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April 28, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (April 23, 2015) – It sounds like the plotline of a two-star 1980s action flick.  This story, however, is not playing out on basic cable on a weekday afternoon.  There are no explosions, no car chases, no semi-automatic weapons.  Brian Dennehey plays the role of neither the villain nor the heroic patriarch.  Instead, this story is playing out in the New England Fights (NEF) mixed-martial-arts (MMA) cage, and it stars not one but two middle-aged men possessing the drive, ability and athleticism that most men half their age can only dream of.

50-year-old Pat Kelly (2-0) is a true legend of Maine wrestling.  A teacher and coach at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Maine, Kelly was inducted into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2007.  With numerous state and regional wrestling titles as a competitor and coach to his credit, he made his MMA debut as a member of Young's MMA in 2014.

Kelly's opponent on June 13 in Lewiston, Maine, 45-year-old Dr. Steve Bang (1-0), has a wrestling background himself, as do his sons Steven Bang, Jr. (3-3), Sheldon Bang (2-2), Shawn Bang (1-1) and Skylar Bang.  At "NEF XV" last November, Dr. Bang watched from cage-side as Pat Kelly finished his son Steven via technical knockout (TKO).  It will be that loss Dr. Bang will seek to avenge when he meets Kelly on June 13 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee at "NEF XVIII: Made in America."

"My son Steven and Pat have previously met in the cage and Pat took that victory," said Dr. Bang.  "I see myself as already being down 0-1.  NEF 18 is about redemption and showing the boys how it’s done.  As I always say, in the end, we will embrace with a bond of brotherhood and respect that is unique to combat but until then, it is war.

"I am excited and honored to once again enter the cage on June 13th.  This will be one for the record books.  Together, Pat and I bring over 95 years of life experience to the cage.  We bring the fights to a different level because of all that we have at stake.  This is for real and certainly not your mid-life cattle drive across the plains with Curly nor your week on a Harley with The Wild Hogs. I truly hope all will be entertained but when I enter the cage, I enter with nothing but bad intentions.  As a result of training with Central Maine Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (CMBJJ), every move, every combination, every strike is dealt with the intent to finish and that may be in the first round.  However, if this goes to the latter rounds, you will see the genius of Central Maine Conditioning Clinic and Prime Variable Athletics.  They have equipped me with the nonstop cardiovascular system used by world class Ironman triathletes."

"This fight is between two gentlemen that still embrace the warrior mentality," said Coach Kelly when reached for comment.  "Personally, I will train for this fight with a driving force that cannot be put into words.  Also, with a sense of gratitude that Young's MMA has taken the time to train me and appreciation of NEF for offering me this opportunity to enter their cage."

An accomplished bariatric surgeon by day, Dr. Bang had the opportunity to fight alongside his sons Steven and Sheldon on the "NEF XVI" card this past February.  When he steps into the cage at "NEF XVIII" against Kelly, however, it will be Dr. Bang, and Dr. Bang alone, representing the family.

"I try to identify and truly appreciate those singular opportunities that come along in life," stated Dr. Bang.  "'NEF XVI' was one of those rare opportunities when all the pieces fell into place.  Fighting on the same card as two of my boys was epic.  Steven is now rehabilitating from a devastating training injury and Sheldon will be leaving the state in May for a two year service mission for the church.  Shawn has one year remaining on his mission and Connor (Murphy) is in the Coast Guard in California.  A similar opportunity may be a long time coming, so for 'NEF XVIII,' it is all about me.  I alone will represent the Bang Clan.

"Trash talking doesn’t suit me well.  I even tried it once just for effect.  Nope, still doesn’t suit me.  I like Pat.  I definitely respect him and I’m sure we will be great friends but right now, he’s just got something that doesn’t belong to him.  I am actually very thankful to Pat.  In response to those who have tried to reconcile the dichotomy of my life, I maintain that this has always been a part of my life at some level.  Making the leap into the MMA venue, however, was huge and the stakes are high.  It took a while before the time was right and even then, I didn’t recognize it until I watched Steven and Pat fight.  There is nothing like watching your son battle while you are only feet away and helpless.  As stressful as it is to prepare for and execute your own battle, it is ten times worse for me to watch them.   I would much rather fight the fights than watch my sons fight them.  It was during that fight that I knew it was time and what better way than a redemption match?  It has taken some time to make it happen but I’m gonna get what I asked for.  Thank you for that Pat.

"To win is to overcome others, victory is to overcome yourself," said Dr. Bang in conclusion.  "On June 13th I will be looking to do both."

NEF's next MMA event, "NEF XVIII: Made in America" will originate from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine on June 13, 2015.  Tickets for "NEF XVIII" 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.”