloff sold it to me. I remember him saying that the reason he decided to try that with me was because Mike had been successful at it. And of course he was right, because we got a state championship out of it.”

Senior year didn’t live up to that junior promise. Illness and injury conspired to keep Glover from defending both the football and wrestling titles.

“I was ranked No. 1 going into my senior year and got sick,” he said. “That just goes to show that sometimes life gets in the way.”

Glover didn’t follow the college track, opting for the work force instead, and it seemed that his sports days were over.

He tried auto racing for a while, then turned to boxing and MMA training to get back in shape. That led to his debut in February 2015, followed quickly by three more cage fights and an amateur boxing match for good measure.

Only when his work commitments returned to the River Valley this past fall did Glover consider getting back into the cage. Family obligations came first, he said. And yes, pride in the name he’s made for himself over the years was a factor too.

“It’s definitely a sport where you can get hurt if you try to do it (halfway), especially against an opponent like I’m fighting,” Glover said. “He’s a good athlete. He’s as good at wrestling as I ever was, maybe even better.”

Family and friends in the close-knit, upstart Berserkers camp have Glover better prepared than ever. Ryan’s brother, Matt, also has two NEF appearances to his credit.

“I’ve been rolling with my brother and other guys who are 250 or better,” Glover said. “It’s a game-changer. I feel like I’m lot more of a scrambler than (Irwin) is. And especially where I’ll be cutting weight to get to 205, I’ll have the strength advantage.”

He might enjoy one other distinct advantage: Fan support.

Name recognition has its privileges. Or perhaps it is a case of Glover’s absence making his fans’ hearts grow fonder. In any case, his fight is shaping as one of the most anticipated attractions at NEF 27.

“Right after I took the fight I sold 50 tickets by myself,” Glover said. “When my song comes on, I know the place is going to blow up. Young’s (of Bangor) always brings a big crowd, so we need that support.”

The opening bell for “NEF 27: Resurgence” on February 11 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.

MIKE HANSEN NO STRANGER TO TALL CHALLENGERS

 

By: Kalle Oakes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (February 7, 2017) – On paper, it’s a mismatch. OK, while we’re being brutally honest, maybe it’s even a little crazy.

Mike “The Mustache” Hansen of Rumford stands a typical 5-foot-10. He has spent most of his competitive and everyday life since his junior year at Mountain Valley High School at a window between 200 and 215 pounds.

When he hits the double-digit threshold of fights as a professional mixed martial artist on Saturday, February 11, Hansen (5-4) will take on a relative giant making his pro debut.

Ras Hylton stands 6-foot-6, probably even in bare feet. He entered the cage for the last of his three amateur fights, a second-round stoppage of Kevin Smith, at 248 pounds.

Hansen, 31, says “NEF 27: Resurgence” at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston is simply another day at the office for a fighter who’s a light heavyweight in body but a heavyweight in spirit.

“People don’t realize my background in high school. My sophomore year I weighed 185 pounds. I never went below that,” Hansen said. “When I turned 17, I went above 200 pounds and stayed there. After that I wrestled exclusively at 275. Guys that are 6-4 or taller, guys who weigh 270, I’ve been playing with them for about 16 years.”

Grit, determination and technique have served Hansen beautifully since his days at that level, when he was a state champion.

In addition to a stint in the U.S. Army, Hansen spent the early years of his adult life dabbling in what was the relatively new discipline of MMA.

Not only were the opponents bigger than Hansen, they were chosen essentially at random. He rarely ventured into the cage with the benefit of a scouting report.

“There would be a place set up in a bar, it would be $25 at the door, and you wouldn’t know who you were going to fight until you got there. But I needed the experience,” Hansen said. “I had a lot of unsanctioned fights, and that makes for a lot of unsanctioned experience. Now I know the rules and mechanisms are set up to give me the best chance not to get injured. I feel like I’ve already experienced the worst that can happen to me.”

Hansen’s propensity for fighting anyone, anytime, anywhere has followed him to the more structured environment of NEF.

He was still admittedly getting back into fighting shape when he accepted the challenge against veteran super heavyweight Artie Mullen (265 pounds) on Feb. 7, 2015. Hansen took the battle to the canvas quickly and outdueled Mullen in 57 seconds.

Brendan Battles checked in at nearly 260 pounds when he dealt Hansen a first-round TKO. Even at his more natural 205-pound limit, Hansen hasn’t shied away from the best or the biggest. He owns victories over past NEF fighter of the year Crowsneck Boutin and the 6-foot-3 Matt Andrikut.

Hansen said that the ingredients to that success are no secret: Stay aggressive, push the issue early and stick to the game plan. Win or lose, he has never sat on the stool in the corner during a pro fight. Each has ended in the first round.

“I’m a first-round fighter. If this one gets to the second round, it’s because I changed my game plan for some reason,” Hansen said. “If you look at my Artie Mullen and Jesse Baughman (Hansen won by triangle choke in 4:21) fights, you could say, ‘Act 1, Scene 1,’ and it played out exactly the way I choreographed it. I was that meticulous.”

That’s the voice of experience, another element that is squarely in Hansen’s corner heading into the Hylton showdown.

The 28-year-old Hylton’s three amateur scraps – he also knocked out Zak Bergeron in the first round and Hansen’s teammate at Berserkers MMA, Matt Glover, in the second stanza – have required him to fight for a total of 9 minutes, 41 seconds.

“He’s a black belt in taekwondo, so he’s no joke. He’s had three fights. I know he wanted to go pro and find better competition,” Hansen said. “I welcome it, just like when I fought Brendan Battles. They’re both really talented, really skilled guys, but you can’t get that experience from three or four amateur fights.

”I think my number one advantage is my experience, if you add up all my time spent in the cage. You can’t get that from training. You just have to do it.”

Hansen points out that stamina is a question for bigger fighters, especially those making the transition from amateur to pro.

Rounds increase in length from three to five minutes. Fighters often believe that their training camp has prepared them for the change, until they hit the proverbial, invisible wall.

“In an amateur fight you go hard for three minutes, take a one-minute break, feel pretty good, go three more minutes and you’re just about done,” Hansen said. “In a pro fight, you go into that first round and three-and-a-half minutes in, you’re saying, ‘I’m good, let’s go.’ Then it gets to four minutes and you’re like, ‘Holy crap, I’m tired now.’”

Although he suspects that most observers expect Hylton to win on the merits of his size advantage and impressive amateur winning streak, Hansen said that being underestimated is as customary to him as being undersized.

“I’ve had people tell my striking coach, J.B. (Jason Eric Bell), before a fight that they felt sorry for me that their guy had such an advantage. They’ve told my wrestling coach, Gary Dolloff, the same thing,” Hansen said. “Then we get in there and it’s a different story.”

The opening bell for “NEF 27: Resurgence” on February 11 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.

THE TRASH TALK STARTS FAST AND FURIOUS BETWEEN DENNING AND DEXTER

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (January 6, 2017) –New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on February 11, 2017 with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 27: RESURGENCE.”  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional catchweight fight to the card.  Matt “Ken Doll” Denning (3-5) is scheduled to face Ricky Dexter (0-0) at a weight of 160-pounds.

 

Denning is fresh off an appearance for World Series of Fighting (WSOF) at Madison Square Garden in New York City this past New Year’s Eve.  All of Denning’s previous professional bouts had been for NEF.  The Lewiston resident is looking to break a string of three losses after submitting Derek Shorey (4-8) last spring at “NEF 23” in Hyannis, Massachusetts.  Denning is a member of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

 

“I’m coming back to NEF to make a statement,” said Denning emphatically.  “I’m coming off of a couple of losses in a row and I’m coming to get that win. They think I’m all Jiu Jitsu and can’t take a punch. You want to brawl with me?  Let’s stand toe-to-toe. You’re going to try and lay on me like you did in your amateur career? I’m going to welcome Dexter to the pros in a mean way. It’s a new level here and I’m going to come out on top!’

 

Ricky Dexter will vacate the NEF Amateur Welterweight Title to turn professional and face Denning on February 11.  Dexter won that championship last February with a first-round technical knockout of Caleb Farrington (3-1).  As an amateur, Dexter put together a very impressive record of 5-2 with all five of his wins coming by finish.  Dexter represents Team Irish in Brewer, Maine.

 

“Once Matt Denning feels my power and the inability to take me down, he’s going to be looking for a way out like he always does, except I’m not looking for the sub,” said Dexter.  “February 11th, I’m going to show the NEF fans that Matt Denning is in the fight game for the wrong reasons. I’m coming from the ‘ammo league,’ but I’ve been training with killers my whole career. I’m going to show everyone I belong here.”

 

NEF’s next event, “NEF 27: RESURGENCE” takes place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $25 and are on sale now 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.