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February 13, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (February 12, 2015) – New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine on April 11, 2015 with its seventeenth mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event.  Earlier today, the company announced the addition of a professional catchweight bout to the fight card.  "Shatterproof 2.0" Derek Shorey (1-1) will meet the returning John "First Class" Raio (2-6) in a "rubber match" at a fight weight of 150-pounds.

Shorey won the last meeting between the two at "NEF XIV" last September via first-round submission.  He gained revenge for a submission loss suffered at the hands of Raio when the pair had fought as amateurs two years earlier.  The "NEF XIV" bout was promoted as a retirement match for Raio who had decided to step away from active competition to focus on his family and gym First Class MMA in Topsham, Maine.  Raio says that he has now found the balance in his life to return to the NEF MMA cage.

"I retired from fighting last September because I wanted to spend more time with my family," said Raio.  "They were really supportive during my career and I owed it to them.   I have found a balance with my new job at BIW.  I am able to train, spend time with my family and operate my gym each day.  I love MMA and never stopped training.  I was not happy with the way my last fight ended and when the opportunity to compete against Derek Shorey again presented itself, I couldn't turn it down.  The idea to fight Derek came from a post on FB that Ben Raven made on Matt Denning's page a few months ago.  Derek seemed interested in a rubber match. After getting support from my family, I contacted Matt Petersen and he matched us up."

The two previous bouts between Shorey and Raio had been agreed to at the featherweight limit of 145-pounds.  Shorey feels he will have an advantage due to the 150-pound catchweight where he will have to cut very little or even no weight at all.

"I'm excited to fight John again," exclaimed Shorey.  "There's almost no weight to cut for a fight at 150, so I'll be fighting him at full strength, and ultimately as the best version of myself that I've ever known.  I'm very confident that I will be in the best shape of my life, and due to recent personal events, I think I'm a little colder now than I've ever been.  Training at Young's  MMA in Bangor as often as I can, being a single parent now, will also drastically improve my game, in every aspect of the sport.  John is a really good wrestler and a lot stronger than me, but no one has ever seen what I know I'm capable of, and I plan to change that."

NEF's next MMA event, "NEF XVII," is scheduled to take place on April 11, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (10-7) will defend the NEF MMA Lightweight Title against number-one contender Jamie Harrison (5-1).  In addition, Jarod "Last Minute" Lawton (4-1) meets Dennis Olson (12-7) in a welterweight contest.  Tickets for "NEF XVII" start at just $25 and are on sale now at or by calling The Colisee box office at 207.783.2009 x 525.  For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at In addition, you can watch NEF videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”