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December 13, 2013


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (December 13, 2013) – New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) today announced the addition of a professional middleweight title fight to the promotion’s February 8, 2014 card. The event, entitled “NEF XII,” will take place at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston and will feature reigning Maine State MMA Middleweight Champion Jesse Peterson (7-4) defending his title against the challenge of "Ruthless" Mike Zichelle (6-3).

“Adding this fight is like putting the icing on top of the cake," said NEF MMA co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  "The pro card was stacked to begin with, especially considering the signing earlier this week of the Marcus Davis-Ryan Sanders fight.  Now you add Zichelle and Peterson to that mix and you have a quality main card the likes of which only NEF can put together for the fans."

Peterson, a native of Rumford, Maine who splits his training between Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) and South Shore Sport Fighting (SSSF), won a state wrestling championship for Mountain Valley High School in the 189-pound division in 2000.  Following a successful 4-2 start to his professional MMA career, Peterson was forced to take an extended leave from the sport.  After remaining dormant for over three years, Peterson returned in early 2012 to compete for NEF MMA.  He racked up several victories over the course of that year before submitting Cody Lightfoot (6-5) in a thrilling, come-from-behind fashion to become the state's first middleweight MMA champion.

"I'm excited to get back into the NEF cage," stated Peterson when reached for comment.  "My opponent is a big, strong athlete and he trains with a top group of guys in Team Triumph.  He also seems like a real gentleman, so I'm looking forward to an exciting contest against a motivated, skilled fighter."

Opposing Peterson will be Mike Zichelle of Nashua, New Hampshire's Team Triumph.  Currently under a multi-fight promotional contract with NEF MMA, Zichelle's last appearance for the company came at "NEF X" in September of this year.  It was a bout that saw Zichelle finish Oklahoma veteran Jason Anderson (11-32) via TKO in the first round.  The dominant performance impressed NEF MMA executives to the point of offering Zichelle a shot at the promotion's 185-pound title.

"In regards to fighting Jesse Peterson for the Main State Middleweight Championship, I am incredibly honored," said Zichelle.  "When my coach John Fain told me about the offer to fight him I couldn't have been more excited.  I jumped all over it.  I think it's a huge opportunity for my gym as well as myself.  My sponsor Redline Wall Systems of Leominster, MA has put me in a position to completely focus on this fight the next couple of months, and because of this I will be very well prepared and open a lot of eyes.  This is my toughest fight to date, but being so I feel very little pressure at all, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  Jesse is the champ and this fight is in his back backyard not mine.  Training at Triumph BJJ with my head coach John Fain as well as an amazing supporting cast has really got me starting to realize my true potential, and I know with this man in my corner the sky is the limit. Thank you again to New England Fights for the amazing opportunity!"

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.  In the main event, Maine MMA legend Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (22-10) faces his former student "THE" Ryan Sanders (5-4) in a much-anticipated welterweight contest.  In addition, Maine State MMA Middleweight Champion Jesse Peterson (7-4) will return to action for the first time in nearly a year to defend his title against "Ruthless" Mike Zichelle (6-3).  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.”