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July 17, 2013


[NEF Press Release]

Rumford, Maine (July 17, 2013) – New England Fights! (NEF) is proud to announce the signings of Team Triumph’s Cody Anderson (1-2), John Ortolani (7-7) and Mike Zichelle (4-3) to multi-fight promotional contracts.  While the specifics of the contracts remain undisclosed, NEF executives did reveal that the deals are structured long-term over the course of several fights.

Triumph Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), located in Nashua, New Hampshire first opened in 2008 and expanded under the leadership of Head Instructor/Program Director and Gracie Barra Black Belt, John Fain. In five years, Triumph BJJ has grown to be one of the most reputable schools in the region. It’s a program famous for its diverse jiu-jitsu curriculum and the talented mixed martial artists it produces.

“[Team Triumph head coach] John Fain has established himself as the preeminent MMA coach in New Hampshire and one of the most brilliant fight game strategists in the Northeast,” stated NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “To be able to sign three of John’s top trained fighters is a dream-come-true for NEF. We look forward to working with these tremendous athletes to shape the next stages of their promising careers.”

“Triumph BJJ has had an amazing relationship with NEF and I am thrilled to have three of my best professional fighters under contract with New England’s top MMA promotion,” stated Fain when reached for comment. “It is an absolute pleasure to work with a promotion that shares the same values as Triumph.”

Cody Anderson finished a flawless 5-0 amateur career before turning professional late last year. Since turning pro, Anderson has amassed a 1-2 record against tough competition including journeyman Ryan Hodge (5-7) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Black Belt Jarod Lawton (3-1).

“Cody really caught our attention when he fought Jarod Lawton back in May,” stated NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “Even though his hand wasn’t raised in the end, Cody showed incredible toughness and shut down Lawton’s world-class submission game for almost fifteen minutes. Cody is a big, strong, gifted young man that has been training for most of his life. He has the tools at his disposal to create an incredible run as a professional mixed martial artist—and we’re going to help him get there.”

“I’m really excited to sign with NEF and bring some great fights to a great promotion,” stated Anderson when reached for comment.

John Ortolani has been one of the most active, popular competitors in the Northeast circuit since he first began fighting back in 2009. The BJJ brown belt has been in the cage with the top lightweight fighters in the region. Ortolani is a professional lacrosse midfielder currently with the Rochester Rattlers and formerly with the Boston Cannons with whom he won the 2011 Major League Lacrosse Championship. He competed for NEF once previously when he defeated NEF standout Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (3-5) via first round submission back at NEF V in November 2012.

“John is one of the best known fighters in Massachusetts,” stated DiSalvo. “John will play a key role in our expansion as we look to broaden NEF’s reach into other New England markets within the next 12 months. We’re proud to partner with John—one of the most courageous fighters on the circuit right now. He’s never shied away from a fight against the best the region has to offer. We’re confident that we can put John in the right fights for the next stage of his career. ”

“I’m really excited to sign with NEF,” stated Ortolani when reached for comment. “I was very happy with my experience with NEF back in November, so I didn’t hesitate to jump on this great offer. Great promotion, great venue, great fans, and now it’s up to me to bring great performances. I’m looking forward to it.”

Mike Zichelle is the latest addition to the Team Triumph BJJ arsenal. The mammoth middleweight recently began training in earnest with Fain and crew and the results of his efforts were immediately realized when Zichelle submitted Josh Mellen via guillotine choke in the first round of their contest conducted last month.

“I'm very thankful for the opportunity,” stated Zichelle when reached for comment. “Big thanks to John Fain for not only getting me this deal, but for having me be a part of Team Triumph. It's an honor training with the caliber of people I get to work with at Triumph and it’s an honor fighting for a guy like John and representing him and his gym in combat. I’m excited to fight for the people of Maine and I’m definitely looking forward to making some new fans from Maine.”

“This latest round of signings further represents our commitment to align NEF with the top talent in the region and work with the most reputable schools and teams out there,” stated Peterson.  “We welcome aboard Cody, John and Mike and look forward to introducing them to a whole new audience of New England mixed martial arts enthusiasts that we’re confident will embrace them as they’ve embraced the rest of NEF’s decorated roster of the region’s top combat sports athletes.”

Anderson, Ortolani and Zichelle are all expected to compete on the final leg of NEF’s first-ever official “Summer Vacationland Fight Tour,” of Maine which began in Bangor last week with “Nations Collide: Canadian Invasion,” commences on Saturday, August 3rd in Biddeford with NEF IX and concludes on September 21st with NEF X at NEF’s central promotional location, the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.

For more information on Triumph Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu visit

New England Fights! presents its next mixed-martial arts event on August 3 in Biddeford, Maine at the Biddeford Ice Arena.  Tickets are on sale now at  You can watch NEF videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”