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January 20, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (January 16, 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 three more bouts to the fight card including a professional heavyweight bout between Mike “Dragon Foot” Hansen (1-1) and Artie “The Fearless One” Mullen (1-13); an amateur heavyweight bout between Ryan Glover (0-0) and Jason Field (0-0); and an amateur featherweight bout between Jimmy Jackson (1-2) and Kris Welch (0-0).  Hansen, Glover and Welch are all former wrestling champions from Mountain Valley High School located in Rumford, Maine.

Mike Hansen won a state championship as a heavyweight wrestler for Mountain Valley in 2004. After graduating high school that same year, Hansen began training and competing in the sport of mixed martial arts. Hansen made his successful MMA debut in 2005 when he defeated Eric Brown (5-7) via submission in the first round. Shortly thereafter, Hansen enlisted in the Army where he served as a Combat Engineer. Now retired from the Army, Hansen, who recently signed a long-term contract with NEF MMA, is excited to return to his competitive roots in the NEF cage on February 7th and to represent his hometown.

“Rumford-Mexico, especially MVHS [Mountain Valley High School], and Dixfield—we’re all a proud, hardworking breed of people. It is my responsibility and others to go out and show what we are capable of,” said Hansen when reached for comment. “Be true to our region. We are an athletic community and always have been. I will show up [on February 7th] and do my best and I will win.

“Wrestling has played a huge role in my fighting career, but even more so was wrestling here in Rumford, Maine. My first wrestling coach was Jamie Dolloff, then Jason Dolloff, then Gary Dolloff—notice a pattern? I owe a lot to these guys and so doesn’t the area. Wrestling for the Dolloff's created a foundation for fighting and life. Without wrestling, there is no way I would be where I am or have done the things I’ve done.

“Fighting next to local boys always gets me excited. Knowing that MVHS will have some state champions in the cage that night is awesome.”

Kris Welch won back-to-back state championships for Mountain Valley in 2000 and 2001 and amassed a high school career record of 120-17. Now, Welch is focused on making his MMA debut and representing his community in combat sports.

“I want to put on a good show for my town, family, and friends,” said Welch when reached for comment. “We have a great community here in Rumford-Mexico and they do a great job supporting local fighters. Having a solid wrestling background will play a key role in my transition to MMA. Taking your opponent down is a big part of this sport. It feels great to compete on the same card as Ryan Glover and Mike Hansen and getting a chance to work with these guys has been great. This area has a lot of unseen talent that will be delivered to the cage on February 7th.”

Ryan Glover was a state runner-up in wrestling in 2010 before winning a state championship as a heavyweight in 2011 for Mountain Valley High School, where he was also a standout football player and named the “2010 Sun Journal Football Player of the Year.” The two-sport state champion athlete has now turned his attention toward the sport of MMA and plans on making a name for himself in NEF.

“[Fighting for NEF] is a great opportunity and I’m hoping it opens some eyes and brings more fighters to the area to train with us,” stated Glover when reached for comment. “My wrestling background has helped me with my ground game and left me more time to brush-up on my boxing.”

“Our Matchmaker, Matt Peterson, attends wrestling tournaments across Maine and New England on a regular basis scouting for new talent,” stated NEF promoter and co-owner Nick DiSalvo. “We’re proud to feature such a compelling set of matchups between some familiar faces and new names to NEF and are confident these bouts will deliver extreme excitement.”

NEF's next MMA event, "NEF XVI," takes place on February 7, 2015 with an all-star lineup of fights scheduled.  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).  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.”