Tag Archives: NEF

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.

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.

BELLATOR VET REPRESENTS BIG TEST FOR LACEY AT RUMBLE IN BANGOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (June 23, 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 professional featherweight bout to the fight card.  Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (4-0) will take on Bryan Goldsby (18-15) at a fight weight of 145-pounds.

Goldsby will be the most experienced fighter Bangor-area prospect Aaron Lacey has ever faced in the cage.  He has four Bellator bouts under his belt and has faced national stars such as Will Campuzano (14-6) and Jeff Curran (36-17-1).  Goldsby made his NEF debut earlier this month, not in the MMA cage but in the boxing ring.  The August 5th bout will represent his return to the cage after more than a three year absence.

Lacey put on a “fight of the night” performance last year in Bangor in a brutal back-and-forth war against John Santos (3-5).  It was the only fight of Lacey’s pro career thus far to make it to the judges’ scorecards.  He has finished all three of his other opponents via first-round submission.  The fight with Goldsby will be Lacey’s first since last November.

“Fighting in Bangor last year was a dream come true, but it also showed me I have a lot to work on,” said Lacey. “I have been nonstop since then and have made giant improvements. Goldsby is a seasoned opponent who has fought at some of the highest levels the sport has to offer. This will be a big test for me and I’m looking forward to showing everyone just how dangerous I can be!”

“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.

MILITARY VETERANS WILL VIE FOR PRO MMA TITLE IN BANGOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (June 20, 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 professional championship middleweight contest to the fight card.  CJ Ewer (2-0) will take on Mike “The Mustache” Hansen (5-5) for the vacant NEF MMA Pro 185-pound championship.

CJ Ewer serves as a member of the United States Air Force security forces.  When not defending the nation overseas, Ewer trains at Young’s MMA in Bangor.  He is an accomplished wrestler, with two Maine state high school championships and a New England district championship to his credit.  Ewer wrestled under legendary coach Ted Reese while attending the University of Southern Maine (USM).  Upon joining the MMA circuit, he put together a 5-2 record as an amateur prior to turning pro.  Ewer’s last fight was one year ago to the day in Bangor at “NEF PresentsDana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”  He dropped Ruben Redman (0-1) with a highlight reel knockout that brought White and his web series co-stars to their feet at ringside.

“Mike is a tough-as-nails opponent, and I look forward to testing myself against him,” said Ewer of the upcoming title fight with Hansen.  “At the end of the fight, the most prepared fighter will win. Mike will not out work me in preparation, nor does he have training  partners that I have. I look forward to bringing the 185-pound belt back to Young’s MMA on August 5th.”

Mike Hansen, like CJ Ewer, proudly served his country.  Hansen was a combat engineer in the United States Army before retiring from the service.  Also like Ewer, Hansen comes from a wrestling background with a Maine state title earned during his time with Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine.  A founding member of team Berserkers MMA, Hansen has a reputation for taking on all comers.  He has never backed down from a challenge, sometimes battling behemoths two weight classes larger than himself.

“I’ve been working towards this moment for years now,” stated Hansen. “I busted into the Maine MMA scene just over two years ago and have been fighting top ranked fighters and the guys that everyone else runs from to prove that I can fight. CJ Ewer is a great competitor coming from the best camp in the state at Young’s MMA. I have nothing but respect for them up there, and I know he will come ready to fight. With that being said, I will be ready for war, and I’m coming home with the gold that night. He’s just another man locked in the cage with me, and anyone who has had that caged locked behind them across from me knows I’m not an easy win.”

“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.

AMATEUR TITLE FIGHT PROMISES TO BE AN ALL-OUT WAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (May 3, 2017) –New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday, June 17, 2017 with the fight promotion’s next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES.”  The event will feature a full slate of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts.  The amateur portion of the card will be headlined by a lightweight title fight that will see Rafael “Deez Nuts” Velado (4-0) defend against Pat Kelly (3-0).

 

A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Velado made his NEF debut in the fall of 2015.  He submitted Kelly’s Young’s MMA teammate Jimmy Jackson (3-3) at “NEF 25” to claim the amateur lightweight title.  To date, only Mike Peitersen (3-1), another member of Young’s, has gone the distance with Velado who has established himself as a master of arm bars and Kimuras.  Velado is a member of First Class MMA in Brunswick, Maine.

 

“Here we go again,” exclaimed Velado. “We’ve got a friendly rivalry going between First Class MMA and Young’s MMA. They throw a badass at me and I answer the call. PK (Pat Kelly) is a legend of sorts. If you wrestle in Maine and you don’t know who he is, you’re out of touch. I think PK a different kind of challenge for me than my previous four fights. I’ve shown that I can get the fight to the ground and that I’m dangerous when I get there, but that’s a wildcard with Pat.  This fight is very exciting to me because we are both undefeated and the winner is going to have to prove that they are ready for the next level by bringing a well-rounded game. I have no doubt as to whether PK is capable of taking me down. The question is; will he regret his decision to take me there? We will see on June 17th.”

 

Pat Kelly is, as Velado noted, a legend in the Maine wrestling world.  He put together an impressive 116-20 career record at the University of Maine, captured a New England title and wrestled in the NCAA Championships in 1986.  The 52-year-old is no stranger to the championship circle as a coach either, having led the Camden Hills team to several state titles over the years, earning himself an induction into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in the process.  Kelly famously coached current UFC star Tim Boetsch (20-11) to four state wrestling titles during Boetsch’s time at Camden Hills.

 

As a member of Young’s MMA, Kelly made his MMA debut at “NEF 14.”  Known for his intense in-cage performances, Kelly has finished all three of his opponents.  A knee injury has forced him to the sidelines since his last victory in the summer of 2015.

 

“First, my sincere thanks to NEF for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to Coach Chris Young and Ernie Fitch along with all my teammates at Young’s MMA,” said Kelly. “I am so pumped-up to get back into the NEF cage. I am now fully recovered from a serious knee injury and am felling better than ever. This fight makes perfect sense in that you have two undefeated fighters that are willing to wage war for the belt.

 

“I am honored to share the cage with a fighter of Raf’s caliber,” Kelly continued.  “I respect the fact he is currently the undefeated champ. To fight him means that my time has come to offer him a challenge worthy of title contention. I have been training for an opportunity like this for the past four years. I will bring to the cage a sense of unpredictability and true grit. In essence, Raf will do what he has to do and I will do what I have to do. Whatever happens, happens.”

 

New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES,” on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online atwww.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 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.

SANDERS ON LEMKE REMATCH: “I’M GOING TO STEAL HIS SOUL AND I’M GOING TO BREAK HIS WILL”

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (April 27, 2017) – Never one to back down from a challenge, or an opportunity to call out the competition, “The” Ryan Sanders is irked by the tone of the scuttlebutt since his first fight with Jon Lemke last November.

Yes, the skirmish stopped during the third round, due to a deep cut on Lemke’s head. But with Sanders leading comfortably, 20-18, on all three cards, he was declared the winner.

It all fell in line with the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, and it surely reflected Sanders’ conviction that he was well in command of the bout and on his way to victory, regardless. Since that night, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, however, Sanders, 29, says that Lemke and others in his camp have been a tad too outspoken about their belief that it was somehow a tainted victory.

In a recent interview with Jason Floyd on “The MMA Report Podcast,” Sanders held nothing back when queried about his motivation to dole out another beating when the former training partners meet this Saturday, April 29 in a rematch at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

This time, it’s the tournament final for the vacant lightweight title at “NEF 28: Invincible.”

“I was a little upset afterwards that (Lemke) said he thought it should have been a no-contest,” Sanders said. “What Jon won’t talk about or say is that right before I got that takedown, he quit. He quit in my arms.”

Sanders (13-8) clarified that comment, adding that while Lemke (6-7) didn’t say the word explicitly, his vast experience in the cage underscored his belief that the end was nigh.

“A fighter knows when someone is about to give up, and Jon was about to give up,” he said. “He wasn’t fighting that takedown in my arms. He was just dead weight in my arms, so it’s a bit frustrating that he would say that.”

It didn’t take long for the stars to align and serve up the second helping that both fighters’ fan bases crave. With a shot at the strap in the offing, both men made short work of their 155-pound tournament semifinal opponents in February.

Sanders landed a vicious kick to the jaw of John Ortolani that ended their confrontation in a mere 15 seconds. Lemke was just as impressive, needing only a minute longer to dispatch Jesse “the Viking” Erickson.

Typically it’s the defeated fighter in this scenario who covets the chance at vindication, but Sanders sounds like the one with an axe to grind after hearing some of the public perception about his previous win.

“I’m happy that we get a rematch and to be able to show everyone that the first time it wasn’t a fluke and to have my hand raised again,” Sanders, who is 6-1 in his past seven fights, said. “I’m unstoppable right now. I’m surrounded with the best people. I’ve got great teammates, great coaches and an amazing wife … Any guy who fights me, they are (screwed).”

Asked if he is bent on earning a submission to achieve a measure of unfinished business, Sanders quickly declared that any form of victory will suffice.

“Not necessarily to get a stoppage victory, but I’m going to show him. It will be five months since we fought, and I’ve been in the gym every day, and I’m going to show him that he’s not on my level,” Sanders said. “Eventually the victory will come whether it’s a submission, a TKO, a knockout. Jon does have a lot of heart, but I’m going to be stealing it from him. I’m going to steal his soul and I’m going to break his will.

“I’m a grappler, so I do prefer a nice submission victory,” he continued. “But whatever he gives me I’ll take, and I’m going to go in there and take it. I’m going to take that belt home. That is my belt, and I’ve worked too hard to let anyone else take it from me.”

The rivalry between Sanders and Lemke is a natural one. They were former stablemates at Team Irish before Sanders switched to rival Young’s MMA.

Sanders said he didn’t earn enough takedowns for his liking in the previous encounter, but he believes the scorecards were an accurate reflection of how he dominated the fight.

“I knew he was a tough dude. He could take a punch. He could take a kick,” Sanders said. “I feel like I was getting the best of it.”

A second bout with Lemke fits Sanders’ profile as a fighter willing to take on anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Sanders, who has been matched in his career with the likes of Marcus Davis, Gil de Freitas, Levan Makashvili, Luis Felix and Derrick Kennington, has won his last five in a row on Maine soil.

He dropped back-to-back decisions to de Freitas in his two previous bids for an NEF title and naturally predicts that he won’t let the third chance at gold slip away.

“I know with the training I’m putting in that I’m destined for greatness,” Sanders said. “My work has shown that, and my future fights will show that. I know I’m there to fight the best. Look at the guys I’ve fought. They’re UFC or Bellator vets, or they’re top-five fighters in the region.

“(The fans are) going to witness a great fight, a great performance by Ryan Sanders,” he concluded. “They may say, ‘This guy’s being (a jerk). He’s real cocky.’ It’s not that I’m cocky. I’m fully confident in my training and in my training partners and in my coaches and in myself that I am ready to fight anybody in the region and beat anybody in the region.”

The opening bell for “NEF 28: Invincible” on April 29 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.

LEMKE ON LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE SHOT: “I JUST THINK ABOUT GETTING THAT BELT AND DEFENDING THAT BELT”

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (April 27, 2017) – Not everybody in life gets blessed with a shot at redemption. Jonathan Lemke will bask in that opportunity on multiple fronts when he battles “The” Ryan Sanders for the vacant NEF lightweight title this Saturday, April 29 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee as part of “NEF 28: Invincible.”

It’s the second shot at the NEF strap for Lemke, who lost a split decision to Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington in February 2016 at “NEF 21: THE IMMORTALS.” Lemke also looks forward to the rematch with Sanders after their fight in November was abbreviated due to a gash on Lemke’s head.

“Definitely after the way the last one ended, I still feel like I have a little unfinished business, a little chip on my shoulder,” Lemke said recently in an interview on “The Maine Event” podcast with Ryan Jarrell and Bryan Stackpole. “I definitely want to go out there and take care of business this time.”

Sanders (13-8) won a unanimous decision when the verdict went to the scorecards by virtue of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.

Like his opponent and former stablemate, Lemke (6-7) has carved out a reputation as a fighter who will take on all comers. The first bout with Sanders extended his winless streak to four fights, but the quality of opposition – Devin Powell, Josh LaBerge and Boyington preceded Sanders – are good for more than an asterisk.

He snapped that run in short order with a first-round TKO of Jesse “The Viking” Erickson in February’s tournament semifinals.

“I’m very excited, very grateful,” Lemke said. “This is the culmination of a lot of years, a lot of hard work, to be at this point again and see some of that pay off.”

Lemke doesn’t believe that he needs the title to validate his years under the NEF umbrella. On the flip side, however, it is a line on the personal checklist on which he is hungry to leave his mark.

“It would mean a lot,” he acknowledged.  “It wouldn’t define me either way, but at the same time certainly one of the goals I set out to achieve when I first started this sport was to take care of business on the regional end and to be a regional champion.”

Previous champions Powell, Boyington and Dez Green made the lightweight belt NEF’s most coveted honor by using it as a springboard to opportunities on a national scale.

Lemke, who has enjoyed the spotlight as part of both a Bellator card and Dana White’s “Lookin’ for a Fight” UFC audition, denied that he is looking ahead to greener pastures.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought about where it would take me,” he said. “I just think about getting that belt and defending that belt. It’s always one fight at a time.”

Between their days training together with Team Irish (Sanders now fights out of Young’s MMA) and their previous fight, Lemke and Sanders know one another as well as any NEF title fight opponents in history.

While Lemke allows for the possibility that both men will dip into their bag of tricks, he said fans shouldn’t expect too many surprises.

“I think stylistically it will be a little bit different. Game plan wise it will be a little bit different. At the start you might see some different wrinkles from both,” Lemke said “But at the end of the day we are both familiar with each other, so it will be a similar type fight.”

He also sees the confrontation living up to every ounce of its billing.

“One of the statements from the first card was that I believe this fight could headline any card, any regional or national promotion, and I still believe that,” Lemke said. “It’s a fight the fans want to see.”

And it’s a fight he naturally believes he will win the second time around.

“I’m healthy as can be. Had a good, tough camp, and I’m looking forward to getting out there and performing my business,” Lemke said. “I believe in my overall skill set and believe that overall skill set will lead to the victory.”

The opening bell for “NEF 28: Invincible” on April 29 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.

FORMER WRESTLING STANDOUTS SET TO THROW DOWN AT NEF 28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (March 15, 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 pair of amateur bouts to the card. Ken Dunn(0-4) is set to face Eddie DeRoche (0-1) in a catchweight bout and double amateur debut fighters Caleb Austin (0-0) of Rumford, Maine and James Ploss (0-0) from Kaze Dojo in Lancaster, NH are set to tangle in a feature flyweight bout.

 

Caleb Austin is a two-time Maine state wrestling champion and a member of the exclusive “200 Wins Club,” a rare feat in Maine wrestling. Austin recently completed his high school career with an overall record of 208-11. Caleb’s father, Eric Austin—also a former Maine state wrestling champion—is an undefeated veteran of the cage, having gone 2-0 in NEF back in 2012. Like his father, Caleb is preparing to put his wrestling on display for the NEF fans in his debut on April 29th.

 

“I’ve wrestled my entire life and grown-up around the NEF community,” stated Austin when reached for comment. “I’ve been waiting a long time to turn 18 to become eligible to compete in the sport of mixed martial arts like my father did. I’m excited to put my skills to the test, represent Rumford and put on a show in the NEF cage. I’m ready.”

 

Austin’s opponent, James Ploss, trains with Greg Williams at the well-known Kaze Dojo in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Several NEF veterans with names familiar to fans, including Allan Josselyn, Mike Bezanson and Alex Walker, hail from the Kaze Dojo. Ploss is committed to carrying on the tradition of strong debuts from the White Mountains gym and following through on a personal promise in the process.

 

“Fighting is real personal to me,” Ploss stated when reached for comment. “I promised the man that raised me that I would fight. He died shortly after that. I want to prove to him and myself that I can be successful in this sport. My goal is to inspire others to achieve.”

 

Eddie DeRoche wrestled alongside Austin for Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine. During his time there, DeRoche was a two-time state finalist. He made his NEF debut in June 2016 at “NEF 24: PROMISED LAND” in a losing effort against Skyler Bang. Reinvigorated at the opportunity to make up for his debut, DeRoche is committed to finding his first win in the NEF cage on April 29th at NEF 28.

 

“My first fight was a great learning experience,” stated DeRoche, when reached for comment. “I appreciated it for what it was and have made the necessary adjustments to make sure I come out on top when I step back into the NEF cage for the second time on April 29th.”

 

DeRoche’s opponent, Ken Dunn, is also looking for redemption at NEF 28. Dunn has made three prior trips to the NEF cage since debuting with the promotion back in 2015 and is hungry for his first win inside the NEF hexagon.

 

“I want to show NEF fans that I’m worthy of a rematch and title shot at Velado and that strap,” stated Dunn when reached for comment. “Eddie Deroche is a worthy adversary. I’m excited to compete against him. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll—and I ain’t stopping until I get there.”

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.”

BROTHER AND SISTER MMA FIGHTERS RETURN TO CAGE AT NEF 27

 

Lewiston, Maine (December 15, 2016) –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 two amateur bouts to the card.  Ryan Burgess (2-1) will battle Justin Witham (2-4) in a flyweight contest while his sister, Nicole Burgess (0-1), takes on Sarah Ziehm (0-0) in the strawweight division.

 

This will not be the first time the Burgess siblings have competed on an NEF card together.  Last June at “NEF 24,” Ryan and Nicole would taste defeat at the hands of Dustin Veinott (5-4) and Alex Walker (2-1), respectively.  They will look to redeem themselves on February 11.

 

“I’m super excited to get my sister back in the cage on the same card as me,” said Ryan Burgess. “She has always been a competitor and being able to train side by side with her throughout this fight camp will help me as much as it will help her. She is tough as nails and everything I will be helping her learn over the next two months will just reinforce the knowledge I have already obtained from my coaches. Her debut was against a seasoned fighter in Alex Walker and I can’t wait to see her take home her first win on February 11th.”

 

Ryan and Nicole are based out of the Berserkers MMA camp in Rumford, Maine.  They grew up in neighboring Mexico, Maine.  Ryan was a three-time state wrestling champion out of Mountain Valley High School, while Nicole, a multi-sport athlete, also wrestled and excelled in field hockey.  She has continued her field hockey career at Plymouth State University.  Ryan captured the NEF MMA Flyweight Title last year.  Both siblings are confident that Nicole can replicate his success in the cage.

 

“Training with my brother is both a challenge and a blessing,” said Nicole.  “We’ll get on each other’s nerves, but at the end of the day we want each other to succeed. Plus, he’s a good partner to have on your team.”

 

Ryan’s bout at “NEF 27” will be a rematch.  In their first meeting, he defeated Justin Witham via unanimous decision at “NEF 18” in the summer of 2015.

 

“Rematching Witham will be a perfect opportunity for me to showcase the huge strides I have made over the last year and a half since the beginning of my MMA career. He is a really tough dude and I know he will show up for a war, but I have made huge improvements in all aspects of my game since adding Jason Bell to my corner and I will be the one to decide the outcome of this fight. I will control the pace of the fight and whether I want to take it to him on the feet or take him down and submit him, there is nothing he will be able to do to stop me. This fight will not go three rounds.”

 

Justin Witham is a member of the Shatterproof Combat Club.  Since his loss to Burgess, Witham has gone 2-1 including an impressive submission win over Conner Murphy (1-1) in his most recent outing.  Witham is certain that he can defeat Burgess in the rematch.

 

“I’ve been wanting this fight since the second our first fight was over,” exclaimed Witham.  “I can and will win!”

 

As for Nicole, she will be taking on the debuting Sarah Ziehm.  Ziehm is a member of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) based in nearby Auburn, Maine.

 

“I’m looking forward to getting back into the cage,” said Nicole.  “I think my first fight was a good learning experience and I got out all my nerves that I didn’t expect to have. Now, it’s my turn to come out with a ‘W’ for my team.”

 

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.”

REGISTERED NURSES TO THROW DOWN AT NEF 27

Lewiston, Maine (December 13, 2016) –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 an amateur women’s bout to the card.  Angela Young (1-2) returns to the NEF cage to take on Christine Brothwell (0-2) in the flyweight division.

 

Young, the wife of Young’s MMA founder and head coach Chris Young, made her MMA debut in the fall of 2015.  Somehow finding the time to fight while being a fulltime mother and working overnight as a registered nurse, Young would compete three times in just an eight-month period.  Win or lose, she has been known to put on “fight of the night” performances, including Young’s last bout with Kylie O’Hearn (1-2) at “NEF 23” in Hyannis, Massachusetts this past May.

 

“I’ve taken some time off from the cage since my last fight, but I’ve never stopped training,” said Young when reached for comment.  “Young’s is growing, and team training has been elevated to a higher standard because of the new talent.  I’m looking forward to stepping back in the NEF cage in February. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, and you better believe I’m coming for a win.”

 

Like her opponent, Brothwell is a registered nurse.  She is based in New Hampshire and is a member of team Bucket Brigade in Nashua.  While she will be making her NEF debut on February 11, Brothwell is no stranger to the MMA cage.  She has competed twice previously and she promises a memorable fight for both Young and the fans in Lewiston.

 

“I fully respect my opponent, her abilities and training, but I train with the best in New England,” stated Brothwell. “Win or lose, you will always remember the time you fought me. This won’t just be the best female fight on the card, it’s going to be fight of the night.”

 

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.