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December 16, 2014


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (December 16, 2014) –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.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of a professional middleweight bout to the fight card.  Ryan Hodge (6-9) returns to the promotion to take on Nah-Shon Burrell (10-5) at a weight of 185-pounds.

"This fight is an example of NEF staying at the forefront of the scene," said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo when reached for comment.  "This is a high-level fight featuring a guy like Nah-Shon Burrell who's a veteran of Bellator, Strikeforce and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) against a guy in Ryan Hodge who fans are always begging us to bring back."

Ryan Hodge is the owner and operator of F2 Arena and Darkside Athletics in Gainesville, Florida.  His last appearance for NEF took place in November 2013.  That night, Hodge scored a highlight-reel knockout victory over Josh Watson (7-4).  The win moved Hodge into position for a title shot in the NEF MMA cage.  With the ability to transition quickly from 230-pounds to 170-pounds, Hodge issued an in-cage open challenge at "NEF XV" last month to all current NEF MMA champions from the welterweight to the light-heavyweight divisions. Soon after, NEF executives were approached by Nah-Shon Burrell's management team and jumped at the opportunity to put together such a high-level fight.

"I am honored to be called back to New England Fights, and pleased that they found such a prestigious opponent for me to do battle with," said Hodge.  "Burrell is a tough guy with high credentials for the MMA world.  Nothing would please me more than to vanquish him in front of the NEF fans in Lewiston on February 7th."

Nah-Shon Burrell, hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a four-year-plus veteran of the MMA cage.  Burrell had an impressive 5-1 start to his professional career before being signed to national promotion Strikeforce in 2011.  He went on to win his first three bouts for Strikeforce and won his debut for the UFC in 2013 after the two promotions were merged.  More recently, Burrell has competed for national promotion Bellator.  At "NEF XVI," he will be looking to rebound from a decision loss to Michael "Venom" Page (7-0) at Bellator 128 earlier this fall.

"I'm excited to fight for the first time in Maine," declared Burrell.  "It wasn't too long ago that I was considered a top prospect in MMA.  I've fought all over the country for the biggest promotions in the sport, and I'm thankful to NEF for giving me the chance to reclaim my spot.  Hodge is a tough bull, I promise we'll put on a show."

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.”