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October 3, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (October 2, 2014) –New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, will present its fifteenth mixed martial arts (MMA) event, entitled “NEF XV,” on November 15, 2014 at the historic Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. Today, NEF announced the addition of a catchweight feature fight to the card. Derek Shorey (1-0) is set to take on Matt Denning (0-0) in his professional debut at a special catchweight of 140-pounds. NEF also announced that Denning has joined Shorey in signing a multi-fight contract with the company.

“Derek Shorey and Matt Denning is a fight fans’ delight,” stated NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “In his professional debut, Derek Shorey was reborn as an athlete and looked like a brand new fighter compared to what we saw in his amateur career. He was focused, composed, and patient—and when he found his opening, he ended the fight. Matt Denning is a guy that loves to compete and is never afraid to throw hands. Both guys have performed in the pocket as of late and we’re certainly in for a real treat when they clash on November 15th.”

Derek Shorey debuted with NEF in April 2012 at “NEF II.” He competed for NEF four times as an amateur going 1-3 for the promotion. At “NEF XIV” in September, Shorey fought for NEF for the fifth time when he made his professional debut against former nemesis, John “First Class” Raio (2-6), who had defeated Shorey when the two competed as amateurs. In their rematch, Shorey left little question as to how much he had improved since turning pro when he finished Raio via guillotine choke in the first round. Now, Shorey is looking to keep his win streak alive when he welcomes Matt Denning to the professional ranks on November 15th.

“I’ve seen this fight coming for awhile,” stated Shorey when reached for comment. “I think we’ve both got a decent grappling game, but I also think we’re both anxious to showcase our standing skills. I’m very thankful for this opportunity and I know that this is going to be a dogfight. I can’t wait.”

Matt Denning, like Derek Shorey, is a name familiar to NEF fans. Since making his amateur debut last year, Denning, also like Shorey, has competed five times inside the NEF cage. The Central Maine Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (CMBJJ – Team NEU) product has won his last two fights in a row and most recently defeated Jeremy Tyler (4-3) at “NEF XIV” in September in his amateur swansong. Now, after years of training in combat sports, Denning is prepared to make his move to the professional ranks where he plans to make his presence felt as a bantamweight.

“Fighting is in your blood and some people enjoy punching their friends everyday,” stated Denning when reached for comment. “On November 15th, I’m going to have to punch my friend. Derek Shorey is a good guy, but I’m going to prove that I train harder and put in the work to get the win. I made a quick jump into MMA and I plan on making it a long-lasting career. I don’t want to be another stepping stone.”

“We’re proud to have both Derek and Matt on the NEF roster,” stated NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “Both athletes have stayed the course and have shown signs in their performances of developing into two of the Northeast’s top-ranked professional bantamweights. NEF looks forward to providing them with the opportunities to continue tapping into their limitless potential.”

"NEF XV" takes place on November 15, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. "NEF BOXING" takes place on October 11, 2014, also at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Tickets for both events 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 events 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.”