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November 26, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, presents its sixteenth mixed martial arts (MMA) event, “NEF XVI,” on February 7, 2015 in Lewiston, Maine.  The event is scheduled to originate from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.  The amateur portion of the fight card will feature five athletes who represent the next generation of MMA in Maine.

Josh Harvey (2-1) made his cage debut last April on a card in New Hampshire.  Training out of Young's MMA in Bangor, Maine, Harvey's only previous appearance in the NEF MMA cage was this past September in a winning effort over Alex Johnson (1-1).  With a solid ground game to his credit, Harvey is expected to make quite a bit of noise in the fight promotion's stacked featherweight division in 2015, starting at "NEF XVI."

"It's an honor to be thought of as someone who will change the featherweight rankings," said Harvey.  "I'm really thankful to have the opportunity to show my skill set. Excited to entertain my friends and fight fans everywhere."

Harvey's Young's MMA teammate Billy Leahy (1-1) will also be featured on the "NEF XVI" amateur card.  At just 19-years old and standing 6'5," Leahy is a heavyweight phenomenon.  He made his NEF MMA debut this past September at "NEF XIV" with an impressive first-round victory over Gravin Guillen (1-1) via submission.  Leahy currently studies at Husson University in Bangor, Maine.  His hometown of South Paris, Maine is just a half-hour ride from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.  Leahy looks forward to returning so close to home to fight in front of his many friends and family.

"It's truly an honor to be considered one of Maine's break out fighters, Leahy stated.  " There are a lot of great guys in the state, and it's an honor to be considered one of them when I'm only 19-years old. I love being a heavyweight fighter for New England Fights, and fighting close to my home town in Lewiston Maine. I know there are a lot of people excited for this fight. I plan on training hard and putting on a great show for my family, friends and fans February 7th."

Mike Vangelist (3-0) needs no introduction to NEF fans.  The product of Jay Jack and Amanda Buckner's Academy of MMA in Portland, Maine has stepped foot in the NEF MMA cage three times since November 2013 and three times he has vanquished his opponent.  This past September, at "NEF XIV," Vangelist took to the cage as the underdog when he met number-one-ranked middleweight Buck Pineau (7-3) in a much-anticipated matchup.  Vangelist, after losing the first two rounds, cut through Pineau with reckless abandon in the third, forcing him to tap out to an armbar submission for the win.  Vangelist will look to continue his winning ways at "NEF XVI" on February 7.

"I've had a great start so far, but still have a lot to learn," admitted Vangelist.  "I'm focused and ready to go to war in this next fight.  I can't wait until February 7th to climb back in that cage at the Colisee. It's a great place to watch all the NEF action, don't miss out."

There may be no brighter star shining on the horizon than that of Johnny Crafts (2-0).  The New England United (NEU) bantamweight has showcased his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) skills twice in the NEF cage, winning via submission on both occasions.  Many insiders have predicted that Crafts will have a significant impact on the 135-pound division in New England in the near future.  With the tools to make success a reality, Crafts is excited to put on another grappling clinic on February 7 in Lewiston, Maine.

"I feel excited to get back in the cage February 7th and show everyone my improvements since my last fight," said Crafts.  "I just want to prove that I am one of the top bantamweights in this division.  I believe February's card is going to be a big night for Team NEU and just another step in the right direction for all of our fighters."

Last, but certainly not least, on the list of NEF MMA up-and-comers competing at "NEF XVI" is Caleb Hall (5-1).  A two-time Maine State Wrestling Champion for Dirigo High School in Dixfield, Maine, as well as competing for Plymouth State University and the University of Southern Maine, Hall certainly has the pedigree of a future star.  He currently trains out of the Choi Institute in Portland, Maine.  Hall had a career-defining win over Dom Cofone (5-5) earlier this month at "NEF XV," and he will ride that high into his fight this February.

“I'm glad to be considered one of the next breakout fighters," stated Hall. "I'm looking forward to fighting in February and coming out with another win."

NEF's next MMA event, "NEF XVI," takes place on February 7, 2015.  Ray "All Business" Wood (5-0) returns that night to defend the NEF MMA Featherweight Title against Bellator and WEC veteran Anthony "Cheesesteak" Morrison (16-9).  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 videos at, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”