Tag Archives: Mountain Valley High School

Tensions Running High as Former Falcons Teammates Prepare for MMA Cage Battle

Lewiston, Maine (January 10, 2018) – Growing up in the same blue-collar community and advancing through the same, storied sports program does not necessarily make two men best friends.




Former Mountain Valley High School teammates, and future New England Fights mixed martial arts opponents, Ryan Burgess and Nate Boucher are evidence of the old maxim, “familiarity breeds contempt.”




Burgess, 24, and Boucher, 21, will battle in an amateur flyweight bout at “NEF 32: Super Saturday” on Saturday, February 3. The fight at Androscoggin Bank Colisee will determine the number one contender in the 125-pound division, and earn the winner a title shot against champion Justin Witham.




It will have been almost a year since Burgess, a three-time Maine high school wrestling champion and past NEF titleholder, walked into the cage. He called NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson and specifically requested the Boucher fight.




Why? On one hand, it was a business decision after Boucher’s close, split-decision loss to Witham in a November title bout.




“I’ve been out for a year. I was hoping to jump right back into a title fight,” Burgess explained. “After Nate’s fight with Witham, I knew he would want the immediate rematch. Once it became obvious that wasn’t going to happen until April, I asked if we could do this fight in February, and Nate took it.”




Burgess (2-2) subsequently launched one or two social media grenades that appeared to indicate some level of animosity toward his fellow Falcon. It is likely less personal than tactical; Burgess sensed an opportunity to exploit what he sees as one of the chinks in Boucher’s armor.




“Nate, ever since he was a kid, has a piss-poor attitude when he loses. I hope to humble him a little bit and make sure he doesn’t have to worry about this fight getting in the hands of the judges,” Burgess said. “Nate probably could have been a two- or-three-time state champion if he had given himself the opportunity to do that. If he still has the same attitude he had back then, it’s going to end the same way.”




Burgess is one of only four three-time state champions in MVHS history. Coincidentally, Boucher’s brother, Ethan, also accomplished the feat.




Boucher, who has already taken out four-time Maine high school mat champion, and two-time New England finalist, Jeremiah Barkac of Dexter during his time in the NEF hexagon, looks and sounds like a different character than the one who struggled away from the mat as a teenager.




After winning his first two fights with ease, Boucher (2-1) was not the only one in the building who felt he had done enough to earn the belt in Portland.




“I thought I controlled the first two rounds of the fight. All three, really. The first two I pretty much had (Witham) choked out,” Boucher said. “It ended up being a learning experience for me that you can’t leave the fight to the judges. The great thing about the amateur ranks is, while of course I care about my record, at the end of the day it’s part of the learning process to make you a better professional.”




In response to Burgess’ volleys on Facebook, Boucher questioned the former champion’s behavior after winning the NEF strap two fights into his career.




“I’m not much for the trash talk. I just enjoy the sport. I like to fight and then just go home. He does it a little to build his ego I think,” Boucher said. “He dropped the belt because he was having trouble making weight, which is pretty disrespectful, in my opinion. He was out for a while, so now I’m ahead of him, and he knows he has to go through me.”




Burgess said he used that layoff to complete his college education and develop his credentials as a physical therapist assistant, indicating that the medical profession is more likely to be his long-term career than MMA.




While he continued his training schedule at Rumford Community Center with Berserkers MMA, Burgess said it was less intense and structured prior to his losses against Witham and Dustin Veinott. Burgess previously defeated both rivals.




“Physically I still should have beaten them, but mentally I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. Now I’m much more focused,” Burgess said. “At the time I was finishing school, working part-time 20 to 30 hours a week and going to school for probably another 40. I lost two fights where I was under weight. I was gaining weight while the other guys were cutting weight. I’d go in there at the limit and they would put on 10 to 15 pounds between the weigh-in and the fight.”




Boucher admittedly never reached his potential as a high school wrestler. He has followed a different path than Burgess, enrolling at Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – where he still trains today – at age 13.




“I have some of the toughest and best training partners in the state,” Boucher said. “My jiu-jitsu has come a long way, almost the point where it has passed my wrestling a little bit. Of course, wrestling is what I always go back to when I need it. My striking is night-and-day. It was awful for my first fight.”




He added that his greatest success in MMA has come at the expense of former wrestlers.




Burgess is counting on Boucher to underestimate the rest of his repertoire. As someone who took up wrestling on the middle school junior varsity team in seventh grade, he said that his history as a quick study has carried over into realm of jiu-jitsu and boxing.




“I think he’s going to be surprised. He thinks he knows what I bring to the table,” Burgess said. “All he knows about me is my wrestling, but I have a lot more than that to fall back on. I already know what he brings to the table. And he’s not going to learn in two months what I’ve learned in two years.”




The opening bell on February 3 is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available at www.TheColisee.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.


Mike Hansen

Lewiston, Maine (June 15, 2016) – Fighting anyone, anywhere, anytime and under any circumstances has become Mike Hansen’s calling card with New England Fights.

No surprise, then, that the 30-year-old father of three from Rumford, ME will gladly entertain the idea of a mixed martial arts contest … against an opponent about whom he admittedly knows precious little … on the eve of Father’s Day.

Hansen (4-4) will take on Robert Laroski in a heavyweight clash at “NEF 24: Promised Land” on Saturday, June 18 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

There is no fear of the unknown in a man who has carved out his reputation confronting substantially bigger foes since his days as a state champion wrestler at Mountain Valley High School. During his relatively short time in NEF, Hansen has fought as a middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.

“When I took the fight (at NEF 23 in Massachusetts) against Brendan Battles, people were saying, ‘You’re crazy! He’s going to bust your head!’ I understand why the weight classes exist, and I respect that it’s about safety and all that, but I’ve always felt that a fighter should be ready to fight anybody, no matter what,” Hansen said. “In high school, I would drink two gallons of water and put lead in my uniform just so I could get to the minimum weight for the unlimited class.”

That’s the attitude of a fighter whose skill and talent level far exceed his current record as a professional.

Hansen’s docket includes a stoppage win over former NEF “Fighter of the Year” Crowsneck Boutin. His record also includes TKO losses to Battles and Cody Anderson and a choke-out at the hands of Zach Elkins.

When he reflects upon his unique life story, Hansen, who fought twice for the World Fighting League as a 20-year-old college student, marvels that he ever got back into the cage at all.

“I started the winter of 2004-05. I started training because I had gone from 187 to 242 pounds in a few months. I was seeing stretch marks,” Hansen recalled. “I was pretty upset with myself for allowing that to happen. I started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu two nights a week to get in shape. Then I went home for the summer and ended up with my first fight in August. My friends got me the fight without my coaches knowing about it. They told me it was a good thing I won, or they would have kicked my butt.”

Hansen kept a promise to his father to quit the sport after a knockout loss to Alexander Chianurashvili in 2006. He was studying at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, with intentions to enter the medical field.

He was stabbed and attacked with a baseball bat by three men in a case of mistaken identity not long thereafter. “I walked out of the hospital the next day, and all three of them were still in there from the beating I gave them in self-defense,” Hansen said proudly.

That dogged determination served Hansen well in the United States Army, where he studied in the elite Combatives program.

“They ask you ‘Who wins the fight?’ and the answer is, ‘Whoever’s buddy gets there first to help him clean up.’ That’s what Combatives taught me: How to survive that extra 30 to 60 seconds,” Hansen said. “Work ethic is what it taught me. It helped me grow and do things I might have questioned mentally whether or not I could do. Not many people find that extra little motivation. The Army taught me how to find it and utilize it.”

A few years later, Hansen found that inner fire again. Even as he returned to coaching wrestlers in his hometown, his own physical fitness suffered as work and fatherhood took precedence.

Hansen vividly describes sitting in a bean bag chair, eating snack food, watching TV at 2:11 a.m. when his phone rang. He assumed it was a friend in trouble.

“It was (NEF co-owner) Matt Peterson. Our families grew up maybe 200 yards apart. My high school wrestling coach had called him, unbeknownst to me, to tell him he needed to get me back in the cage,” Hansen said.

Three weeks later and 20 pounds lighter, Hansen dispatched super heavyweight fixture Artie Mullen at “NEF 16: New Blood Rising,” and the comeback was on.

In the 15 months that have followed, Hansen has been instrumental in launching Berserkers MMA and building his reputation as both a fighter and an instructor.

Life is blossoming at home, also. Hansen is the father of two girls, ages 5 and 2, and a boy of four months. His older daughter, Kaydn, often accompanies Dad to the gym at Greater Rumford Community Center. He returns the favor by chaperoning field trips for her kindergarten class.

“She and her friends will be on the playground practicing boxing stances and stuff,” Hansen said. “Her teacher says it’s adorable. Hopefully she is learning to take care of herself so I don’t have to.”

Kaydn’s parents are making plans to take her to her first live NEF show after she turns 6. For now, she is content to watch her Dad’s fights on YouTube.

“If we’re watching TV together,” Hansen said, “we have a thing where I get two shows and then she gets two shows. If I put in a fight tape, she’ll say, ‘Daddy, I know this doesn’t count as one of your shows, because this is your work.’”

The opening bell on June 18 is set for 7 p.m. Tickets for “NEF 24: Promised Land” 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 events 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.”


Lewiston, Maine (April 22, 2016) – During the years 2003-2006, Matt Glover (1-0) was the player from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine that you did not want to end up facing from the other side of the pigskin. Standing over six feet tall and weighing 250-pounds, the nightmarish middle linebacker helped to build Mountain Valley (MV) into a modern day football dynasty by punishing ball carriers for four decorated years and leading MV to two state championships in the process. He bench pressed over 400 pounds in the weight room and was hell on wheels on the field making him a powerful two-way double-threat player on both offense and defense. His reputation is legendary in the River Valley area of Western Maine as a feared and respected athlete.


After graduating from Mountain Valley in 2007, Glover left football behind to go to work. He married his longtime girlfriend, Lindsey, and had a son. They bought a home together. Throughout the summer and fall seasons, he traveled the agricultural fair circuit in Maine with his pulling horses, a family tradition he had been brought up in from an early age.


“My family has been competing in horse pulling since I was a kid,” Glover explained. “It takes up a lot of time and it keeps my dad young. I get up early every morning to exercise my horse teams before I go into work at night. Between my dad, my wife and I, we have 11 draft horses. We bale our own hay for all of them. I love backing them up to the drag and watching them dig.”


But despite the fullness of his life, the call of competition still beckoned to him and left him with a sense of longing. “I would have killed to have had that same feeling again,” Glover recalled. “And then I stepped into the cage.”


In early 2015, Matt’s younger brother, Ryan—another Mountain Valley football standout—made his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut at “NEF 16.” Ryan swarmed his opponent in his first fight and stopped him in a blistering 12 seconds. Matt was in attendance that night and found his curiosity piqued at the prospect of competing in a different kind of contact sport.


Later in 2015, Ryan competed for the inaugural NEF Amateur Heavyweight Championship. He dropped a decision that night to current title holder, Billy “Bigfoot” Leahy (3-1). After the win, the trash talk quickly escalated between Leahy and members of Berserkers MMA, based out of Rumford and led by head coaches Gary Dolloff and Mike Hansen (3-3).  “When Billy Leahy called out all of the guys at Berserkers after he beat my brother, then it was game-on,” recalled Matt.


Matt began training closely with members of the Berserkers coaching staff, including Hansen and others, who he credits for his accelerated learning curve in the sport. Additionally, Matt sparred extensively with brother Ryan, who was preparing for a fight of his own on the same night that Matt was scheduled to make his MMA debut. “My brother and I are not like other brothers,” Matt explained. “We go into the gym and beat the hell out of each other and then ride home in the same truck—that’s just how we have always been. Push, push, push—everything is competition with us. From the first one to get to the next hay bale in the hay field to the first one to get to the supper table—it’s just how we operate.”


“Matt’s a real competitive person,” his wife, Lindsey, confirmed. “Everything is a competition with him. I knew that cagefighting would feed that competitive hunger that he feels all the time when he’s not pulling his horses.”


Matt officially made his MMA debut back in February at “NEF 21: THE IMMORTALS” against durable veteran Gravin Guillen (2-5). Matt exceeded debut expectations by finishing Guillen in just 1:30 of the first round by technical knockout (TKO). When the ref cleared the scene, Guillen’s face showed the effects of Glover’s record-breaking exploits in the weight room. Glover’s Rumford fans that were in attendance in heavy numbers that night, voiced their approval in thunderous applause. “At first, I had butterflies,” Glover remembered, “but once I heard all the people cheering, all it did was pump me up. I was ready to fight. Win or lose, I knew they had my back and more.”


This weekend, Glover is poised to make his second appearance in the NEF cage when he takes on 6’6” Ras Hylton (1-0) from rival gym, First Class MMA. Hylton made his debut on the same night as Glover and, like his challenger this weekend, made quick work of his opponent by earning a TKO victory at 1:21 of the first round.


Berserkers MMA Founder and Head Coach, Mike Hansen, predicts a dominant night for Glover. “Matt happens to be much stronger than he even appears, which is incredible if you have ever seen him,” Hansen stated. “A guy of his size normally struggles with agility, but Matt doesn’t. He is a super athlete and easy to coach. Matt improves daily and will be a juggernaut in the heavyweight amateur division.


“Ras is used to being the bigger guy in all of his fights. That will not be the case on Saturday night. Matt will put his hands on Hylton in a way he’s never been touched before. I don’t see Ras walking away from this fight with his hand held high. He should consider it a win if he can walk away at all when Matt’s done with him.”


Going into Saturday night, Glover feels well prepared to continue building on his success in the sport of MMA that he started to create back in February. If his athletic history is any indicator, he should be confident in the future. “I’m ready for this fight,” Glover stated. “In this fight, I’m more relaxed because my brother’s not fighting and I can just focus on my fight… After that first win, I knew I was hooked because there’s no better feeling.”


“When people first started speaking to Matt about competing in MMA, I was completely against it 110%,” Lindsey stated. “But after watching him train so hard with the guys in the gym and seeing that he has the same passion for that as he does for his horse pulling, I felt more at ease and decided that if this was something he wanted to pursue, I would support him in any way that I possibly could.


“The Glover brothers fighting in MMA is a big thing for Rumford,” Lindsey stated in closing. “Every time it’s getting close to fight night, this town comes alive. No matter where he goes within the sport, this town and his family support him.”


New England Fights’ next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE,” takes place this Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets for “NEF 22” 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.”


Lewiston, Maine (March 17, 2016) – New England Fights (NEF), America’s number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE” on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  The fight card will feature a mix of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of a professional light-heavyweight bout to the MMA portion of the “NEF 22” fight card.  Mike “The Mustache” Hansen (3-3) has signed to face Jesse “The Barbarian” Baughman (0-1) at a fight weight of 205-pounds.


Mike Hansen is the founding member of Berserkers MMA based out of Rumford, Maine.  He is an alumni of Mountain Valley High School (MVHS) where he won a state championship wrestling as a heavyweight in 2004.  Hansen made his MMA debut shortly after graduating from high school, only to step away from the sport for a decade in order to serve his country as a combat engineer in the United States Army.  He returned to the MMA cage in 2015 as a member of the NEF roster.  After restarting his career with a record of 2-1, Hansen dropped his first bout of 2016 to Zach Elkins (1-1) last month.  He will look to rebound from that loss on April 23.


“I’m looking forward to getting back in the cage fast coming off this loss,” said Hansen.  “I wasn’t mentally in that fight, so this time around with Baughman, I’m going to be mentally focused.  Jesse is a big guy and a tough fighter – and he seems like a guy I could get along with.  So, when we are done smashing each other up, hopefully we can get a drink.”


Like Hansen, Baughman is a United States military veteran, where he served in a recon unit of the special forces and earned a level-three certification in Army combatives.  He is currently a member of Team Link based out of Hooksett, New Hampshire.  As an amateur MMA fighter, Baughman put together a perfect record of 5-0 and was the number-one ranked light-heavyweight in the northeast region prior to turning professional.  Baughman made his pro debut last November at “NEF 20” against Matt Andrikut (2-0).


“On April 23rd, I’m looking forward to getting back in there and putting on a show,” said Baughman.  “My fans from New Hampshire want to see a war – and best believe they will!  Mike Hansen is a worthy opponent.  He knows going in, this will be a bloody battle till the end.  I have the best guys around preparing me for this matchup.  Big thanks to Taylor Trahan, Kevin Haley, Brett Trahan and Rob Belliveau.”


New England Fights’ next event, “NEF 22: ALL ROADS LEAD HERE,” takes place Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets for “NEF 22” 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.”