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January 23, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (January 22, 2014) – Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (22-10) is a name spoken at dinner tables across the globe.  Over the course of his illustrious combat sports career, Davis has competed in sixteen UFC bouts, two fights for Bellator, and on numerous international stages before tens of thousands of fight fans.  Recently, Davis joined New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson on the NEF Podcast.  Among topics discussed was Davis' upcoming high-profile bout with his former student "THE" Ryan Sanders (5-4) at "NEF XII" on February 8 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.  Davis also responded to many of the claims made during Sanders' controversial podcast interview released just days earlier, particularly to Sanders' assertion that he had voluntarily left Team Irish to join the team's cross-town rival Young's MMA.

"Some time went by and I didn't see him for a little while," explained Davis of Sanders' departure from Team Irish.  "And then I saw some Facebook posts.  And I saw some on Facebook had pictures and everything of Ryan training with some guys over at ... at the time Chris Young just had a bunch of people in his garage... They're all working out in Chris' garage.  I have a rule in my school... you have to get clearance to cross train anyplace else other than one of our affiliates... In four hours from Bangor to Boston there are four different places you can train... He had gotten in trouble three times before... He ended up taking two boxing matches and one MMA fight (without coach's permission).  He lost all three.  Winning or losing doesn't matter, but having lost too did nothing but irritate me even more."

During Sanders' Podcast, the Young's MMA member contended that he and Davis never spoke about any issues between Sanders and the school during Sanders' time with Team Irish.  Davis tells a much different story, indicating that Sanders had been warned on several occasions about his behavior.

"Every time he did it (took fights without school permission), I had a conversation with the kid," continued Davis.  "And I said, 'Why'd you do this?  Why wouldn't you want my help?  I'm a professional boxer.  Why wouldn't you want my help for the MMA thing?  And don't do it again.'  And he did it again.  And he did it again.  And he did it again...  He was disrespecting me.  He was disrespecting the gym.  He was disrespecting  his training partners.  It's not the Ryan Sanders Show.  That's why I find it real funny that he calls himself ''THE' Ryan Sanders.'  It completely fits his personality.  He's nothing but total ego that kid."

When Davis confronted Sanders about training with Young's MMA, Davis says that Sanders outright lied to his face at first, "I don't know where he gets off saying that we never even spoke about it.  I had the conversation with him right in the middle of the mats.  I said... 'You haven't gone anyplace else to train?'  He goes 'No, I haven't...'  So then I said to him, 'What about all those pictures and all this stuff and everyone talking on Facebook, about you going to Young's?'  He looks me in the eyes and he says, 'Yeah, so what, I did.'  At that point, I'm sweating I'm so pissed off at the kid...  I said, 'Why?'  He says to me, and maybe this will remind him,... 'The reason why I didn't come back and didn't train here, and I went over there to get some training was because I couldn't afford my membership...'  I said to him, 'If you didn't have your money to pay for your membership, Ryan, I would've gladly said 'no problem, catch up on it when you can.'  But, you know what, you're gone.  I don't want you here.  You're not part of the team.  You're not a team player.  You gotta go.  Good luck.'  That's how it ended."

Sanders went on during his Podcast interview to state that Davis " was a great guy… but he can kind-of be a dick sometimes."  That statement touched a nerve with many of Davis' fans and Team Irish supporters who quickly took to social media criticizing the controversial statement.

"I'll always tell people the truth," said Davis in regards to Sanders' statement.  "I don't care if it upsets you or whatever.  I'm the one that's gotta live with myself, and I have to live in my own skin, so I'm not gonna sit there and sugarcoat anything with anybody...  That's just who I am.  I don't change myself for anybody."

Davis later discussed his game plan for the upcoming fight on February 8.  In the Podcast, Davis is very upfront and open on what he feels are his own strengths and weaknesses, as well as what he feels are Sanders' strengths and weaknesses.

"I still have that freaky old-man strength that I can use at any time, whereas Ryan is more of a guy that just tries to wear you down," stated Davis.  "He throws high volumes of punches or high volumes of kicks.  He has no takedowns.  He has zero wrestling...  He tries to rack up the points.  When people try to take him down, he goes for the neck, stretch the neck.  He immediately starts scrambling, looking for armbars, triangles and all that stuff.  And that's how he fights...  My plan, as always, is to go out there and just do the things that I do best.  And, by doing that, it will open up opportunities for me to finish him...  I'm not the guy that I was in the mid-2000's.  But, who I am now is still ten times more than who Ryan is now or ever is going to be...  Come that night in February, I'm gonna walk right through him."

You can listen to both the Marcus Davis and the Ryan Sanders NEF Podcast interviews in their entirety at

“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 for "NEF XII" 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.