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October 8, 2012

Ray Wood and John Raio to Battle in High-Profile, Double Pro Debut on November 17

John Raio (middle) and some of his team mates on his last amateur victory
[NEF Press Release]
Lewiston, Maine (October 8, 2012) – In what could prove to be one of the most interesting bouts in Maine fight history, New England Fights! (NEF) announced today that Ray "All Business" Wood (4-1 as an amateur) and John "First Class" Raio (4-0 as an amateur) will fight each other at the promotion's Fight Night V event. The fight will be the professional fight debut for both Wood and Raio. Fight Night V is scheduled to take place on November 17, 2012 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.

"Over the course of the past year, John Raio and Ray Wood have been the standouts of the NEF amateur ranks," stated NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. "They are probably our two most popular fighters with the fans. I can think of no better way to end our inaugural year as a promotion than with a bout of this magnitude. This is the number three-ranked amateur featherweight in the Northeast [Wood] facing the number ten-ranked amateur featherweight [Raio]. This fight will set the stage for the NEF pro 145-pound division in 2013."

Raio, who trains out of MMAAthletix in Bath, Maine, began his amateur career last February at NEF's Fight Night I. All four of his fights, and wins, have come on NEF cards in 2012. As a former Maine State Wrestling Champion, Raio made headlines early this year when he entered the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) at the age of 35 after over a decade of inactivity.

"When I decided to turn pro, the opportunity to fight Ray Wood presented itself," said Raio when reached for comment. "I am excited to test my skills against one of the best fighters in the Northeast."

Training at Young's MMA in Brewer, Maine, Ray Wood went 1-1 on NEF cards this year as an amateur, his sole career loss coming to a much larger opponent Wood was forced to fight in April after his original opponent pulled out. Wood was scheduled to fight other top-ranked featherweights this year, but those fights were all canceled. In fact, Ray Wood's career has been plagued by opponents dropping out of his fights.

"I really feel for Ray," said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. "I know how badly he's wanted the best fights to challenge himself this year. And I know firsthand just how difficult it's been to match him with the reputation he has as a competitor. He's had several opponents pull out on him on NEF cards for various reasons. I understand that was one of his major considerations when deciding to turn pro."

"This is a big-time fight," continued DiSalvo. "There will be a 'big fight feel' in the Colisee on November 17 when these two fighters step into the cage opposite one another. If you're a fight fan in Maine, then you can't miss this one."

Fight Night V is slated for November 17 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, ME with a special start time of 5:00 PM. For more information on this event, visit You can watch NEF videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.” Tickets for Fight Night V are on sale now at or by calling The Colisee box office at 207.783.2009 x 525.

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