August 27, 2012

With Soap Am Out; Jason Skip Libby In To Face Ray Wood

[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (August 27, 2012) – New England Fights! (NEF) announced today a change in their card for Fight Night IV scheduled for September 8, 2012 in Lewiston, ME at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. It was previously announced that NEF veteran and Bangor, ME resident Ray “All Business” Wood (4-1) would meet Soap Am (4-0) in a long-awaited matchup of the northeast’s number three (Wood) and number one (Am) ranked amateur featherweights. However, an injury has forced Soap Am to withdraw from the bout. Taking Am’s place will be previously ranked lightweight Jason “Skip” Libby (3-2) from Bill Jones’ The Shop training center. Ray Wood has agreed to move up and face Libby at his weight class of 155 pounds.

“In all the fighters I’ve worked with in four years of matchmaking, I’ve never seen a competitor with tougher luck in getting the matchups he wants than Ray Wood,” stated NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “Since I began working with him earlier this year, Ray has consistently asked me to make him fights against top-ranked competition and time and time again, his opponents keep falling out for various reasons. This latest fight with Soap is just the most recent example. Now Ray must go up in weight once more to find a fight with a quality opponent, but he was willing to do it again—no questions asked. This kid is the real deal—a warrior through and through—and it’s a pleasure to be working with him and his team.”

At Fight Night II on April 16, 2012, Wood faced a similar last-minute change of opponent that resulted in Wood going up in weight to face Team Bombsquad’s Shane Manley (4-1 and ranked #3 in the northeast) at a catchweight of 150 pounds. Wood, who fought valiantly against the bigger, stronger Manley, ultimately lost the contest in a three-round judge’s decision and sustained the first—and to-date only—loss of his career.

“You hate to see injuries occur in the final days leading up to a fight card and we wish Soap a speedy recovery,” stated NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “We appreciate both Wood and Libby being flexible enough to help us salvage what will still be a thriller of a bout with rankings implications for both fighters.”

Wood-Libby was able to happen due to Jason Libby’s original opponent pulling off the fight card only hours before Soap Am due to undisclosed reasons. Through late weekend negotiations between teams, the matchup was arranged to keep both Maine athletes on a card that NEF is predicting will be its biggest offering to date.

“Libby vs Wood was not what we had originally hoped for, but in the end it’s all part of the fight game,” stated Wood when reached for comment. “We will move up in weight to fight at 155 and maybe earn some redemption for Young’s MMA since, as a team, we’re 0-2 against Jason.”

Jason Libby holds wins over Young’s MMA fighters Drew Waltz (1-1) and most recently Zackary Adams (0-1), who Libby knocked out in lightning-quick, brutal fashion in the first minute of the first round at Fight Night I back in February.

“Ray is a tough fighter just like I am,” stated Libby when reached for comment. “He wants to fight the toughest guys in the Northeast, so naturally this will be a great fight for both of us. As always, I’m looking forward to having some fun in the cage!”

Fight Night IV is slated for September 8 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, ME. The card will feature a headline fight between Jesse Peterson (6-2) and Cody Lightfoot (6-3) for the NEF Maine State MMA Middleweight Title, as well as a fight for the NEF Maine State MMA Welterweight Title between Ryan Sanders (4-1) and UFC veteran Ricardo Funch (8-4). Tickets are on sale and most of cage-side sold-out within minutes. For more information on this event, visit www.NewEnglandFights.com. You can watch NEF videos at www.yotube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.” Tickets for Fight Night IV are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling The Colisee box office at 207.783.2009.


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