Tag Archives: Pat Kelly

KELLY CAPTURES LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE AND JONES BREAKS KNOCKOUT RECORD IN LEWISTON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 18, 2017) – Ray “All Business” Wood returned to Maine with multiple Bellator Fighting Championships bouts under his belt, seeking a triumphant homecoming at “New England Fights 29: Stars & Stripes.”

The fighting pride of Bucksport simply ran into someone with more upper-level experience in the mixed martial arts cage. Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra put on a ground-and-pound clinic and scored a unanimous decision in the main event Saturday night at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Bezerra (20-5) looked every bit the part of a nine-time Bellator veteran, defying every attempt by Wood to gain a semblance of control during the 15-minute skirmish. Wood’s last-ditch attempts to lock in a choke and gain shoulder leverage went by the boards early in the third round, and Bezerra maintained top and side control until the final bell.

Two scorecards had Bezerra pitching a shutout at 30-27, while the third went his way at 29-28. Wood, a former NEF featherweight champion now living in Amarillo, Texas, and training out of Nick’s Fight Club, dipped to 8-4 as a professional with his third consecutive defeat.

History was made on two fronts in the amateur MMA portion of Saturday’s 12-fight card.

Pat Kelly (4-0), 52, of Rockport, became the oldest titleholder in NEF history, defeating Rafael Velado (4-1) by unanimous decision in a battle of unbeaten warriors to take Velado’s amateur lightweight belt.

Earlier in the evening, Josh Jones (2-0) delivered a vicious right hand to knock out Anthony Spires (0-3) in four seconds, shattering the organization’s previous mark for quickest stoppage.

Three encounters in the ring brought professional boxing back to the NEF stage for the first time since November 2016. Wins by undefeated Jason Quirk (6-0) and Casey Kramlich (8-0-1) and a no-contest in the bout between Russell “The Haitian Sensation” Lamour (15-2) and Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (1-0) gave Portland Boxing Club the upper hand.

Ras Hylton (2-0), Matt Denning (5-6) and Josh Parker (6-9) also prevailed in pro MMA. Kam Arnold (1-0), Jon Tefft (2-0) and Alex Walker (3-1) celebrated victory in the amateur hexagon.

Most observers expected the Kelly-Velado showdown to end up on the mat, given Kelly’s long career as a champion wrestler and coach and Velado’s black belt prowess in jiu-jitsu.

Kelly’s wisdom in staying on his feet allowed him to stay in control throughout. He landed resounding punches to punctuate each of the first two rounds. After his lone takedown in the third round, recognizing that he probably controlled the fight in the judges’ eyes, Kelly allowed Velado to get off the canvas.

It was the last in a series of the all the right moves for the man with the physique of a competitor in his 20s. Kelly prevailed by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28. In a tremendous act of sportsmanship, a smiling Velado wrapped the title belt around Kelly’s waist.

Jones rocked Spires’ world with a vicious hook, raising the former pro basketball player’s record to 2-0 with two early stoppages in his career with First Class MMA.

Hylton and Tefft gave First Class two more first-round victories.

“Rasquatch,” outweighed by almost 30 pounds, finished Oklahoma’s Eric Ramsey with a series of 10 unanswered bombs to stay unbeaten as a pro.

Tefft lost a pair of trunks in the process but gained his second amateur win against no defeats, earning what was officially a first-round TKO over Mike Williams of Lewiston’s Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Each man had a chance to end the fight early, but it was Tefft finishing the round with a reversal and a series of strikes. Williams (injured left shoulder) then failed to answer the bell for the second stanza.

Denning shut down Dominic Jones (1-1) with a standing rear naked choke at 2:05 of the first round for his second consecutive victory.

Parker absorbed a vicious kick to the back of his left leg from Andre Belcarris (0-2) in round two, but he dominated the first and third sessions to eke out a unanimous verdict.

Arnold was triumphant in his MMA debut, dropping Glenn Kasabian (1-3) to his knees and finishing with a resounding right-left combination for a TKO at 1:54 of the first round.

Walker (4-1) won her fourth consecutive bout in an eagerly anticipated women’s strawweight scrap with Sarah Ziehm (1-1). The New Hampshire native locked in an armbar late in the first round, resulting in a technical submission at the referee’s discretion with three seconds remaining.

The Lamour-Boyington bout was ballyhooed as Maine’s version of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, and Boyington’s unorthodox style gave the veteran Lamour some difficulty. The second round was stopped twice briefly, and finally halted for good after an accidental head butt sent a bloodied Boyington face-first to the deck.  Since it was too early to take the bout to the scorecards at that stage, the fight was ruled a no-contest.

Kramlich defeated Bellator MMA veteran Bryan Goldsby by third-round knockout. A right cross sent Goldsby to one knee, where he remained for the count of 10.

Quirk dispatched veteran Borngod Washington by second-round TKO.

“NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” will be held at Cross Insurance Center in Maine’s Queen City on Saturday. August 5. Tickets are available beginning Monday at ticketmaster.com.

For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com.  In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”

About New England Fights

New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.

AGE IS NOTHING BUT A NUMBER IN LEWISTON TITLE FIGHT

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 12, 2017) – There are wink-and-nudge undertones when 38-year-old Rafael Velado declares “I’m the young guy, for once” as he contemplates his New England Fights amateur lightweight title defense on Saturday, June 17. Then again, he is, by nearly a decade-and-a-half.

 

It’s a disservice to label hall of fame competitor and coach Pat Kelly a sentimental favorite in his quest to win the 155-pound strap. Yet the 52-year-old assuredly is, as evidenced by at least one internet poll that shows him as the clear people’s choice to win the fight.

 

Velado vs. Kelly is a bundle of contradictions, an intriguing mix of styles, perhaps even a pairing that defies logic. It’s certainly a spotlight neither man would have predicted for himself five years ago. It’s also a clash of undefeated warriors that promises to rock the house at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

 

“You can buy a ticket for this fight, but I truly believe you’re only going to need the edge of your seat,” Kelly, an amateur wrestling legend from the Camden-Rockport region. “I think we’re going to light the place up.”

 

“Everybody seems excited, and wouldn’t that be a cool story? If I end up saying later on, ‘I fought a guy when he was 52, and he beat my butt,’ the moral of the story is don’t ever count anybody out,” Velado said.

 

Just to clarify, Velado (4-0) doesn’t expect that to happen. A black belt in jiu-jitsu fighting out of First Class MMA of Brunswick, he looks to extend his winning streak over fighters from Young’s MMA of Bangor.

 

Velado claimed the vacant crown with a first-round demolition of Jimmy Jackson last September. Prior to that, Mike Peitersen took Velado the distance in his toughest test to date.

 

“It makes sense from a record standpoint, but I’ve fought four times since the last time Pat did, and two of those were against his training partners,” Velado said. “If you look at strength of opposition, I don’t know that it’s that close. I’m not saying that means it won’t be a good match. I just don’t think it’s very comparable. But we all know the MMA magic can happen.”

 

Due to lengthy rehabilitation from a knee injury, Kelly (3-0) hasn’t fought since June 15, 2015 at “NEF 18: Made in America,” when he won by technical knockout over Steve Bang Sr. He beat Bang’s son and namesake in the same manner and also defeated Frank Dellasala in his debut, which came at welterweight.

 

The champion wrestler (University of Maine) and coach (Camden Hills High School, where he mentored now-UFC star Tim Boetsch) weighed in at over 200 pounds before he began the three-hour round trip to and from Bangor, four times each week.

 

“I’m an amateur’s amateur,” Kelly said. “I got into this four years ago to stay in shape, make contacts, make new friends and enjoy the experience. When they asked me if I’d like to try getting in the cage, it was, ‘Yeah, I’ll give that a shot.’

 

Kelly said he was welcomed with open arms, then “beaten to a pulp,” by the likes of Bruce Boyington, Ryan Sanders and Aaron Lacey – all accomplished pro fighters from the Bangor gym.

 

It wasn’t long, predictably, before he fell in love with the concepts of competition and self-discipline all over again.

 

“There’s a bold truth to this sport,” Kelly said. “It’s one-on-one, locked in a cage with the other guy, and what are you going to do to survive? I love that feeling.”

 

Conventional wisdom dictates that the fight will go to the ground quickly. Then it’s a case of which fighter can assert his will and expertise.

 

Velado doesn’t lack for training partners who test his mettle every day. Six of them are scheduled to appear in the same cage at NEF 29. First Class owner John Raio also mirrors Kelly in terms of size and decorated wrestling background.

 

“Pat and I have been in (combat sports) a long time. We’ve both won against some excellent people and some not-so-excellent people,” Velado said. “The road to winning against me, a guy has to be better in two disciplines and also have a better game plan.”

 

Interesting choice of words, when you consider Kelly’s admission that he is more inclined to fly by the seat of his pants.

 

“My coaches talk about a game plan, but I don’t know if I’m a game plan kind of guy. I go right back to how I know to survive. That’s the warrior in me,” Kelly said. “What you have are two guys who are not going to give up. I think that’s part of the interest. That’s what makes it a good fight.

 

“Raf is experienced,” he continued. “He’s undefeated. He’s the champion. I’m the old guy coming in and trying to knock him off. There are a number of parallels that make this a fascinating fight.”

 

The combatants’ thoughtful words in separate interviews even followed the same wavelength.

 

Velado graciously said he understands the fans’ desire to see Kelly keep turning back time, extend his own record as the oldest winner in NEF history and add the distinction of oldest champion to that list.

 

“I actually am a fan of Pat,” Velado said. “The MMA fan in me is rooting for him. I’d like to see him have whatever level of success is just short of winning. Mentally it wouldn’t wreck me if I lost the fight.”

 

Likewise, Kelly is prepared for the possibility that the outcome won’t go his way.

“I don’t ever train to lose, but often times winning comes in unique ways,” he said.

If his four children perceive the merits of his commitment to MMA as more than a midlife crisis, Kelly believes he has already won the greatest battle of all.

 

“Yes, of course you want to win, but I also want them to see that when you have a personal goal, you can’t just say you want it. You have to go get it,” he said. “When I spend all that time driving back and forth, whether I’m talking to myself to thinking or listening to music, most of the time when I’m chasing this thing, I’m on my own. And I know my kids and students can see that.”

 

The June 17 card tentatively features four professional MMA fights, four pro boxing matches, and seven amateur skirmishes in the cage. Tickets to “NEF 29: Stars & Stripes” start at $25 and are available by calling (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or at 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.

 

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.

FATHER SEEKS TO AVENGE SON IN MMA CAGE

 

Lewiston, Maine (April 23, 2015) – It sounds like the plotline of a two-star 1980s action flick.  This story, however, is not playing out on basic cable on a weekday afternoon. There are no explosions, no car chases, no semi-automatic weapons.  Brian Dennehey plays the role of neither the villain nor the heroic patriarch.  Instead, this story is playing out in the New England Fights (NEF) mixed-martial-arts (MMA) cage, and it stars not one but two middle-aged men possessing the drive, ability and athleticism that most men half their age can only dream of.

Coach Pat Kelly after defeating Steven Bang, Jr. at NEF XV
Coach Pat Kelly after defeating Steven Bang, Jr. at NEF XV

50-year-old Pat Kelly (2-0) is a true legend of Maine wrestling.  A teacher and coach at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Maine, Kelly was inducted into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2007.  With numerous state and regional wrestling titles as a competitor and coach to his credit, he made his MMA debut as a member of Young’s MMA in 2014.

 

Dr. Steve Bang arrives for his fight at NEF XVI
Dr. Steve Bang arrives for his fight at NEF XVI

Kelly’s opponent on June 13 in Lewiston, Maine, 45-year-old Dr. Steve Bang (1-0), has a wrestling background himself, as do his sons Steven Bang, Jr. (3-3), Sheldon Bang (2-2), Shawn Bang (1-1) and Skylar Bang.  At “NEF XV” last November, Dr. Bang watched from cage-side as Pat Kelly finished his son Steven via technical knockout (TKO).  It will be that loss Dr. Bang will seek to avenge when he meets Kelly on June 13 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee at “NEF XVIII: Made in America.”

 

“My son Steven and Pat have previously met in the cage and Pat took that victory,” said Dr. Bang.  “I see myself as already being down 0-1.  NEF 18 is about redemption and showing the boys how it’s done.  As I always say, in the end, we will embrace with a bond of brotherhood and respect that is unique to combat but until then, it is war.

 

“I am excited and honored to once again enter the cage on June 13th.  This will be one for the record books.  Together, Pat and I bring over 95 years of life experience to the cage.  We bring the fights to a different level because of all that we have at stake.  This is for real and certainly not your mid-life cattle drive across the plains with Curly nor your week on a Harley with The Wild Hogs. I truly hope all will be entertained but when I enter the cage, I enter with nothing but bad intentions.  As a result of training with Central Maine Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (CMBJJ), every move, every combination, every strike is dealt with the intent to finish and that may be in the first round.  However, if this goes to the latter rounds, you will see the genius of Central Maine Conditioning Clinic and Prime Variable Athletics.  They have equipped me with the nonstop cardiovascular system used by world class Ironman triathletes.”

 

“This fight is between two gentlemen that still embrace the warrior mentality,” said Coach Kelly when reached for comment. “Personally, I will train for this fight with a driving force that cannot be put into words.  Also, with a sense of gratitude that Young’s MMA has taken the time to train me and appreciation of NEF for offering me this opportunity to enter their cage.”

 

An accomplished bariatric surgeon by day, Dr. Bang had the opportunity to fight alongside his sons Steven and Sheldon on the “NEF XVI” card this past February.  When he steps into the cage at “NEF XVIII” against Kelly, however, it will be Dr. Bang, and Dr. Bang alone, representing the family.

 

“I try to identify and truly appreciate those singular opportunities that come along in life,” stated Dr. Bang.  “‘NEF XVI’ was one of those rare opportunities when all the pieces fell into place. Fighting on the same card as two of my boys was epic.  Steven is now rehabilitating from a devastating training injury and Sheldon will be leaving the state in May for a two year service mission for the church.  Shawn has one year remaining on his mission and Connor (Murphy) is in the Coast Guard in California.  A similar opportunity may be a long time coming, so for ‘NEF XVIII,’ it is all about me.  I alone will represent the Bang Clan.

 

“Trash talking doesn’t suit me well.  I even tried it once just for effect.  Nope, still doesn’t suit me.  I like Pat.  I definitely respect him and I’m sure we will be great friends but right now, he’s just got something that doesn’t belong to him.  I am actually very thankful to Pat.  In response to those who have tried to reconcile the dichotomy of my life, I maintain that this has always been a part of my life at some level.  Making the leap into the MMA venue, however, was huge and the stakes are high.  It took a while before the time was right and even then, I didn’t recognize it until I watched Steven and Pat fight.  There is nothing like watching your son battle while you are only feet away and helpless.  As stressful as it is to prepare for and execute your own battle, it is ten times worse for me to watch them.   I would much rather fight the fights than watch my sons fight them.  It was during that fight that I knew it was time and what better way than a redemption match?  It has taken some time to make it happen but I’m gonna get what I asked for.  Thank you for that Pat.

 

“To win is to overcome others, victory is to overcome yourself,” said Dr. Bang in conclusion.  “On June 13th I will be looking to do both.”

 

NEF’s next MMA event, “NEF XVIII: Made in America” will originate from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine on June 13, 2015.  Tickets for “NEF XVIII” start at just $25 and are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisee box office at207.783.2009 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.”

 

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.