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November 22, 2013


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (November 21, 2013) – New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) today announced the addition of a professional featherweight contest to the fight promotion's "NEF XII" event scheduled to take place on February 8, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.  That bout will feature the promotion's two most popular fighters, John "First Class" Raio (1-4) and Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (4-5), squaring off inside the MMA cage.

"John Raio and Bruce Boyington are the most popular fighters in Maine," said NEF MMA co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  "The walls of the Colisee shake from the crowd noise any time either of these guys fight.  On February 8th, there will be thousands of fans screaming their heads off during this fight.  Bring your ear plugs, it's going to be loud!"

It comes as no surprise that scores of fans turn out every time either Boyington or Raio fights in the NEF MMA cage.  In addition to both athletes being popular outside the cage, each has produced some of the most memorable moments inside the cage in Maine fight history.  In June 2012, Boyington knocked out Keegan Hornstra (1-7) with a taekwondo spinning hook kick in Lewiston that set the house, and the internet, ablaze.  The video of that fight went viral almost immediately, and it has garnered hundreds of thousands of views worldwide to date.  Earlier this month, Boyington took down Josh Parker (4-8) in a special "Grudge Match" that had Maine fans on the edge of their collective seat.

"I like this fight with John," said Boyington when reached for comment.  "I have never felt more confident on implementing my game plan.  With that said, I feel bad handing a good man a loss.  I like him.  I like his fans and all John has done to help MMA grow in Maine.  Thank you to all you mailman fans.  Don't boo me too much!"

Raio, a Maine State high school wrestling champion in 1995, has had his own memorable moments in the MMA cage.  His double-pro-debut bout against current Maine State MMA Featherweight Champion Ray Wood (4-0) was one of the wildest and most action-packed to take place in NEF MMA.  This past spring, Raio took Vince Murdock (2-1) deep into the third round at Bellator 93 at the Colisee before succumbing to a TKO loss.  Raio got his first pro victory over Asa Zorn (0-4) earlier this fall in under 30-seconds to a massive roar from his fan base in Lewiston.

"I am excited for this opportunity to compete against Bruce, one of the most exciting standup fighters in the northeast US, from one of the top fight teams in all of New England," stated Raio.  "He has a highlight reel KO under his belt and he always comes ready for battle. I have nothing but respect for him and Young's MMA."

"This is your classic striker versus wrestler matchup," declared NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson.  "This is the fight that the Maine fans want to see, and this is the fight that NEF MMA is going to give them on February 8."

NEF MMA's next event, “NEF XII,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 7:00 pm.  Maine State MMA Middleweight Champion Jesse Peterson (7-4) will return to action for the first time in nearly a year.  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 and fight card updates, 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.”