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May 12, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (May 8, 2015) – New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its eighteenth mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event, "NEF XVIII: Made in America," on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.   Earlier today, the promotion announced the addition of a professional lightweight bout to the fight card.  Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (4-4) is scheduled to meet  Zenon Herrera (0-0) in what will be Herrera's professional debut.

Erickson is a mainstay of the NEF promotion.  The native of Auburn, Maine made his amateur debut at NEF I in February 2012.  All fourteen of his bouts have been hosted in the NEF cage except one which was part of an NEF co-promotion with Bellator.

Currently a coach at Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) - a New England United (NEU) affiliate - Erickson challenged unsuccessfully twice last fall for the NEF MMA Lightweight Title, dropping back-to-back losses to Bruce Boyington (10-8).  Last month, Erickson returned to the cage against Florida's Mark DeFord (0-4).  The Viking came out aggressive, not letting up with a barrage of lefts, rights and knees.  It was a departure from Erickson's trusted ground game, but it took less than two minutes for him to knock DeFord out cold.  If Erickson was looking to make a statement, then that statement was received loud and clear by the raucous crowd of over 2,000.

"After back to back losses, I've really focused in on some of my weak points," said Erickson.  "In my last fight, I felt much more confident and relaxed, and I think it showed in my performance.  I will continue to get better and show everyone the fighter I've always known I could be.  I'll never fight safe, try to eke out a decision, or have a boring fight.  Come watch me fight and see something special.  The Viking is back and he's swinging Thor's hammer now."

Zenon Herrera, an independent fighter based out of Skowhegan, Maine, began his MMA amateur career in the fall of 2012.  Having fought predominantly in Florida previously, he made his NEF debut last month at "NEF XVII" in a losing effort to a very tough Ricky Dexter (3-0).   Herrera is a military veteran, having served four years in the United States Army and five years in the United States Marine Corps.  He looks forward to making the transition from the amateur to professional ranks and the new challenges it will bring.

"I'm very much looking forward to this chance of taking myself to the next level of MMA," said Herrera.  "Jesse Erickson is a tough dude and that will make this match all the better.  I'm also looking forward to representing the NEF, Macho Fighter, Combatives Gear, and the USMC with all of the pride and honor that they deserve with everything I do in MMA from this point forward."

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.”