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September 3, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (September 3, 2014) – This Saturday night, September 6 in Lewiston, New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, presents its next mixed martial arts (MMA) event, "NEF XIV."  The fight card will feature a catchweight bout between "The Junkyard Dog" Ryan Cowette (2-2) and John Healey (0-1) at a weight of 165-pounds.  Cowette is the owner and head coach of MMA Athletix, as well as a pastor.  He recently stopped by the NEF Podcast to discuss his ministry and the upcoming fight with Healey.

Cowette had an outstanding amateur career in which he was the top-ranked middleweight in the northeast.  After losing his first two professional fights, Cowette is on a two-fight win streak, having defeated Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (3-2) and Dave Claroni (0-2).  Cowette will look to make it three in a row this Saturday night in Lewiston.

"The career started off a little rough," recalled Cowette of his earlier professional losses.  "I wasn't where I was supposed to be.  Mentally, in the first fight, I was a little overconfident, so that first fight was a humbling experience.  I'm a sore loser, of sorts, so I took a long break after that.  Cornering all these guys and coaching them, I know they're gonna get knocked-out and have a tough night and I'm gonna tell them, 'It's just one fight.  You got caught.'  I'm gonna have to tell them all that, but I need to walk the walk.  After a long layover, I came back.  The ref stopped the fight in the second fight.  I was in a guillotine, but I wasn't anywhere near tapping.  It was on my chin, definitely really tight, but it was on my chin.  I think I would've found my way out.  That second loss could've discouraged me, but it sort of lit a fire, and I just think about that when I'm training."

With his previous win over Erickson, and Erickson now challenging for the Maine State Lightweight Title this Saturday against Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (6-7), Cowette believes that he himself could one day soon challenge for the coveted 155-pound championship belt.

"I respect Jesse as a fighter," said Cowette.  "I hope that if, and I'm hoping I do get to face him again, I'm hoping that he wins the belt.  I think that if he fights smart he should win that belt.  I think he'll submit Boyington in my opinion, but Boyington's a great fighter too.  I wouldn't mind fighting either one of them.  I do know that if I do face Jesse again I think he underestimated my longevity.  He really poured everything into that first round...  I know he's gonna come prepared and he's not gonna blow it all in the first round.  I look forward to that fight.  I think that'll be a great war."

In addition to coaching at MMA Athletix and fighting, Cowette is the founder of Victory Church in Bath, Maine.  He is currently the only professional MMA fighter/pastor in the country.

"I find help in serving God and serving Jesus," said Cowette of his ministry.  "What would happen is people would come into the gym and they'd think MMA Athletix is going to change their life.  Some of these kids have heroin problems.  We deal with that a lot.  They'd come in, they'd hit the bag, they'd feel a little better about themselves.  At the end of the day, they'd go home.  They'd have the same friends.  So, I started this church service at my church... I would have a nighttime service where I'd invite the fighters and a lot of people, actually, a lot of other people too.  It just grew.  It grew to the point where there was a lot of us.  We founded a church.  If you go to Victory Church on a Sunday morning, there's still everyday people who are just going to church, but there's also pretty much my entire fight team there.  It's not self-help.  It's finding help through God, because self-help can only go so far...  When you have God holding you up, you really have someone to confide in."

To listen to the full NEF Podcast with Ryan Cowette please visit

To learn more about Cowette's gym please visit  You can also learn more about Victory Church at their Facebook page "RevolutionMinistry."

NEF's next MMA event, “NEF XIV,” is scheduled to take place this Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 6:00 pm.  In the main event of the evening, Featherweight Champion Ray "All Business" Wood (4-0) returns from injury after a year of recovery against Brazil's Gabriel Baino (6-1).  Bantamweight Champion Paul Gorman (10-8) defends against Tim "The Terror" Goodwin (8-4).  Plus, Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (6-7) and Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (3-2) will meet for the Lightweight Title, Ryan Sanders (6-5) faces Ryan Quinn (10-4-1), 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 videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”