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October 22, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (October 21, 2014) – New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, today announced the addition of a professional catchweight bout to the company's fifteenth mixed martial arts (MMA) event, "NEF XV."  The bout will feature "The" Ryan Sanders (6-6) facing Florida's Mark DeFord (0-2) at a weight of 160-pounds.  "NEF XV" is scheduled to originate from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine on November 15, 2014 with a bell time of 7:00 pm.

Sanders got off to a great start in 2014, scoring a victory over his former coach, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran, Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (22-11) in what was the biggest fight of Sanders' career to date.  Three months later, Sanders would drop a decision to NEF Welterweight Champion Gil de Freitas (16-5).  Last month, Sanders lost his second decision in a row to Ryan Quinn (10-4-1).   Now, the product of Young's MMA in Bangor, Maine will look to finish the year the way he started it - with his hand raised in victory in the NEF cage.  Sanders will have that opportunity when he meets DeFord on November 15 at "NEF XV."

"I'm excited to fight Mark," said Sanders of the upcoming bout.  "His record doesn't show how good he really is.  I'm excited to fight.  I hope he wants to fight and not have a hugging contest. I'll be there to fight and put on a show for the fans."

Sanders faces stiff competition in the form of Mark DeFord.  A native of Gainesville, Florida, DeFord served four years with the United States Marine Corp (USMC) from 2006 to 2010.  Presently, he coaches MMA at Gainesville's F2 Arena/Darkside Athletics under head coach, and NEF veteran, Ryan Hodge (6-9).  DeFord put together an impressive 4-2 record as an amateur, with three wins coming by way of submission, before dropping his first two professional fights.

"The guys that train under Ryan Hodge are tough as nails," said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson.  "Mark DeFord has been in the sport for nearly a decade, only taking time off to serve our country.  This will, in no way, shape or form, be an easy fight for Ryan Sanders.  F2 Arena has proven that they are capable of beating anyone on any given night."

NEF's next mixed martial arts event, "NEF XV" takes place Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  In the main event of the evening, Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (8-7) will defend the NEF Lightweight Championship against Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (3-3) in a rematch from "NEF XIV."  Tickets 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 fight videos at, follow the promotion on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”