Lewiston, Maine (May 3, 2017) –New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday, June 17, 2017 with the fight promotion's next event, "NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES." The event will feature a full slate of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and professional boxing bouts. The amateur portion of the card will be headlined by a lightweight title fight that will see Rafael "Deez Nuts" Velado (4-0) defend against Pat Kelly (3-0).
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Velado made his NEF debut in the fall of 2015. He submitted Kelly's Young's MMA teammate Jimmy Jackson (3-3) at "NEF 25" to claim the amateur lightweight title. To date, only Mike Peitersen (3-1), another member of Young's, has gone the distance with Velado who has established himself as a master of arm bars and Kimuras. Velado is a member of First Class MMA in Brunswick, Maine.
"Here we go again," exclaimed Velado. "We’ve got a friendly rivalry going between First Class MMA and Young's MMA. They throw a badass at me and I answer the call. PK (Pat Kelly) is a legend of sorts. If you wrestle in Maine and you don’t know who he is, you’re out of touch. I think PK a different kind of challenge for me than my previous four fights. I’ve shown that I can get the fight to the ground and that I’m dangerous when I get there, but that’s a wildcard with Pat. This fight is very exciting to me because we are both undefeated and the winner is going to have to prove that they are ready for the next level by bringing a well-rounded game. I have no doubt as to whether PK is capable of taking me down. The question is; will he regret his decision to take me there? We will see on June 17th."
Pat Kelly is, as Velado noted, a legend in the Maine wrestling world. He put together an impressive 116-20 career record at the University of Maine, captured a New England title and wrestled in the NCAA Championships in 1986. The 52-year-old is no stranger to the championship circle as a coach either, having led the Camden Hills team to several state titles over the years, earning himself an induction into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in the process. Kelly famously coached current UFC star Tim Boetsch (20-11) to four state wrestling titles during Boetsch's time at Camden Hills.
As a member of Young's MMA, Kelly made his MMA debut at "NEF 14." Known for his intense in-cage performances, Kelly has finished all three of his opponents. A knee injury has forced him to the sidelines since his last victory in the summer of 2015.
"First, my sincere thanks to NEF for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to Coach Chris Young and Ernie Fitch along with all my teammates at Young's MMA," said Kelly. "I am so pumped-up to get back into the NEF cage. I am now fully recovered from a serious knee injury and am felling better than ever. This fight makes perfect sense in that you have two undefeated fighters that are willing to wage war for the belt.
"I am honored to share the cage with a fighter of Raf's caliber," Kelly continued. "I respect the fact he is currently the undefeated champ. To fight him means that my time has come to offer him a challenge worthy of title contention. I have been training for an opportunity like this for the past four years. I will bring to the cage a sense of unpredictability and true grit. In essence, Raf will do what he has to do and I will do what I have to do. Whatever happens, happens."
New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next event, "NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES," on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at www.TheColisee.com.
For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”