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December 8, 2016


 [NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (December 7, 2016) –New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on February 11, 2017 with its next mixed-martial-arts event, "NEF 27: RESURGENCE."  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional contest to the card.  Ras "Rasquatch" Hylton (0-0) will make his professional debut against Mike "The Mustache" Hansen (5-4) in the heavyweight division.

Hylton's now-legendary rise through the ranks of the amateur heavyweight division in NEF is one of the major stories of 2016.  At 6'6" and towering over the top of the MMA cage, Hylton cuts an imposing figure.  The only thing more impressive than Hylton's size and appearance might be his athletic abilities.  A prolific striker, Hylton finished all three of his opponents this year by either knockout or technical knockout.

"Rasquatch," or as some fans call him "The Jamaican Shamrock," really began to raise eyebrows with a highlight-reel head kick knockout of Matt Glover (1-1) last spring.  Then, last month at "NEF 26," Hylton pounded an extremely tough Kevin Smith (3-3) to a bloody pulp.  It was immediately after that dominant performance that Hylton's coaches at First Class MMA and Dragon Fire Martial Arts felt the time was right for him to make the jump to the pro ranks.

"I am so grateful to be fighting a man of Mike Hansen's stature in front of my family and friends," said Hylton.  "As the first professional fighter to come out of both Dragon Fire Martial Arts and First Class MMA, and with the instruction of Shihan Andy Campbell, John "First Class" Raio and my team, we are preparing for me to go to war because that is what Mike always brings to the cage."

A former Maine state heavyweight wrestling champion out of Mountain Valley High School, Mike Hansen has never shied away from taking a fight with someone bigger than him.  In fact, Hansen, who also competes in the light-heavyweight and middleweight divisions, has gained a reputation as somewhat of a "giant killer."

Earlier this year, Hansen submitted a substantially bigger Jesse Baughman (0-2) in the first round at "NEF 22."  He followed up that impressive performance by nearly knocking out a much larger Brendan Battles (1-1) with a right hand at "NEF 23."  This fall Hansen gave up nearly half a foot to Matt Andrikut (2-1) and submitted his bigger opponent in the first round.  Indeed, Hylton's size advantage will play little role in the outcome of this fight should Hansen have anything to say about it.

"I'm super excited for this fight," exclaimed Hansen.  "I like being part of these 'super fights.'  I know Ras has a great camp behind him and he will come 100% prepared. I'll expect nothing less from Raio, but I feel my experience and composure in the cage will be my best asset and that's not something that he can train up on in 10 weeks. February 11th we will go to war, so expect just that."

NEF's next event, "NEF 27: RESURGENCE" takes place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $25 and are on sale now at or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009, extension 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.”