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February 20, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (February 20, 2014) – New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) today announced the addition of a professional featherweight bout to the fight promotion's May 10 card scheduled to take place at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  On that night, John "First Class" Raio (2-4) will face Amos "The Titanium Warrior" Collins (1-4).

The ever-popular Raio is the owner and head trainer at First Class Fitness and MMA in Topsham, Maine.  A Maine state wrestling champion in 1995, Raio went 4-0 in MMA as an amateur after more than a decade's absence from athletic competition.  His professional career in MMA got off to a slow start with four straight losses to tough opponents, including an appearance at Bellator 93 before a national audience.  Raio, however, has rebounded, winning his last two fights.  Earlier this month, at "NEF XII" in Lewiston, Raio defeated Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (5-7) via submission in the first round.  It was a victory marred in controversy as many observers felt the referee for the bout mistook a hand signal from Boyington as a sign of submission.  Nevertheless, the bout went into the record books as a win for Raio who will now look for his third in a row against Amos Collins on May 10.

"I am happy to be on track after a rough professional start," said Raio when reached for comment.  "I am finally fighting like a professional and am looking to keep my win streak rolling on May 10th at NEF's Fight Night XIII."

Amos Collins, who will be travelling to Maine from his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the bout, is no stranger to the NEF MMA cage.  Collins competed for the fight promotion once before, in February 2013 against Josh Parker (4-8).  While Collins lost that bout, he proved to be no pushover, taking Parker well into the second round.  Collins exhibited strong wrestling ability, scoring with a pair of takedowns and successfully defending against a takedown by Parker before getting caught in Parker's guillotine choke.  Collins trains out of Serra BJJ in Myrtle Beach alongside Westbrook, Maine native Brandon Bushaw (7-3).  While Collins is aware of the large crowds that have driven Raio to victory, and while he may be playing the role of the "visitor," Collins can no-doubt count on his teammate's many hometown fans, known as the "Bushaw Brigade," to come out to the Colisee in droves to support him as they have done in the past for Serra BJJ MMA fighters.

"Very excited about the opportunity to fight for NEF," noted Collins.  "Always love to go compete with my teammate Brandon Bushaw and the very supportive Bushaw Brigade!  We get a ton of support.  I hear it may be a hostile environment and I'm sure it will add to my challenge, which will bring the best out of me!  Thankful I can still do what I love and keep the sport of MMA on the rise! Thanks again NEF!"

“NEF XIII” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 7:00 pm.  Already announced, Maine State MMA Bantamweight Champion Paul Gorman (10-8) defends against undefeated Kin "Kong" Moy (5-0).  In addition, "The" Ryan Sanders (6-4) will rematch Maine State MMA Welterweight Champion Gil de Freitas (15-5) nearly two years after de Freitas defeated Sanders for the inaugural title.  Tickets for "NEF XIII" 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.