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May 30, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (May 30, 2014) – New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA), the Northeast’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, today announced the addition of a professional featherweight bout to the company's "NEF XIV" event.  The fight will feature Ray "All Business" Wood (4-0) defending the Maine State MMA Featherweight Championship against the challenge of Brazil's Gabriel Baino (6-1).  "NEF XIV" is schedule to take place on September 6, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.

The fight will mark Wood's first in 14-months.  In July of 2013, Wood suffered a serious knee injury during a bout with Lenny "The Show Stealer" Wheeler (6-3).  Wood won the bout, and, in doing so, captured the Featherweight Title.  He went on training, preparing for his next fight, not knowing how badly his knee had been injured.  Weeks later, the severity of his injury was uncovered by doctors who revealed that Wood had indeed suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), an injury feared by all athletes.  The injury required surgery and a lengthy recovery period.  Wood made the best of his time off, coaching the Brewer, Maine and Hampden Academy high school wrestling teams.  Forced to the sidelines in his chosen sport of MMA, Wood has watched his teammates at Young's MMA compete time and again over the past year, all the while champing at the bit for his chance to get back in the NEF MMA cage and defend his title belt.

"It's been a year since I've stepped foot in a cage," stated Wood when reached for comment.  "However, with my time off I've completely reinvented 'Ray All Business.' I've never felt stronger, faster or even more determined to pursue a dream and make my mark on the sport of MMA. I'm ready to get back in that cage and defend my Maine State Featherweight Title against a tough opponent. My fans can expect nothing more than an exciting performance .  I have one of the best camps behind me and all the tools at my disposal to be the greatest and most feared fighter in the Northeast."

"It was devastating for all of us to see Ray get injured when he did," said NEF MMA promoter and co-owner Nick DiSalvo.  "He was really on the fast track to get to the next level.  Who knows where he'd be right now had he not torn the ACL.  We have no doubt he'll get back there though."

Wood's opponent at "NEF XIV" is no slouch.  Gabriel Baino is a member of the well-respected Team Link, boasting such high-profile teammates as UFC veterans Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga (16-8) and Ricardo Funch (8-4), as well as current Maine State MMA Welterweight Champion Gil de Freitas (16-5) who recently defeated Wood's teammate "The" Ryan Sanders (6-5) at "NEF XIII."  Baino would love nothing more than to add another NEF MMA title belt to Team Link's trophy case.  Of Baino's six wins as a professional, he has finished all but one.  His only loss came to an extremely tough Calvin Kattar (14-2) via unanimous decision in what many felt was one of the best fights of 2013 in the Northeast.

"I was cage-side the night Baino fought Kattar," said NEF MMA matchmaker and co-owner Matt Peterson, who made the Baino-Kattar fight in New Hampshire.  "No matter what Calvin threw at him, Gabriel just kept coming forward.  It was breath taking.  Baino fights with a rare will—as if his very life hangs on the outcome of the competition. Ray Wood is one of the most promising prospects in Maine and this will be his biggest challenge to date.  September 6th will be a fight night like no other—I am certain of that."

"I am honored to fight for the NEF MMA 145-pound title," stated Baino when reached for comment. "It is awesome when we have our job recognized, and I will do my best to represent my team and bring a great fight for the fans.  My opponent is undefeated, and I know it will be a hard fight.  I will be very prepared for it and looking forward to getting that belt!"

NEF MMA's next event, “NEF XIV,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 7:00 pm.  In the main event of the evening, Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia (31-9) returns to Maine to face fellow UFC veteran Christian Morecraft (8-3) for the Super-Heavyweight Title.  Featherweight Champion Ray "All Business" Wood (4-0) returns from injury after a year of recovery against Brazil's Gabriel Baino (6-1).  Plus, Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (6-7) and Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (3-2) will meet for the Lightweight Title, and John "First Class" Raio (2-5) competes in his final fight.  Tickets for "NEF XIV" 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.”