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January 15, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (January 14, 2015) –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 bantamweight bout to the fight card.  Matt "Ken Doll" Denning (1-0) will step into the cage to face Jovan White (1-6) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

Denning was victorious in his professional debut at "NEF XV" this past November over Derek Shorey (1-1) in the first round.  The early-going in that fight was controlled by Shorey.  Denning, seconds after absorbing two powerful slams on the back of his neck, submitted Shorey with an armbar.  He will look to repeat his success on February 7 in Lewiston, Maine.

"I'm extremely confident going into this fight, I've been training hard and consistent since I fought Caleb Costello almost a year ago," said Denning when reached for comment.  "I've been training different things and learning tons more now that I'm training for pro style fighting."

A 2008 graduate of Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine, Denning learned his craft in recent years at Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) - a Team New England United (NEU) affiliate - under head coach Travis Wells.  Denning had a stellar amateur career to prepare him for the pro ranks.  He went 4-3, facing stiff competition like Dom Cofone (5-5), Jay Perrin (5-1 amateur, now 1-0 pro) and Jeremy Tyler (4-3) to name a few.  Win or lose, Denning's fights have always been exciting and action-packed.  He predicts much of the same in his pending bout with Jovan White.

"I've watched the fights that I can find of Jovan and I think he's gonna come out hard and explosive," Denning continued.  "This fight is going to be exciting. I'm bringing everything I have and going for a back to back pro wins.  I see the fight ending in the first by either TKO or submission.  I'll show how powerful I am. I look forward to fighting Jovan."

White is no stranger to the NEF MMA cage.  In September 2013, White arrived in the Pine Tree State for the first time and scored an upset submission victory over Tommy Balzano (1-4).  White is a member of Team Riot MMA based in Orange Park, Florida, where he trains with the likes of number-one contender to the NEF MMA Lightweight Title Jamie Harrison (5-1) and number-one contender to the NEF MMA Heavyweight Title Terry Blackburn (5-2).  White will look to play the role of spoiler in Matt Denning's sophomore professional effort.

NEF's next MMA event, "NEF XVI," takes place on February 7, 2015 with an all-star lineup of fights scheduled.  NFL and UFC The Ultimate Fighter veteran Tyler King (7-2) puts the NEF MMA Heavyweight Title on the line against Terry "The Polar Bear" Blackburn (5-2).  In the feature bout of the evening, UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce veteran Nah-Shon Burrell (10-5) makes his NEF MMA debut against Ryan Hodge (6-9).  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.”