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March 26, 2012

Press Release--Pablo Papovitch Brown Belt Lawton Set To Show Heyliger “The Gentle Art” At Fight Night 2

Biddeford, ME (March 26, 2012) – New England Fights! (NEF) is proud to announce Jarod Lawton (1-0) vs Darrius Heyliger (1-0), a featured professional mixed martial arts bout, for “Fight Night 2” on Saturday, April 14th at The Arena in Biddeford, Maine.

“I’ve been following fights for most of my life and I’m confident that Jarod Lawton has the talent and work ethic to be the next big thing in the New England combat sports scene—he’s that good,” stated Matt Peterson, NEF co-owner and matchmaker.

Lawton’s first foray into the world of fighting began just over four years ago when, out of curiosity, he wandered into Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) and met school owner and instructor, Ricardo Almeida Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Brown Belt, Travis Wells. “I saw immediately that he was very athletic and he learned very fast,” stated Wells, who trained Lawton during his first year in the sport. “As an instructor, you can pick up on the people that have potential pretty quickly—and he had it. I knew he had the tools to do anything he wanted in the art.”

Lawton, who was working as a personal trainer at the time, became instantly enamored with “the gentle art” and under Wells’ watchful eye began training like a man possessed. “I knew from my first day on the mat this would be my passion for the rest of my life,” stated Lawton. “Coming from a family of martial artists and soldiers, and warriors, finding jiu jitsu was like coming home, like I'd finally found my place in life.”

Lawton eventually moved to Florida to pursue training full-time at the prestigious American Top Team (ATT). At ATT, Lawton rolled daily with high-level BJJ black belts and quickly earned his blue belt. Not long after that, he was awarded his purple belt.

In his constant pursuit of new techniques, Lawton made the move to the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center to study under world champion and 3rd Degree Black Belt Pablo Papovitch. In January, Papovitch awarded Lawton his Brown Belt. “Having been through a lot of controversy and drama in changing schools and going to a place that had once been my biggest rival was tough, but the reward of training with guys of that caliber on a regular basis and to have them believe in my skills enough to give me my brown belt was an honor,” Lawton said.

Since moving back home to Maine earlier this year, Lawton has been teaching BJJ at Maine Isshinryu Karate Academies (MIKA) in Manchester, and focusing his attention on mixed martial arts.

“Jarod has had one MMA bout and it barely lasted over a minute before he forced his opponent to tap,” stated Peterson. Jarod is one of the fiercest jiu-jitsu competitors in the New England circuit right now. I have no doubt that he will bring that same level of intensity to his MMA training. I can’t wait to watch him compete against Heyliger—a proficient striker hailing from the most complete fight camp in the Northeast in Team Bombsquad. This matchup has the potential to be absolutely brilliant.”

“I feel great,” said Lawton. “My conditioning has never been better. I've been competing against some of the best jiu jitsu competition in the world and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to display my skills again in the cage at Fight Night 2.”

Fight Night 2 features 16 amateur and professional mixed martial arts bouts showcasing sportsmen from many of Maine’s top fight camps including Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMAAthletix, Team Headstrong, The Shop, Wai Nei, and many others.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit

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