NEF 36: Battle for the Gold – November 17 in Maine

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (September 27, 2018) – New England Fights (NEF) will hold its final mixed-martial-arts event of 2018, “NEF 36: Battle for the Gold,” on Saturday, November 17 at Aura in Portland, Maine. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur lightweight fight to the card. Mohammad Al Kinani (4-1) is scheduled to face Jamie Sprague (0-0) at a fight weight of 155-pounds.

Mohammad Al Kinani will look to rebound from the first loss of his amateur career against Ramano Medina (5-0) last summer in New Hampshire. Prior to that time, Al Kinani had won the first four fights of his career, the most recent three emphatically by first-round knockout. He is a perfect 2-0 in the NEF cage. Al Kinani is a member of Evolution Athletix, a team housed in a brand new, state-of-the-art training facility opened earlier this year just off Route 1 in Saco, Maine.

“Jamie is definitely dangerous, but I always go in there knowing my opponent is dangerous,” Al Kinani stated. “I’d like to think I am too. More than ever. I’m feeling extremely sharp and I know I can bring in all the heat to that cage. Sprague has been training for a long time under one of the best schools in the area and probably thinks I’m an easy win, but I have been training and putting in more work than ever with the best of the best to come back from a first recent loss. He will understand the pressure of being locked up in there with me. I’m ready to shock everyone November 17th.”

Despite his lack of cage competition experience, Jamie Sprague is no newcomer to the combat sports world. As Al Kinani indicated, Sprague has trained for some time in the martial arts. He holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a member of Nostos MMA based in Somersworth, New Hampshire under current UFC competitor, and former NEF Pro Lightweight Champion, Devin Powell (9-3).

“Mo’s a tough guy,” said Sprague, “no doubt about that. But with all due respect, I want to make a statement. I want his neck.

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New England Fights (NEF) will hold its final mixed-martial-arts event of 2018, “NEF 36: Battle for the Gold,” on Saturday, November 17 at Aura in Portland, Maine. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional featherweight title fight to the card. Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (6-2) is scheduled to meet Bill Jones (13-10) for the vacant NEF Professional Featherweight Championship.

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Lacey is coming off one of the biggest wins of his professional career to date. Last weekend at “NEF 35” before his hometown fans in Bangor, Maine, Lacey submitted Jon Lemke (7-9) just under two minutes into the first round. It was a rebound win for Lacey who lost a decision to a very tough Da’Mon Blackshear (5-2) earlier this summer in Portland. At “NEF 36,” Lacey will look to capture gold in the promotion for the second time – he won the NEF Amateur Featherweight Title at “NEF 20” in November 2015 in what would be his final amateur fight. Lacey is a member of Young’s MMA based in Bangor.

“I’m excited to be fighting for this strap,” exclaimed Lacey. “I was NEF’s first amateur 145-pound champion and I look forward to being one of the first people to hold amateur and professional belts for New England Fights! I have a very formidable and experienced opponent, but this belt has been calling my name for a long time and I am going to take what I have worked for all along!”

Bill Jones is one of the pioneers of the New England MMA scene, having competed in the region since 2007. He holds wins over some of the top fighters ever to come out of the area such as UFC veteran Tateki Matsuda (13-9) and current UFC competitor Matt Bessette (22-9). Jones has competed at the national level for the World Series of Fighting (WSOF). Like Lacey, he also holds a first-round submission of Jon Lemke to his credit. At “NEF 33″ in Portland last spring, Jones was victorious over Matt Denning (5-8) via technical knockout in the second round. He is currently a member of Nostos MMA in Somersworth, New Hampshire.

“I’m at my most dangerous when I’m focused—and you best believe that I’ll be bringing a whole new level of commitment to my camp with the NEF Featherweight title on the line, a belt that I’ve had my eyes on for a long, long time,” stated Jones. “I have a lot left in the tank and I’m out to prove in this fight that I’m no journeyman—I’m hard work for anyone that wants some. I can’t wait to be back in the NEF cage and put on a show for everyone!”

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New England Fights (NEF) will hold its final mixed-martial-arts event of 2018, “NEF 36: Battle for the Gold,” on Saturday, November 17 at Aura in Portland, Maine. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur women’s flyweight fight to the card. B.J. Garceau (1-0) is scheduled to face Chelsea Tucker (0-3) at a fight weight of 125-pounds.

B.J. Garceau made national headlines earlier this year as she prepared for her in-cage debut with NEF. Diagnosed with Type-1 juvenile diabetes in 1993, Garceau became an inspiration to those within the diabetic community looking to practice the martial arts. At “NEF 32” last February, she went the distance with Sarah Ziehm (1-2) in a back-and-forth contest, ultimately picking up the win via split-decision on the judges’ scorecards. Garceau is a member of Young’s MMA based in Bangor, Maine.

“When Coach (Chris) Young asked me if I was free November 17th, I thought he wanted me to be the water girl for the guys on the card,” Garceau quipped. “I say this jokingly, but we’ve had some struggles finding match ups for the Young’s WMMA (women’s mixed-martial-arts) team in the past. Me and my girls are hungry to fight. So when he asked if I’d fight Chelsea, who is a warrior that doesn’t back down from anything, of course my answer was ‘yes.’ I adore Chelsea and am ready to put on a hell of a show for the fans, my team and the beautiful city of Portland, Maine this November.”

The casual observer should not let Chelsea Tucker’s record fool them. Scrappy, talented and full of heart, Tucker has come to fight each time she has stepped in the cage. She has appeared four times in the NEF cage, including a non-sanctioned grappling match with Carol Linn Powell that went to a draw last April in Portland. Tucker proudly serves her country as a culinary specialist with the United States Coast Guard stationed in Boothbay, Maine. She trains with First Class MMA in Brunswick, Maine.

“I am very excited to step back into the cage,” said Tucker. “I look forward to fighting B.J. This is going to be a great fight, and I look forward to representing my gym and my skill set again in the NEF cage.”

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New England Fights (NEF) will hold its final mixed-martial-arts event of 2018, “NEF 36: Battle for the Gold,” on Saturday, November 17 at Aura in Portland, Maine. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the first fight scheduled for the event. Catie Denning (1-0) will take on Taylor Thompson (2-0) in an amateur women’s bantamweight contest.

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Catie Denning made her amateur MMA debut last February at “NEF 32” in Lewiston, Maine. She dominated Chelsea Tucker (0-3) for three rounds on her way to a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. Denning is a member of Young’s MMA based in Bangor, Maine where she will once again train for her sophomore cage bout.

“I’m excited to step back into the cage,” said Denning. “It’s been far too long and I’m hungrier than ever. I fully understand I’m stepping up to take on a tough opponent, but I’m up for the challenge and hope I can showcase all of my hard work since my amateur debut back in February.”

Denning’s opponent, Taylor Thompson, will be making her NEF debut on November 17, but she is no stranger to the New England MMA scene. Thompson is undefeated with two fights under her belt in Massachusetts. Both wins came by way of stoppage, including a first-round submission of Tiffany McCoy (2-2) last January. Thompson trains with BST MMA & Fitness based in Mendon, Massachusetts.

“I am very excited to be able to fight Catie Denning of Young’s MMA on November 17 at the beautiful Aura arena in Portland, Maine,” said Thompson when reached for comment. “She trains with tough people at a well-respected gym, and I am so grateful that she and I will have the opportunity to throw down for the fantastic fight fans of Maine. I have wanted to fight for NEF ever since I met Coach Eddie (Benjamin) and his team at Titan Athletics in Bangor and heard about the amazing fight scene that exists in Maine. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 36: Battle for the Gold,” will see the company make its return to Aura in Portland, Maine. The event is scheduled to take place Saturday, November 17, 2018 with a bell time of 7 pm. The ticket pre-sale is happening now at www.AuraMaine.com with promo code “NEF.” Tickets will be on-sale to the general public on Monday, September 10 at 9:00 a.m. EDT.


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