IT WILL BE VICTORY OR VALHALLA (AND MAYBE A NEW TATTOO) AT NEF 32
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (December 5, 2017) – No, you have not been transported back to the 9th century. There will be no longboats, no battleaxes, and no shield maidens present on February 3rd in Lewiston. Yet, the Androscoggin River is very likely to run red with blood that evening. A Viking and a Berserker will wage war in Central Maine when New England Fights (NEF) returns to Lewiston with the fight promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 32: Super Saturday.” Wrestling and jiu-jitsu, rather than swords and Thor’s hammer, will be the weapons of choice as Jesse “The Viking” Erickson (8-7) faces Mike “The Mustache” Hansen (5-8) of Berserkers MMA in a featured professional welterweight bout.
The fight will be Erickson’s twentieth in the NEF cage, a record number for any one fighter in the promotion, but it will be a year since his last NEF appearance. He lost to Jon Lemke (7-8) in the semi-finals of the NEF Lightweight Title tournament last February at the Colisee. Erickson, an instructor with Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ), and a homegrown talent of Lewiston-Auburn, will be looking for a triumphant return after a recent loss in Canada.
“It will be a year since I’ve fought in Lewiston,” said Erickson. “The NEF cage is like home to me. I’m really looking forward to hearing my friends, family, and CMBJJ team as I enter the cage. But once the door shuts, all I hear is my corner and all I’m focused on is dismantling the man across from me. Odin’s Son is here to slay the great wolf. This is Ragnarok. Victory or Valhalla.”
Like his opponent, Mike Hansen is also in search of a much-needed win. Hansen lost all four of his fights in 2017, including back-to-back defeats this fall in Western Massachusetts. His last win came at “NEF 25″ in 2016 when Hansen, a former state champion wrestler for Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine, scored an impressive first-round submission of Matt Andrikut (2-1), defending the honor of Maine wrestling against the New York mat native.
“I’m super excited for this fight,” exclaimed Hansen of the upcoming meeting with Erickson. “It’s a great matchup for Maine MMA. Our schools are close to each other and we have competed against each other many times. It’s finally time for the coaches to get down and boogie. My pick for this fight is the fans for sure. Fans will not be upset.”
Hansen challenged Erickson to add a stipulation to the bout when they announced the fight publicly at “NEF 31” in Portland last month. Hansen would like the loser to receive a tattoo with the design chosen by the winner.
“I have nothing but respect for Jesse Erickson, but so still want our sponsor C+C O’Leary Tattoo in Lewiston to do his tattoo I pick for him when he loses. I will, ‘finish him,’ and ‘if he dies, he dies.’ Time to start making your sacrifices Jesse, you will need the gods in your favor on February 3rd, because when war time comes the blood will flow.”
2017 ROOKIE STANDOUTS WILL BATTLE IN FIRST NEF EVENT OF NEW YEAR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (November 30, 2017) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to Lewiston on Saturday, February 3, 2018 with the fight promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 32: Super Saturday.” Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur middleweight bout to the card. Josh Jones (2-2) is scheduled to meet Mark Gardner (1-0) at a fight weight of 185-pounds.
Josh Jones’ rise to the top of the NEF middleweight division in 2017 was nothing short of meteoric. A former basketball star at Erskine Academy in South China, Maine and draftee of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Developmental League, Jones has honed his craft in the martial arts at First Class MMA of Brunswick. It took him a mere 24-seconds combined to knock out his first two opponents this past year. Jones’ four-second knockout of Anthony Spires (0-3) went viral worldwide and was featured on major websites like Bleacher Report. After back-to-back losses to finish the year, Jones is looking to rebound with a win to open 2018.
“I am very honored and blessed to have the opportunity to compete against Mark,” said Jones. “Mark has shown to be an awesome competitor. I look forward to the challenge on February 3rd. As an MMA fighter and competitor, it is always a privilege to step into the cage and perform under the lights for New England Fights.”
Mark Gardner made his debut in the NEF cage earlier this month in Portland. Gardner faced another up-and-coming middleweight in the form of Carlton Charles (1-1). Last summer, it was Charles who handed Josh Jones his first loss. Gardner impressed many in attendance with his gutsy performance against Charles. He had an answer for everything Charles threw at him early in the fight, dispatching Charles in the second round by technical knockout. For those who have followed Maine combat sports for some time, Gardner’s toughness comes as no surprise. His gritty, workmanlike style has been the hallmark of his team, the Academy of MMA in Portland, for many years.
“I’m excited to get back in the cage for my next fight,” declared Gardner. “I learned a lot from my first fight and have been working on my technique. I can’t say much about my opponent, I don’t really know anything about him – I just fight who my coach tells me to fight.”
New England Fights (NEF) returns to Lewiston on Saturday, February 3, 2018 with the fight promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 32: Super Saturday.” Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur flyweight bout to the card. Ryan Burgess (2-2) will face Nate Boucher (2-1) at a fight weight of 125-pounds.
Ryan Burgess is wrestling royalty at his alma mater, Mountain Valley High School, in Rumford, Maine. Burgess is one of only four Mountain Valley wrestlers to ever win triple state crowns in wrestling. He amassed an amazing 151-23 overall high school record before graduating and turning his focus to mixed martial arts. He is currently a member of Berserkers MMA based in Rumford. Burgess is the former NEF amateur flyweight champion. NEF 32 will see him return to the cage after a year’s absence.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity to get back in the cage,” said Burgess. “I’ve taken some time off to make proper adjustments and focus on my career that started not long before my last fight. I’m ready to take my belt back and right now only one guy stands in my way. It’s not every day you can go to an MMA fight and watch two men who saw each other grow up scrap. Come February 3rd, Nate, we will see what you’re made of.”
Nate Boucher began wrestling at five-years old and due to some off-the-mat issues, never achieved the high school statistics of his upcoming adversary, Burgess. However, Boucher’s wrestling skills were on full display back in August 2017at NEF 30 when he defeated Maine wrestling legend and four-time state champion Jeremiah Barkac (0-1) by first-round submission. Boucher, who grew-up admiring Burgess’ prowess on the mat, is anxious to test himself against such a decorated grappler and prove that his wrestling stands up against the best. He will be looking to rebound from a split decision loss to Justin Witham (4-4) earlier this month in an unsuccessful bid for the vacant flyweight title. It was a fight many in attendance felt Boucher had won.
“The disappointment of the decision going against me on November 3rd still stings,” said Boucher. “I’m confident that I beat Justin Witham that night, even though two of the three judges didn’t see it that way. So, I’m going to get right back on the horse—it’s what we do—and take on the guy that holds a win over Witham in Ryan Burgess. I grew-up watching Ryan wrestle. We’re from the same town and I know what he brings to the fight. I will be ready. I’m coming for my title and no one is going to get in my way.”
NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 32: Super Saturday,” will see the company make its return to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 3, 2018. Tickets are on-sale now online at