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January 21, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (January 20, 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 full fight card for the event.   A pair of title fights are scheduled to headline the card which will feature veterans of the National Football League (NFL), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Strikeforce MMA.

“This card might just be our most ambitious to date,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.  “There’s  something here for everyone.  If you like the big guys, we have plenty of heavyweight and super-heavyweight fights.  If you like seeing the UFC and Bellator names, we have them.  If you like wrestlers, they are well represented on this card.  If you like women’s MMA, we have a women’s fight on here.  $25 tickets to a fight card of this caliber is a steal for the fight fan.  NEF continues to bring you the biggest bang for your buck as we open our fourth year of business.”
In the main event of the evening, Ray “All Business” Wood (5-0) will defend the NEF MMA Featherweight Title against the challenge of Philadelphia’s Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison (16-9).  Morrison is a veteran of the Bellator and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) cages.  He will be Wood’s highest-profile challenge to date.  Many insiders predict that Wood could be one or two wins away from getting the call to one of the national promotions himself.
The co-main event of the evening will see Tyler King (7-2) defend the NEF MMA Heavyweight Title against Terry “The Polar Bear” Blackburn (5-2).  King is an NFL veteran, having played for the San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals after a very successful college career at the University of Connecticut where he recorded 19 sacks as a defensive end, and was named the team’s “Defensive MVP” in 2004.  He appeared on the 19th season of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter television series in 2014.  Tyler is the son of Steve King who spent nine years with the New England Patriots as a linebacker during the 1970s and early 1980s.  The challenger, Terry Blackburn, had a highlight-reel knockout victory over Jason Dolloff (6-19) in the NEF MMA cage in September 2013.

Ryan Hodge (6-9) will see action against Nah-Shon “The Rock-n-Rolla” Burrell (11-4) in a middleweight feature fight.  Hodge, who lives in Florida but has made a name for himself on the northeast regional fight scene, last appeared in the NEF MMA cage in November 2013.  That night, Hodge had a big knockout win over Josh Watson (7-4).  Burrell is a veteran of the UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce cages.  He has competed a total of nine times on the biggest stages the sport has to offer.
“Those three fights on top of this card are worth the price of admission alone,” said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson.  “All three of those fights are main events on any regional MMA event held on the east coast any night of the week.  And we’re giving them all to the fans in one awesome night of MMA action for one low price of admission.  You can bet your bottom dollar that you will be entertained on February 7, and you won’t have to break the bank to do it.”

On the amateur side of the card, Gravin “The Stampede” Guillen (1-1) and 56-year-old Mladen Holman (0-1) will engage in a rematch of their super-heavyweight bout from this past November.  Many fans felt the bout was stopped early by the referee, awarding the victory to Guillen by technical knockout (TKO).  NEF executives listened to fans and quickly arranged the rematch.
Also on the amateur card will be two of the three fighting Bang brothers, Sheldon Bang (1-1) and Steven Bang (3-2), along with their debuting father Dr. Steve Bang (0-0).  Dr. Bang is a 46-year-old bariatric surgeon with a background in wrestling.  His four sons, including Sheldon and Steven, have all followed in their father’s footsteps, each wrestling for Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine.

The new blood is rising early on the amateur portion of the card when Caleb Hall (5-1) and Josh Harvey (2-1) open the show in what should be an action-packed featherweight bout.  Top prospects Nick Spencer (7-4) and Aaron Lacey (4-1) are scheduled to meet in a catchweight bout.  “Crispy” Michael Crespo (2-0) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) phenomenon Johnny Crafts (2-0) will put their respective unblemished records on the line in a bantamweight contest.  And the women will take to the cage when Hillary Cooledge (0-1) faces Fernanda Araujo (3-3-1).

The full fight card for “NEF XVI” (subject to change):

145*TITLE Ray Wood 5-0 (Young’s MMA) vs Anthony Morrison 16-9 (Daddis)
265*TITLE Tyler King 7-2 (Connors) vs Terry Blackburn 5-2 (First Coast)
185 Nah-Shon Burrell 11-4 (Renzo Gracie BJJ) vs Ryan Hodge 6-9 (F2 Arena)
265 Mike Hansen 1-1 (Independent) vs Artie Mullen 1-13 (MMA of So. Maine)
155 Jesse Erickson 3-4 (CMBJJ-Team NEU) vs Frank Falso 0-1 (Team United)
145 Derek Shorey 1-1 (Shatterproof Combat Club) vs Jon Lemke 4-3 (Team Irish)
135 Matt Denning 1-0 (CMBJJ- NEU) vs Jovan White 1-6 (First Coast Full Contact)

S.HWT Gravin Guillen 1-1 (Independent) vs Mladen Holman 0-1 (Choi Institute)
265 Brandon Lessard 0-0 (Independent) vs Billy Leahy 1-1 (Young’s MMA)
265 Ryan Glover 0-0 (Independent) vs Jason Field 0-0 (Independent)
205 Chris Perry 0-0 (Acadia BJJ) vs Ruben Redman 0-0 (Independent)
185 Frank Dellasala 0-1 (Choi Institute) vs Heath Hanson 0-1 (3Ronin Athletics)
185 Jacob Cameron 1-4 (Team Nitemare) vs Nick Shea 0-0 (First Class MMA)
185 Raymond Harrison 0-0 (Independent) vs TBD
180 Caleb Farrington 1-0 (Team NEU) vs Brandon Russell 0-0 (Nitemare)
166 CJ Ewer 3-1 (Young’s MMA) vs Jakub Kazuba 1-0 (First Coast Full Contact)
155 Dr. Steve Bang 0-0 Sr. (CMBJJ) vs Matthew Hanning 0-0 (Independent)
155 Steve Bang Jr. 3-2 (CMBJJ-Team NEU) vs Jason Lachance 0-1 (MMA Athletix)
155 Ricky Dexter 1-0 (Team Irish) vs Corey Trial 0-0 (Ruthless Boxing & MMA)
155 Rick Matthews 0-1 (Team Irish) vs Emmett Huber 0-0 (The Academy)
145 Caleb Hall 5-1 (Choi Institute) vs Josh Harvey 2-1 (Young’s MMA)
145 Jimmy Jackson 1-2 (Young’s MMA) vs Kris Welch 0-0 (Independent)
145 Henry Clark 1-0 (Choi Institute) vs Mike Peitersen 1-0 (Young’s MMA)
140 Nick Spencer 7-4 (Choi Institute) vs Aaron Lacey 4-1 (Young’s MMA)
141 Rob Kiah 0-0 (Young’s MMA) vs Clifford Redman 0-0 (Independent)
140 Bryant Orick 3-5 (Ruthless Boxing & MMA) vs Fred Lear 2-0 (Young’s MMA)
135 Johnny Crafts 2-0 (Team NEU) vs Mike Crespo 2-0 (MMA Athletix)
135 Fernanda Araujo 3-3-1 (Defensive Edge) vs Hillary Cooledge 0-1 (Ind.)
125 Dustin Veinott 2-3 (CMBJJ-Team NEU) vs Dave Brown 1-1 (White Mountain BJJ)
135 Sheldon Bang 1-1 (CMBJJ-Team NEU) vs TBD

Tickets for “NEF XVI” 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.”