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March 31, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (March 30, 2015) – New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, today announced the hiring of former Bellator executive Sam Caplan as the company's new Director of National Business Development.  Caplan has signed a contract to work exclusively with the promotion in the New England states through his consulting company Combat Sports Media (CSM).  The new position within the organization was created specifically for Caplan.

"Adding a third executive to this mix was essential," said NEF promoter Nick DiSalvo who co-owns the fight promotion with matchmaker Matt Peterson.  “As we've grown and the TV deals have been offered and we get more and more calls from big name fighters looking to fight for us, it's become a lot for the two of us to handle along with the regular day-to-day operation of this business.  Sam has been at the national level for a long time.  He's probably one of the top-five most experienced people in this country working at the highest stage of MMA event promotion.  He is a major asset to our company.  We are extremely fortunate to have him with us."

Caplan was the Vice President of Talent Relations for Bellator from 2009 until 2014.  Prior to that time, he had worked for Fedor Amelianenko's M-1 Global promotion, Titan Fighting Championships, and also worked in television for CBS and Showtime developing the first broadcasts of EliteXC and Strikeforce.  In 2013, he was named one of the "Top 20 Most Influential People in MMA" by USA Today and one of the "Power 20 in MMA" by Fight Magazine.   He currently hosts The MMA Insiders Podcast along with Jason Floyd.

"Combat Sports Media is excited about adding New England Fights to its client roster," said Caplan.  "I have seen NEF's operations from the inside out and am thoroughly impressed.  Creating a regional fight promotion that can sustain itself is no small fete in today's MMA landscape.  In a short time, Matt and Nick have done an amazing job growing NEF to a point where it consistently puts 3,000-plus fans in the seats for its events.  I also believe that NEF hasn't even yet scratched the surface with regard to its growth and CSM looks forward to playing a role in the promotion's evolution."

This will not be the first time Caplan has worked with NEF.  Caplan worked on a co-promotion NEF undertook with Bellator in March 2013.

"Working with Sam is always a pleasure," stated Peterson.  "I've known Sam for several years now, since he created   There is no one more respected at the national level in MMA.  Sam's presence is going to be a game changer for both the promotion and the athletes that compete for NEF."

NEF's next MMA event, "NEF XVII," is scheduled to take place on April 11, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington (10-7) will defend the NEF MMA Lightweight Title against number-one contender Jamie Harrison (5-1).  In addition, Jarod "Last Minute" Lawton (4-1) meets Dennis Olson (12-7) in a welterweight contest.  Tickets for "NEF XVII" 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.”