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January 20, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (January 20, 2014) – When New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on February 8 the popular fight promotion will welcome an honored guest in the form of current UFC star, and former World Featherweight Champion, "MTB" Mike Thomas Brown (26-9).  Prior to the start of the first bout, Brown will conduct an hour-long, free meet-and-greet with fans in attendance.

"I'm excited to return to Maine to be a part of NEF MMA's twelfth event," stated Brown. "I was there for NEF's first event and I'm proud to be there for their two-year anniversary. I've attended mixed martial arts shows around the country and around the world and NEF puts on one of the best shows I've ever seen at the regional level. I look forward to seeing and talking to Maine MMA fans at NEF XII on February 8th."

"We urge fans to buy their tickets early and get into the arena when doors open at 6 pm," said NEF MMA matchmaker and co-owner Matt Peterson.  "They will have the rare opportunity to meet a former world champion, a Maine fight and wrestling legend, and one hell of a guy in Mike Brown.  He'll be taking pictures and signing autographs for free for ticketholders."

Mike Brown won a state championship in wrestling in 1992 for Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, Maine.  He continued his athletic career at Norwich University in Vermont.  After college, Brown moved back to Maine and began training and competing in MMA as an original member of Team Elite. He soon established himself as a top prospect on the regional circuit, before being invited to join one of the most famed MMA schools of all-time, American Top Team (ATT).  Brown moved to Coconut Creek, Florida to begin training with ATT.  Not long after, Brown found himself competing in MMA bouts across the globe against top competition.

On November 5, 2008, Brown captured the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Featherweight Title with a first-round technical knockout (TKO) victory over the then number-one ranked 145-pounder in the world, and current UFC mega star, "The California Kid" Urijah Faber (30-6).  In the rematch, Brown successfully defended the title against Faber with a unanimous decision win over the former champion in Faber's hometown of Sacramento, California.  Brown would hold the world title for over a year before dropping it to current UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo (22-1).  In late 2010, the WEC was absorbed into UFC where Mike Brown continues to compete in the featherweight division.  In addition to competing and coaching, Brown also testified before the Maine legislature in 2009, arguing for the legalization and regulation of MMA in the state.

In addition to attending “NEF XII,” Mike Brown will also be holding a special two-hour MMA seminar at John Raio’s "First Class Fitness & MMA" gym located at 637 River Road in Topsham, Maine on Sunday, February 9th from 1-3 PM. During the seminar, Brown will be detailing and demonstrating the techniques that helped him to become a world champion. The cost for the seminar will be $50 for those that pre-register and $55 for those that sign-up the day of the event. Fans can pre-register by contacting John “First Class” Raio directly by calling 207.766.6406or by emailing newenglandfights@gmail.comfor more information.

“It’s a great honor to be hosting former World Champion Mike Brown at my gym,” stated Raio when reached for comment. “I’ve been a fan of Mike for many years and have had the pleasure of watching him compete in front of thousands of fans. This is a great opportunity for local wrestlers, aspiring mixed martial artists, or anyone just looking to learn some new skills to get in shape to come out and train with a world class athlete for the afternoon. Don’t miss this chance to get on the mat with a champion."

 “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 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, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”