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April 30, 2013

Ex-NFL Player Tyler King Replaces Randy Smith in Maine State Heavyweight MMA Title Fight on May 18 in Lewiston

[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (April 30, 2013) – Just days after announcing the first-ever Maine State Heavyweight Title fight between Randy “The Wolf” Smith (14-13-1) and Travis "The Showstopper" Bartlett (8-3),New England Fights! (NEF) was informed that Smith had been injured and would be unable to compete on May 18. Taking Smith's place in the fight with Bartlett in Lewiston will be number-one ranked heavyweight in the northeast Tyler King (6-1).

"Our hats are off to Tyler King for taking such a huge fight on such short notice," said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. "His camp was quick to accept just moments after we were informed of Randy Smith's injury."

The son of Steve King, New England Patriots linebacker from 1973 to 1981, Tyler played defensive end for the University of Connecticut where he recorded 19 sacks, sixth all-time for the Huskies. Later, Tyler followed his father’s footsteps into the NFL, playing for the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams among other teams.

When his football career had ended, King, still hungry for competition, decided to make the mixed martial arts (MMA) cage his new stomping grounds. In just over two years, King has amassed an impressive 6-1 record as a pro, with four of his wins coming in the first round. King’s sole loss was via decision to the much more experienced Smith in a five-round heavyweight title war in the summer of 2011. Tyler King is currently the number-one ranked heavyweight fighter for the entire northeastern region of the United States.

"I couldn't be more excited to be fighting Travis," said King when reached for comment. "The fact it is for the first ever Maine heavyweight belt just makes it that much sweeter. You aren't going to find a tougher guy than Travis on the MMA scene in Maine. I'm going to have to bring it harder than I ever have before. The fans are in for a treat!"

This is not the first time Tyler King and Travis Bartlett have been scheduled to meet in the NEF cage. The two were scheduled to meet last June at NEF III before a respiratory illness sidelined Bangor-native Bartlett.

"This is just a really good heavyweight fight that we've waited a year now to put on," said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. "And it's for the heavyweight title, making the fight all the more prominent. No doubt all eyes will be on Lewiston on May 18."

At the time of this writing, the fight card for May 18 in Lewiston consisted of more than thirty fights. The main event is scheduled to feature Maine MMA legend Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (21-9) battling Darrius Heyliger (4-1). The co-main event will see UFC veteran Henry Martinez (9-5) squaring off with Dez Green (8-1) for the Maine State Lightweight Title. Tickets 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, visit You can watch NEF videos, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”