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August 24, 2015


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (August 21, 2015) – New England Fights (NEF), America's number-one regional fight promotion, will hold its nineteenth mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event, "NEF XIX: HOMECOMING," on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Headlining the amateur portion of the fight card will be Josh Harvey (4-1) defending the NEF MMA Amateur Lightweight Title against Ryan Dibartolomeo (4-3).  Recently, Harvey was the guest of NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson on the NEF Podcast.

Harvey was introduced to the mats early in life.  He started wrestling in junior high school and continued through his high school years.  He began boxing at the age of 15 and trained in the ring for the next seven years.  It was not until he attended "NEF VIII: Nations Collide" in Bangor that Harvey realized he could have a future in the sport of MMA.

"When NEF came to Bangor and I watched Ray Wood capture the title, and I remembered him from high school wrestling, that was my cue to get in on this," said Harvey.  "I knew it was a true possibility to go somewhere in MMA.  After college, there's nowhere for wrestlers to go.  MMA, that's the outlet.  That's why you see wrestlers dominating in MMA all the way to the top."

Soon after the event, then Young's MMA wrestling coach Mark Heathcote reached out to Harvey through Facebook to invite him to train with the team.  Harvey quickly found a home at the Bangor gym founded by Chris Young.  He joined in on the massive success the team had already found in the MMA cages of New England.

"I was greeted very warmly at Young's," Harvey recalled.  "Everyone was very kind over there.  Bruce (Boyington, current NEF MMA Professional Lightweight Champion) was the first person to take me, not to say under his wing, but to get together outside of the gym and we became friends.  As far as the success Young's has had as a team, I'm not gonna say you can chalk it all up to superior coaching, but we've got the best around, at least in this state, possibly in New England."

On his way to claiming the NEF MMA Amateur Lightweight Championship this past June, Harvey finished all three of his NEF opponents in a total of just over three minutes.  Harvey, however, sees his future in the sport in the featherweight division.

 "I don't train to finish them all in the first round," said Harvey.  "That's just how it wound up.  Maybe you'll see me go the distance as the competition gets thicker.  That's why I love this fight with Ryan (Dibartolomeo).  He is, I believe, ranked number-two, so this is a good way to find out where I lay in that level.  I'm not a 55er.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm a 45er that's fighting at 55.  Best 45er?  Amateur in New England?  Yes.  The game's gonna change when I go professional.  We'll see where I stack up there."

When Harvey began discussing potential opponents for "NEF XIX" with NEF matchmakers, he was very clear that he wanted the toughest opponent they could find for him.  If he wanted tough, he will get just that in Ryan Dibartolomeo.  Dibartolomeo is out of John Fain's Team Triumph/Boston BJJ of Nashua, New Hampshire.  After dropping his first three, Dibartolomeo has won his last four fights in a row, an impressive streak that began at "NEF X" in September 2013.

"All his fights that he's won have been by decision," said Harvey.  "In my mind, he let the judges win those fights for him.  Fights aren't won by judges.  Fights are won by fighters.  My prediction is it's gonna be a finish.  I'm gonna go out there, kill or be killed.  He's either gonna finish me or I'm gonna finish him.  That's how it's gonna happen."

You can listen to the entire NEF Podcast interview at

You can follow Josh Harvey on his official Facebook fan page "hookonharvey."  For more information on Young's MMA, please visit their Facebook page "Young's MMA."

New England Fights' next event, "NEF XIX: HOMECOMING," takes place on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine.  Tickets for "NEF XIX: HOMECOMING" start at just $25 and are on sale now at or by calling the Colisée 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.”