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January 18, 2018


[NEF Press Release]

 Lewiston, Maine (January 16, 2018) - Kam Arnold might be the ultimate Maine mixed martial artist from central casting.

 Blue-collar sensibilities shaped his young life. He grew up in a small community where young boys often had to conjure up their own forms of entertainment. And yes, sometimes that meant fighting solely for the sake of fighting.

 “I have two older brothers, and friends who were around all the time that are like brothers. We pretty much adopted them, you know?” Arnold said. “And any time you have that situation, there are fights going on in the yard all the time. I remember one time seeing my brothers rolling around on the stairs in the house, and of course I just had to jump in and get involved in that.”

 Arnold, who turns 25 this month, is more structured but no less passionate today about exercising his grit, guile and strength in such physical encounters.

 Veteran of one, quick knockout win in the New England Fights cage, Arnold returns for another dose on Saturday, February 3 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee. He will confront Kyle Kenney in an amateur bantamweight bout at “NEF 32: Super Saturday.”

 Fighting under the Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) umbrella, Arnold made a dramatic first impression, dispatching Glenn Kasabian in 1 minute, 54 seconds.

 “Glenn's a tough dude. He's a warrior. He's a great guy outside the cage. I have a lot of respect for him. He wanted to stand up with me. It's one of things where I just flipped the switch,” Arnold recalled. “He's pretty rangy, pretty tall. I went in there wanting to let him know he was in for a battle, and fortunately it turned out in my favor. I was the better fighter that night.”

 Arnold admittedly was disappointed that the result wasn't enough to earn the 2017 "NEF Rookie of the Year" award. He vows not to leave any doubt about his potential in the local hexagon when he takes on Kenney, an opponent about whom he knows precious little.

 “Yeah, I was pretty bummed, but I know everybody else busts their ass just like I do,” Arnold said. “I have high expectations for myself, and I want to make a statement with this fight.”

 A native of Casco, on the shores of Maine's Sebago Lake, Arnold describes a hard-knocks upbringing that clashed with the bucolic, tourist-trap surroundings.

 Arnold's family had close ties to a motorcycle club, although he is reluctant to discuss its impact on his life other than to agree that it enhanced his fighting spirit.

 “They're all genuine people. I will say that. I have an awful lot of people supporting me in this. I would be nothing without them. My father and mother are the two toughest people I know,” Arnold said. “As a kid growing up, I had to be tough. That's just the way it was. I just come from a blue-collar family. I don't really want to get into all the details of it, but I just had to be tough. It made me what I am today.”

 In addition to grappling with his older siblings and their friends, Arnold unfortunately was a victim of circumstances that are all too prominent in today's schoolyards and playgrounds.

 “I was a very small kid for my age,” he explained. “I got bullied a lot in school and had to find a way to manage that. Unfortunately, I got into a lot of fights because I had to defend myself.”

 Arnold learned many of those self-defense techniques through his passion for combat sports.

 He fell in love with professional wrestling, MMA, and especially boxing, although “there weren't many options to pursue boxing in small-town Maine," he said.

 While attending Oxford Hills and Lake Region high schools, Arnold briefly took up high school wrestling. It was not until adulthood that he found his way to Lewiston's CMBJJ, one of the hub facilities that has helped build NEF's talent base over the past six years.

 “Of course there's a part of me that wishes I had started this earlier, when I was 18 or 19, like a lot of guys,” said Arnold, who turns 25 this month. “But I'm thankful for where I'm at now, and for Matt Peterson and NEF for giving this opportunity to show what I can do.”

 Boxing and stand-up skills proved Arnold's bread-and-butter in his debut. He hopes the Kenney fight will give him a chance to exhibit the wider array of lessons he has learned from his training partners.

 Arnold credits former NEF amateur flyweight champion Dustin Veinott with the bulk of his development.

 “I feel like I have the best coaching staff in the state,” Arnold said. “I haven't really had the opportunity to travel around and cross-train, but I have so much faith in the guys at my own gym.

 “Dustin Veinott has been crucial. I feel like with his knowledge I can go anywhere I want to in this sport. And when you combine that with Jesse Erickson, Travis Wells, Matt Denning, the sky is the limit. They've put their belief in me, and I want to show them I've earned it.”

 When asked for a prediction about the February fight, Arnold somewhat channeled Clubber Lang's reply of “pain” from Rocky III.

 “Look for some blood,” Arnold said. “It's coming. I can't wait to put on a show.”