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November 26, 2013


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (November 22, 2013) – New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) today announced the signing of Tollison Lewis (4-9 amateur) to fight long-term in the promotion as a professional.  It was further announced that Lewis would make his professional debut in a lightweight matchup against Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (1-2) on February 8, 2014 in Lewiston.  The two first met in the NEF MMA amateur ranks in June of 2012, resulting in a victory for Erickson by TKO.

"We are very grateful and fortunate for what NEF has done for the sport of MMA in the state of Maine," stated Lewis when reached for comment. "We’ve been fighting for them since day one and its very exciting to officially sign with them."

"Tollison has been with us since the beginning, and he's provided many exciting moments on our amateur cards," said NEF MMA co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  "So when he told us he was going pro, it just made sense to make him our next signing.  He made his amateur debut on our first card, and now he makes his pro debut with us almost two-years later to the day."

Lewis, who trains out of Nate Charles' Balanced Ground MMA gym in Windham, Maine, has appeared on nine of the first eleven NEF MMA cards, more than any other competitor on the promotion's roster.  To call him a "regular" would be an understatement.  In addition, Lewis has been a part of some of the most interesting storylines in the amateur division, including a rivalry with Andrew Tripp (5-0) early in his career and, more-recently, a three-fight series with Jeremy Tyler (3-1).

"I'm excited to see what Tollison is going to do as a pro," said NEF MMA co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson.  "A lot of fighters don't realize their true potential until the shinguards come off and they have an entirely new arsenal of strikes available to them in the pros.  Tollison's a great addition to the NEF MMA pro lightweight division.  He's got a tough task in front of him with Jesse Erickson though."

At "NEF X" earlier this fall, Lewis scored a highlight-reel, knock-out victory over Matt Denning (2-3) that is expected to be nominated for the "KO of the Year" award.  No doubt, Jesse Erickson will be looking for revenge on February 8th when he steps into the cage opposite Lewis.  Erickson is Denning's coach at Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ).  Coming off a loss to Ryan Cowette (1-2) in a "Coach vs. Coach" bout at "NEF XI" two weeks ago, Erickson is already champing at the bit to redeem himself in Lewiston, and he can think of no better way than by scoring a win over Lewis given the history between the two.

"Tollison brings a lot of amateur experience to the professional ranks," said Erickson when reached for comment. "He has taken a lot of difficult fights as an ammy and looks better each time he competes. That being said, we have had our differences.  We had some arguments on social media, and I've heard little remarks that insinuate that when I beat him as an ammy, it was a bad stoppage.  So, I am definitely looking to finish this fight in a way that leaves no doubt in anyone's mind who won.  He always comes in shape and ready to fight and I look forward to meeting him once more in the NEF cage."

"Well he’s a great guy who I have a lot of respect for," said Lewis of Erickson.  "I have been itching to have this rematch since my ammy loss to him. I felt the stoppage was premature and this time as a pro he’ll really have to finish me to get the stoppage. I’m a completely different fighter that improves with every fight.  My head coach and cousin Nate Charles has worked hard implementing new ways to challenge our training.  From starting on baseball fields, to getting a building with four other specialty instructors, Balanced Ground will give anyone a tough fight!  I promise this fight you will not want to miss! This is the opportunity I've been waiting for and I will not disappoint! Come out and support your local MMA fighter and NEF February 8th.   Thank you."

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.”

About New England Fights
New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (“NEF MMA”) is a Mixed Martial Arts promotions company. NEF MMA’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF MMA’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.