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September 6, 2013

Jon Lemke on the Hunt for Gold in NEF X Main Event

[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (September 5, 2013) – It was late June 2013 when New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) matchmaker and co-owner Matt Peterson received the news.  It was Ryan Ciotoli, the head of New York's Team Bombsquad, who informed Peterson that team member Dez Green (9-1) had just signed to fight in the upcoming featherweight tournament for Bellator.

"I was ecstatic," said Peterson.  "That's what we want for all the NEF MMA fighters.  We want them to get to that next level, and Dez had fought harder than anyone else to get there.  But it left us with a vacancy."

That vacancy was the NEF MMA Maine State Lightweight Title which Green had won just five weeks earlier at NEF VII by defeating UFC veteran Henry Martinez (9-6).  NEF MMA executives scoured the current roster of professional lightweights and two names stood out.

"John Ortolani (7-7) impressed us with his dominant submission win over Bruce Boyington (3-5) last fall in Lewiston," said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  "The other challenger that stood out was John Lemke (3-1).  That was the fight we wanted to fill this void."

The Lemke-Ortolani fight is now set to headline NEF X for the Lightweight Championship.  The bout was declared the main event of the September 21 card at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee when the original headliner featuring Ray Wood's (4-0) Featherweight Title defense against Joe Pingitore (4-0-1) fell out due to an injury.

Lemke first fought pro for NEF MMA last September at NEF IV when he defeated Nate Oses (0-1) via unanimous decision in a standup battle.  Lemke continued his tear through the lightweight division in Maine with victories over Jesse Erickson (1-1) at Bellator 93 in Lewiston and Florida's George Reagan (2-2) at NEF VII this past May.

It was not until this past July at NEF VIII "Nations Collide: Canadian Invasion" that Lemke would suffer his first loss in either amateur or professional competition.  The loss would come at the hands of the larger Matt DesRoches (5-0), a natural welterweight, at a catchweight heavier than Lemke's regular 155-pound division.

“People can expect a much more mature and patient fighter this time around,” stated Lemke. “No disrespect to my opponent, but I look at my last fight as more of an entertainment lesson than a fight lesson. I had already determined beforehand how I was going to fight him and I allowed the moment to get away from me. I was so amped up for that fight that I didn't think at all and just came out swinging for the fences. I have learned that no matter what the emotions involved before a fight, to be able to separate myself from those emotions and to fight with a clear mind and heart.”

With the loss behind him, Lemke now looks to claim the Maine State Lightweight Title at NEF X on September 21.  And his camp predicts a more calculated game plan from Lemke this time out.

"You can expect a different Jon Lemke than you saw the last time," said Team Irish head and Lemke's coach Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis.  "He will be patient and slowly take his opponent apart. When his opponent tries to force the action he will make a mistake and Jon will capitalize on that and finish him."

“My theme for this fight is and has been live with abandon,” stated Lemke. “To hold nothing back and put the Lord Jesus Christ first in any and every area of my life. Coming off my first ever loss as a mixed martial artist, it hurt. It hurt deeply, but I wanted and needed it to. To make realize how much I love doing this and how much I have sacrificed and dedicated my life for. I have been able to learn and grow so much as a man and fighter from that loss. This is why I fight, I believe that this is what the Lord has called and blessed me to do. To use all the talents, abilities, drives and passions that He has blessed me with. To bring glory and honor to His name and to inspire others to seek the Lord first, and to never give up on your dreams and goals no matter where you are in life. “

“NEF X” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets start at just $25 and are on sale now at   The card will feature a 155-pound bout between Jon Lemke (3-1) and John Ortolani (7-7) to fill the recently vacated Maine State Lightweight Championship. In addition, UFC veteran Jimmy "Crash" Quinlan (3-1) will face Luc Bondole (2-0).  For more information on the event and the full fight card, please visit the promotion's website at  In addition, you can watch NEF MMA videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”