Custom Search

February 21, 2017


[NEF Press Release]

Lewiston, Maine (February 21, 2017) - New England Fights (NEF) presents its next mixed-martial-arts event "NEF 28: INVINCIBLE" on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.  The main event, officially signed earlier today, will feature "The" Ryan Sanders (13-8) and Jon Lemke (6-7) in the finals of a tournament to crown a new professional lightweight champion.  The title was vacated after previous champion Devin Powell (8-2) signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) last year.

The bout will be the second meeting for Lemke and Sanders in a six-month period.  The pair faced off in the main event of "NEF 26" last November.  That fight was stopped in the third-and-final round when Lemke suffered a deep cut on his head following a takedown by Sanders.  Per the Unified Rules of MMA, the judges' scorecards were called upon and Sanders was awarded a unanimous technical decision.  Fans and MMA pundits alike called for an immediate rematch in the aftermath of the decision.  Many predicted a rematch in the finals when both athletes were announced as entrants into the lightweight title tournament in the days following "NEF 26."

"Truly an honor, and I'm very excited and grateful to be fighting for the NEF Lightweight Title and Ryan Sanders once again," said Lemke when reached for comment.  "I truly believe that this fight could headline any card in the world and NEF fans are not going to want to miss this one. It will be a great battle and one that I very much look forward to."

Lemke was victorious over Jesse "The Viking" Erickson (9-6) in the tournament semi-finals at "NEF 27" earlier this month.  That same night, Sanders scored with a 15-second knockout headkick knockout of John Ortolani (8-11) to advance.

More than just the title is at stake in the rematch as team pride will undoubtedly also play a factor.  Lemke and Sanders represent Bangor-area rival fight teams Team Irish and Young's MMA, respectively, and are arguably each gym's flagship athlete.

"April 29th I'm leaving the cage with my belt," declared Sanders emphatically.  "Jon is a tough opponent, but I'm the better fighter.  I want it more, and I put in more work than anyone.  I get my confidence from my training, and I know I'll be ready."

New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next mixed-martial-arts event, "NEF 28: INVINCIBLE," on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at

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 the promotion on Twitter and Instagram @nefights, and join the official Facebook group "New England Fights."