NEF 34: Home of the Brave Results

CRESPO OUT, MURPHY IN AGAINST ARNOLD IN NEF TITLE FIGHT

F Earlier this week, New England Fights (NEF) officials were informed that Mike Crespo had been injured during his fight camp and would be unable to compete at “NEF 34: Home of the Brave” on June 16 in Portland. Crespo had originally been scheduled to face Kam Arnold (3-0) for the vacant NEF MMA Amateur Bantamweight Championship. Killian Murphy (1-0) has stepped up to replace Crespo and take on Arnold at Aura for the 135-pound title in a scheduled five-round affair.

Murphy made his debut at “NEF 33” last month in Portland with an impressive victory over Krishna Scott (0-1) via first-round technical knockout. He is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Murphy is a former Maine state wrestling champion, having captured a class-A title for Marshwood High School in Elliott in 2015. Today, he trains with Nostos MMA in Somersworth, New Hampshire under the guidance of UFC signee, and former NEF Professional Lightweight Champion, Devin Powell (8-3). Murphy was originally scheduled to compete against Gabriel Diaz of Florida at “NEF 34,” but Diaz pulled out of that fight earlier this month.

“It’s an exciting turn of events to end up fighting for the 135-pound belt,” said Murphy. “The goal when I started this journey was to win that belt – and I am thankful for this opportunity. I want to thank NEF, my coaches, my teammates and supporters. June 16th, I’m taking that belt home to Nostos.”

Perhaps no other member of the NEF roster has had the run in the last twelve months that Kam Arnold has had. He has cut through three opponents in the first round like a hot knife through butter including an eleven-second knockout of veteran David Thompson last month at “NEF 33.” Arnold is a member of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Lewiston, Maine.

“First off, I just want to say ‘thank you’ to Killian for accepting this fight, and also to Matt Peterson for finding me another opponent,” said Arnold when reached for comment. “Killian’s an up-and-coming, exciting fighter – and I’m excited to clash with him. I know he’s going to come ready and he’s going to be looking to shake up this division and make a statement. I’m going to continue to work hard, make an adjustment to the strategy and go balls-to-the-wall from there. This will be a great fight – and I will be NEF’s next 135-pound champ.”

“Nothing excites me more than when an athlete steps up on short notice and seizes an opportunity to grab glory – and that’s what Killian Murphy has done by agreeing to take this bout against an undefeated animal like Kam Arnold,” declared NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “Kam has looked unstoppable since he debuted less than a year ago – and now we get to see him test himself against a decorated wrestler for a chance at NEF gold. As if this card wasn’t already summer fireworks – now we get to see two undefeated studs try to knock each other off over the course of a five-round championship fight. It doesn’t get any better than this!”

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” will take place at Aura in Portland, Maine on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Tickets are on-sale now online at www.AuraMaine.com.

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last week New England Fights (NEF) released the official card for its upcoming return to Aura in Portland, Maine. The mixed-martial-arts event, entitled “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday night, June 16, 2018 with a bell-time of 7:00 pm EDT. NEF matchmakers, however, were still hard at work on adding fights to the card, and earlier today they announced the addition of an amateur bantamweight bout to the event. Henry Clark (3-4) will face Dave Brown (1-3) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

The lead-up to “NEF 34” has been somewhat of a wild ride for Henry Clark. He was originally scheduled to face Florida’s Krishna Scott (0-1) on the card. Just prior to the announcement of the full fight card, Scott’s camp informed NEF that he was pulling out of the fight. Clark remained in training camp at the Choi Institute in Portland in the hope that NEF matchmakers would find him a replacement opponent. When Dave Brown stepped up to the plate, Clark was quick to accept the opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans and friends once more.

“I’m so grateful that Dave Brown stepped up,” said Clark. “It takes a lot of guts to take a short notice fight. I would have fought anyone on a week’s notice if it meant fighting in Portland. It’s great motivation for me to finish up my camp knowing who I’m fighting. I’m coming to showcase and steal the show.”

A native of North Andover, Massachusetts, Dave Brown is a three-fight veteran of the NEF cage. Prior to his time competing in MMA, Brown wrestled for Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. He will return to NEF after a three-year absence following his loss to Norman Fox in the spring of 2015. Brown, “‘Downtown’ Dave Brown” as he is known to his fans and friends, is looking forward to his return to action.

“I’ve seen Henry Clark in action and I have a lot of respect for his abilities,” said Brown when reached for comment. “But come June 16, I’m gonna take him down… all the way downtown!”

Earlier today, New England Fights (NEF) released the official card for its upcoming return to Aura in Portland, Maine. The mixed-martial-arts event, entitled “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday night, June 16, 2018 with a bell-time of 7:00 pm EDT.

The main event will feature two rising East Coast prospects when Bangor, Maine’s own Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (5-1) meets Fayetteville, North Carolina’s Da’Mon “The Diamond” Blackshear (4-1) in a featherweight bout. Lacey is coming off a dominant win over veteran Josh Parker (6-9) earlier this year, while Blackshear looks to rebound from the first loss of his professional career last August.

Lacey’s Young’s MMA teammate “The” Ryan Sanders (15-9) will see action in the co-main event against Tampa, Florida’s Vince McGuiness (5-7). Sanders is the reigning NEF MMA Pro Lightweight Champion. The fight with McGuiness will be a non-title affair.

Rounding out the professional portion of the card will be yet another Young’s MMA competitor in the form of Carl Langston (0-1) who is scheduled to rematch The Choi Institute’s Ernesto Ornelas (3-7) in a battle of Portland fan-favorites. Langston and Ornelas initially met last month at “NEF 33” with Ornelas coming out on top via unanimous decision. Langston immediately requested a rematch blaming his performance on nerves surrounding his pro debut. Ornelas obliged and has promised to finish Langston this time out, leaving no room for question.

The amateur portion of the card will be headlined by a pair of title fights. Undefeated Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) prospect Kam Arnold (3-0) will face Michael Crespo (3-3) of First Class MMA for the vacant NEF MMA Amateur Bantamweight Championship. In the second title fight, Carlton Charles (2-1) of the Charles Fighting Family and Berserkers MMA meets Duncan “The Highlander” Smith (2-2) of Evolution Athletix to crown a new NEF MMA Amateur Welterweight Champion. Both fights are scheduled for five three-minute rounds – a first in the NEF amateur division as all previous title fights had been scheduled for three three-minute rounds.

Three women’s bouts will take place on the amateur card. Brianne Genschel (0-1) of First Class MMA and the Foundry will take on Tampa, Florida’s Amanda Gallo (1-1) while Genschel’s First Class MMA teammate Chelsea Tucker (0-2) faces the debuting Glory Watson (0-0) of Young’s MMA, and Carol Linn Powell (0-1) meets Sarah Matulis (1-0) of the Outlet. Powell owns and operates Nostos MMA of Somersworth, NH alongside her husband, UFC signee and former NEF MMA Professional Lightweight Champion Devin Powell (8-3).

Henry Clark (3-4) and Killian Murphy (1-0) both had opponents pull out on them prior to press time. NEF matchmakers are working on finding replacement opponents. Bantamweight and featherweight amateurs interested in either fight are asked to contact NEF via email at newenglandfights@gmail.com. Serious inquiries only please.

THE FAMILY THAT BLEEDS TOGETHER…

The family that bleeds together, stays together.

It isn’t exactly warm, fuzzy, wall-hanging material that you’ll find overlooking somebody’s mantle, but the statement applies to Tampa, Florida-based domestic partners Amanda Gallo and Michael Vizza.

They’ll travel to Maine for their second New England Fights card in four months – and the first featuring both their names on the docket – for “NEF 34: Home of the Brave.”

Fight night is Saturday, June 16 at Aura in Portland.

Gallo (1-1), who stunned the crowd with her victory over Jayda Bailey in February, is scheduled to face Brianne Genschell (0-1) in a bantamweight clash. Vizza (1-2) will be paired with NEF newcomer Christian Barrett.

“It was supposed to happen one time, but then I got injured in training. So we’ve had fight camp together before,” Gallo said. “It’s interesting when you’re both training for a fight at the same time. When you put two hungry, angry people together, it can get difficult.”

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The two fought one week apart in their most recent trips to the cage.

Vizza was still training for a bout in Florida when they paid a four-day visit to Maine in the dead of winter for Gallo’s showdown with then-undefeated Bailey.

“Like any relationship it has ups and downs,” Vizza said. “I think we have more ups than downs because we get to spend a lot of time together.”

Since relocating from Tallahassee to Tampa, the couple has trained at RMNU South Tampa. One of their coaches is NEF mainstay John Ortolani.

“We’re basically gym partners. It’s good to have the same interests,” Gallo said. “It’s cool at the gym, because when it’s time partner up with someone to drill or whatever, you know the person.”

After fighting in Georgia and Florida, Gallo wound up taking her first fight in Maine through her connection with Ortolani.

The former lacrosse player, a veteran of 20 pro MMA fights, spoke highly of his own experience with NEF. Gallo felt the same welcoming atmosphere from both the promotion and its fans in her first go-round.

“John had so many good things to say about the organization,” Gallo said. “And I did have an awesome experience. It’s very well organized. They treat the fighters really well.”

It took a while for her to win over the crowd, of course. Many of them were responsible for selecting Bailey as NEF’s 2017 rookie of the year.

Leading up to the fight, Gallo saw an internet poll in which 97 percent of the fans picked her opponent to win.

“It can mess with your head a little bit when you feel like you’re considered that big an underdog, but I also used it as motivation to prove them wrong,” Gallo said. “You feel like there’s nothing to lose.”

Gallo had to laugh at the crowd response during fighter introductions, which was similarly slanted.

“They announced her name and everybody screamed,” Gallo said. “When they announced mine you could hear crickets.”

After losing her debut in Thomasville, Georgia, by split decision to a veteran opponent, Gallo balanced the books with a unanimous decision victory at Bailey’s expense.
She will take on another local favorite in Genschell (0-1), who fights out of Farmington and First Class MMA of Topsham.

“I know she’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu, so that will be an interesting challenge,” Gallo said of Genschell.

Challenges and surprises are part of the attraction of fighting in Maine, added Vizza, who also will take on a foe from the First Class stable in Barrett.

Vizza has a TKO win and losses by split decision and submission in his home region.

“It’s just good to get a different perspective. We kind of know most of the people who fight around here,” Vizza said of the southeast. “It’s fun to train to fight someone you’ve never really seen or heard of, and to do it about as far away as you can go.”

Both fighters were impressed by the passion and loyalty of NEF fans. Vizza noted that seeing thousands of casual spectators at a local MMA promotion is unheard of in Florida.

“The energy is definitely crazy. I’ve never seen so many people so excited to watch people fight that they haven’t even heard of,” he said. “Down here you’re pretty much fighting in front of your family and friends. Up there people are excited to go see people they don’t even know. It’s for the genuine appreciation of the sport.”

In Gallo’s case, women’s opponents are hard to find in her corner of the country. The sudden spike of competitiveness in NEF’s female ranks could make Maine a semi-regular destination for years to come.

“When I lived in Tallahassee it was extremely difficult to find women’s fights, or fights in general. MMA is just not very big there,” Gallo said. “Down in Tampa there is a lot more promotion of the sport, but it’s still hard. All the fighters kind of know each other.”

At this rate, Gallo and Vizza may become a well-known power couple – some 1,450 miles from home – in no time.

HENRY CLARK LOOKS TO GET BACK TO HIS WINNING WAYS AT NEF 34

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (May 4, 2018) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur featherweight bout to the card. Henry Clark (3-4) is scheduled to face Krishna Scott (0-1) at a fight weight of 145 pounds.

Henry Clark will be looking to get back on the winning track in his amateur career. The product of the Choi Institute of Portland, Maine got off to a 3-1 start in the NEF cage beginning with a victory in his 2014 debut. His most recent win came in the fall of 2015 – a submission of Fred Lear (6-2). (Lear would go on to capture the NEF amateur bantamweight title two years later.) Clark has lost his last three in a row, the most recent of which came to Carl Langston (now 0-1 as a professional) last November at “NEF 31” in Portland. Despite the recent losses, Clark has faced some of the most formidable opponents on the NEF roster throughout his career, repeatedly taking the toughest challenges he can find.

“When I return to the cage on June 16th, I’m going to be the meanest, most destructive version of myself to date,” said Clark when reached for comment. “I’m always training and getting better in my off-time. It’s time for a showcase, I’ve got too many ways to win and nothing to lose.”

Krishna Scott will make the trip to Maine for the second time this spring. Scott, who fights out of F2 Arena based in Gainesville, Florida, lost to Killian Murphy (1-0) last month at “NEF 33” in Portland. He will be looking for his first win in the NEF cage on June 16.

FORMER MAINE STATE WRESTLING CHAMPION RETURNING TO THE CAGE FOR SECOND FIGHT

New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur bantamweight bout to the card. Killian Murphy (1-0) will meet Gabriel Diaz (0-1) at a fight weight of 135 pounds.

Murphy made his cage debut last month at “NEF 33” in Portland with a first-round technical knockout of Krishna Scott (0-1). He followed the footsteps of his older brother Connor Murphy (1-2) into the NEF amateur ranks. Killian trains with Nostos MMA of Somersworth, New Hampshire under the tutelage of UFC signee, and former NEF Pro Lightweight Champion, Devin Powell (8-3). Prior to joining Nostos, Murphy was a standout on the wrestling mats for Marshwood High School in Elliot, Maine where he won a Class A state championship in 2015.

“I’m really excited for my second fight,” said Murphy. “I’ve got an amazing coach and team behind me. As for the finish, I won’t predict anything. I’ll let all my work in the cage speak for itself.”

Gabriel Diaz is a member of F2 Arena in Gainesville, Florida. On June 16, he will not only be looking to avenge his own loss at “NEF 33” to Murphy’s Nostos teammate Zac Richards (1-0), but Diaz will also have the opportunity to avenge his own F2 Arena teammate, Krishna Scott, who was defeated by Murphy at “NEF 33.”

SECOND TITLE FIGHT ANNOUNCED FOR NEF 34 IN PORTLAND

New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur welterweight championship bout to the card. Carlton Charles (2-1) is scheduled to take on Duncan “The Highlander” Smith (2-2) for the vacant NEF amateur 170-pound title. The fight is set for five three-minute rounds.

Carlton Charles burst onto the NEF scene last summer with a 23-second technical knockout of then-undefeated Josh Jones (2-4) on a card in Bangor, Maine. Earlier this year, Charles returned to the NEF cage with a 12-second dismantling of Delmarkis Edwards (0-1). The former fullback for the University of Maine Black Bears will get his first shot at MMA gold on June 16, but he is no stranger to championships. After playing for Windham High School, Charles led the football team to a Class A state title as an assistant coach.

“I’m really excited and blessed for this opportunity to fight for the NEF amateur welterweight title,” said Charles. “I think it’s a big important step forward for my experience as an amateur and fighting career. This fight is against a great opponent that I know will, and is, training hard and will leave it all in the cage. I know my coaches and family will have me ready for this fight, and I’m looking forward to us putting on a show for Portland!”

Duncan Smith made his NEF debut last month at “NEF 33” in Portland with an impressive standing guillotine submission of Taylor Bartlett (0-1) in the first round. Smith had previously competed for other promotions throughout the region in MMA and kickboxing bouts since 2014. He is a member of Evolution Athletix based in Saco, Maine.

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“Carlton and I are both looking to go pro and climb up the ladder,” said Smith. “Fights like this is what it’s all about. I have the upmost respect for my opponent, but I have all the skills to win. Other than getting clipped, this fight is already won.”

VACANT BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE TO BE DECIDED AT NEF 34 IN PORTLAND

New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur bantamweight championship bout to the card. Kam Arnold (3-0) will meet Michael Crespo (3-3) for the vacant NEF amateur 135-pound title. The championship was previously held by Fred Lear (6-2) who vacated when he turned professional. The bout between Arnold and Crespo will make history as the first five-round amateur title fight in both NEF and Maine history. All previous amateur championship fights had been scheduled for three rounds.

Undefeated Kam Arnold has been on a hot streak since his debut in the summer of 2017. The product of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) in Lewiston, Maine has cut through all three of his previous opponents with little resistance. None have made it past the two-minute mark of the first round with Arnold. It took him a mere 11-seconds to knock out David Thompson with a single punch at “NEF 33″ last month in Portland. Arnold considers the opportunity to fight for the bantamweight title the highlight of his fight career thus far.

“I’m ecstatic for the opportunity to bring Lewiston back a title,” said Arnold. “Everything I’ve gone through in my life has led me to this exact moment. I’ve always said, even way back when I was a young lad, that I’m going to be champion one day. To be living the vision that I’ve had since being a small boy is just absolutely mind blowing. I’m great at what I do, and I will continue to prove everyone wrong – all the naysayers and doubters. To all the people who have bullied me and talked s**t about my passion over the years, here’s a big ‘f**k you.’ I’m taking this one fight at a time, and I will continue this streak that I’m on. Every fight, I want to go in there and just pulverize my opponent to the point that they never want to fight again. I’m the king of 135 and Crespo is going to feel the devastating power and strength I have on June 16th. If you even dream about beating me, you better wake up and apologize!”

Michael Crespo, “Crispy” to his fans and teammates, is a six-fight veteran of the NEF cage. A perpetual contender for the bantamweight title over the years, Crespo’s biggest win came at “NEF 18” when he upset Caleb Costello (3-4) via unanimous decision. He is currently a member of First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine.

“Fighting for the 135 title is a great opportunity and a chance to showcase my style and skill against a formidable fighter,” said Crespo when reached for comment. “It’s a great opportunity to not only showcase my weapons, but to also solidify myself within the NEF talent pool as someone to be reckoned with. Let’s make it a show, Kam!”

LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION RETURNING TO NEF CAGE IN PORTLAND

New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional lightweight bout to the card. Reigning NEF MMA Professional Lightweight Champion “The” Ryan Sanders (15-9) will face Vince McGuiness (5-7) in a non-title bout at a fight weight of 155-pounds.

Ryan Sanders has had a storied career in the NEF cage. He competed in, and won, the main event of the very first NEF card in February 2012 over veteran Dan Keefe (7-3). Sanders fought on ten of the first fifteen NEF cards, including the company’s co-promotion with Bellator in the spring of 2013. After more than a two-year absence from NEF, Sanders returned to the promotion in August 2016 and went on a five-fight win-streak over the course of the next year – the longest streak of his career. During that stint, Sanders captured his first gold in NEF – the coveted professional lightweight title – with a victory over Jon Lemke (7-8) last spring. The bout with McGuiness will be Sanders’ first in the NEF cage since August 2017. He will be looking to bounce back from a loss in Massachusetts last month. Sanders is a longtime member of Bangor, Maine’s Young’s MMA fight team.

“I’m ecstatic to be back fighting for the NEF, it has been too long,” said Sanders. “I’m back to show the fans that I’m the best lightweight in the region, and that I’m on the road to be the best lightweight in the world. I really appreciate Vince taking this fight. I look forward to showing my improvements and the work that I’ve been putting in while away from the cage. I have great coaches, teammates, and an amazing wife in my corner that makes me truly feel unstoppable. Come watch me take another step towards my destiny on June 16 in Portland.”

A native of Brooklyn, New York and current head coach of Bang Muay Thai in Tampa, Florida, Vince McGuiness is no stranger to the New England MMA scene. His two most recent fights have been in Massachusetts, and McGuiness has even competed previously on a Portland fight card in 2015. He will be looking to rebound against Sanders after losing his last four bouts in the cage.

“I’m excited to be back in New England fighting again,” said McGuiness. “I always get love up there. I’m ready to put on a scrap!”

SECOND WOMEN’S MMA BOUT ANNOUNCED FOR NEF 34 IN PORTLAND

New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur women’s bantamweight bout to the card. Carol Linn Powell (0-1) is scheduled to face Sarah Matulis (1-0) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

Powell is the wife of current UFC signee and former NEF MMA Professional Lightweight Champion Devin Powell (8-3). Together, the couple owns and operates Nostos MMA & Conditioning Facility in Somersworth, New Hampshire. The gym earned the “Best Martial Arts Gym” designation in the 2017 “Best of the Seacoast” awards. Carol Linn made her in-cage debut last November in Portland against Francesca Morabito (1-0), losing a hard-fought decision on the judges’ scorecards. Earlier this month, Powell grappled Chelsea Tucker to a draw to open “NEF 33″ in Portland.

“Words can’t describe how excited and thankful I am to be partaking in the third NEF event in Portland after competing in the first and second,” said Powell when reached for comment. “Both times I’ve been in the cage have been very entertaining—the first of which ended in me getting my contacts knocked out and looking like Sloth after—and this time will be no different, I just plan on getting the job done quicker. I am looking forward to getting back in there and testing myself again and getting to witness how much better I have gotten at the sport. Sarah and I both made our debuts at ‘NEF 31′ in November, and I can’t wait to overcome the new challenges she has for me and to get my first win in the cage.”

Like Powell, Sarah Matulis did indeed make her cage debut at “NEF 31” last November in Portland. That evening she was victorious over Chelsea Tucker with a first-round technical knockout. By day, Matulis is a mother and nurse practitioner who studied nursing at Pace University in New York. She is a member of The Outlet based in Dexter, Maine and regularly competes in grappling events throughout the New England region.

“I’m thrilled to be competing again for NEF,” said Matulis. “Carol Linn and I are both budding amateur fighters. I know she’s hunting for her first win, but I plan to remain undefeated. NEF fans are accustomed to seeing spectacular WMMA bouts, and I fully expect this fight will keep to that standard.”

LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT IN PORTLAND WILL FEATURE THE RETURN OF MAINE MMA FAN-FAVORITES

New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional light-heavyweight bout to the card. Mike “The Mustache” Hansen (5-9) is scheduled to meet Buck “Knuckles” Pineau (1-5) at a fight weight of 205-pounds.

Mike Hansen, a veteran combat engineer with the US Army and former state wrestling champion out of Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine, will look to get back on the winning track after five straight losses in the MMA cage. His last victory was in the fall of 2016 when Hansen handed Matt Andrikut (2-1) his first taste of defeat as a professional. He is determined to snap his losing streak on June 16 in Portland against Pineau. Hansen is a founding member of Berserkers MMA based in Rumford.

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“I’m excited to get back in the cage,” said Hansen. “I had to take some time off to let some injuries heal and coach the wrestling team. Now that that’s done, it’s time to get back at it. I’m happy to fight a guy like Buck. I know we have both been on a rough patch and lost some fights, but by the end of the night on June 16th, someone’s losing streak will end. I’m going to make sure I leave with a win in June.”

On June 16 it will have been 45 months – nearly four years – since Buck Pineau last competed in the NEF cage. Pineau was a staple on early NEF cards. From the company’s inception in February 2012 until “NEF 14” in September 2014, Pineau fought on a total of eight NEF events. At “NEF 9” in Biddeford, Maine, he fought in what is regarded as one of the most memorable bouts in the promotion’s history, tearing ligaments in his knee early in the fight but still pulling out a unanimous decision victory over Isaiah Queen (2-4). Despite staying active in recent years outside of Maine, Pineau has never competed in the NEF cage as a professional. He has lost his last four-in-a-row, and like Hansen, is looking to get back on track with a much-needed win at “NEF 34.” Pineau is currently a member of First Class MMA based in Topsham, Maine.

“I am very excited and for this opportunity to step back into the NEF cage and put on a show,” exclaimed Pineau when reached for comment. “I’ve had a lot of memorable fights with NEF, and I’m looking to make this another one! I’ve seen the majority of Mike’s fights. I know he’s a rugged guy who always brings it, so I’m extra excited to get in there and spill some blood together. As usual, I will be looking to keep the distance and let these hands and feet go! This is going to be a good fight!”

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New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion officially announced a professional featherweight bout for the card. Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (5-1) is scheduled to face Da’Mon “The Diamond” Blackshear (4-1).

After suffering the first loss of his professional career in late 2017 – a doctor stoppage due to a cut on his head during a bout in New Hampshire – Lacey bounced back this past February with a big victory at “NEF 32″ in Lewiston, Maine. He came out aggressive in the first round against veteran Josh Parker (6-10), forcing Parker to tap late in the first-round to a rear-naked choke. And while it certainly was an impressive win for the 2016 NEF Fighter of the Year and product of Young’s MMA, Lacey felt that he had more to showcase for his fans. He will get the opportunity again on June 16 against Blackshear.

“It’s time once again to do what I love in front of the fans that I love,” said Lacey. “My last fight was really quick, and I didn’t get to showcase what I have been working on. Although I’m always going for the finish, I will be looking to put on an entertaining show that fans will not soon forget!”

Based out of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Da’Mon Blackshear began his MMA career in the fall of 2014. He put together a stellar amateur record of 7-1, capturing two championships in the southeastern region of the country. Upon turning professional, Blackshear, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt, has taken three of his four pro victories by way of submission. He has earned gold in numerous submission-only grappling events, regularly defeating black belts and larger opponents. Blackshear serves as a coach of Team R.O.C. in Fayetteville.

“I’m ready,” exclaimed Blackshear when reached for comment. “June 16th it’s going down, so Aaron Lacey come prepared!”

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New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur women’s bantamweight bout to the card. Brianne Genschel (0-1) will return to take on Amanda Gallo (1-1) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

Genschel made her MMA debut at “NEF 26” in the fall of 2016 in a losing effort to a much more experienced Jessica Borga who already had five amateur fights to her credit. Despite the disadvantage in cage experience, Genschel held her own for a full three rounds and forced Borga to the judges’ scorecards. Genschel is the owner and operator of the Farmington branch of The Foundry Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) school. She has practiced BJJ for more than a decade and holds a black belt in the martial art. Genschel is also a member of First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine.

“I’m really excited to get back in the cage,” said Genschel. “I have a feeling Amanda Gallo will be a great opponent, and certainly won’t make this an easy fight. I’m up for the challenge, and definitely respect anyone who puts in the time and dedication it takes to get out there. Thank you to Amanda for committing to this fight, and I plan to leave it all in the cage putting on a good show in the process!”

Amanda Gallo, like Genschel, is a one-fight veteran of the NEF cage. In February of this year, she stunned the Maine fight community by handing top-prospect Jayda Bailey (1-1) her first loss in dominant fashion. Gallo will make her second trip to Maine to fight on June 16 from her home state of Florida where she trains at the Tampa branch of Robson Moura Nations United (RMNU).

“Thank you to NEF for allowing me to fight for them again,” said Gallo. “I had a lot of fun fighting Jayda at NEF 32 – she was a tough opponent. I’m sure Brianne will also be a fun match. I’m looking forward to putting on a good show for Maine and hopefully bringing home another win to Florida.”

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New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” on Saturday night, June 16, 2018. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional bantamweight bout to the card. Ernesto Ornelas (3-7) has signed to face Carl Langston (0-1) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

The bout will be a rematch of their fight in Portland earlier this month. Ornelas and Langston initially met at “NEF 33” on April 14 at Aura. Ornelas, a member of Portland’s The Choi Institute, put on an impressive showing for the duration of three rounds on his way to a unanimous decision win on the judges’ scorecards. The victory was Ornelas’ first in the NEF cage with four previous attempts since the promotion’s inception in February 2012. (He holds a record of 1-0 as a professional in the NEF boxing ring as well.) Not only is Ornelas predicting another win over Langston on June 16 – he promises to finish his foe this time.

“Carl said his nerves got the better of him that night. No, they didn’t – I got the better of him, once I stepped into that cage and took the center and looked him in the eye,” said Ornelas imperatively. “I saw fear. A true fighter has no fear. June 16, he will see what a true fighter looks like, as he looks up at me from the flat of his back.”

The “NEF 33” bout with Ornelas was Langston’s pro debut after a lengthy amateur career that spanned 16 fights and more than four years. Many of his friends and family had turned out for the event in his hometown of Portland. And while Langston did force Ornelas to the scorecards, the Young’s MMA member was disappointed in his own performance, blaming the loss on nerves. He immediately asked NEF matchmakers for a rematch against Ornelas on the June 16 Portland card.

“I couldn’t be more excited about getting this rematch,” declared Langston. “I asked for this rematch the same night I lost to Ernie. I just wasn’t me that night. It was my first pro fight and my nerves got to me. I just didn’t feel like myself in there. That being said, I still took him to a decision being that he had nine pro fights and I was making my pro debut. He still doesn’t bring the skill set and talent that I bring to the cage. This was a big mistake for Ernie to accept this rematch. He got lucky the first time, and I promise I will finish him this time. I know what it feels like being in there with him now, and I will make him fold without a doubt in my mind. He’s a mouthpiece, and I’m going to silence him and his groupies.”

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave,” will take place at Aura in Portland, Maine on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Tickets are on-sale now online at www.AuraMaine.com.


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