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January 31, 2018

New England Fights Kicks off Super Bowl Weekend with a Stacked Night of Fights.

NEF 32: Super Saturday

Travis Lizotte

With a mere 24 hours before the eyes of the world settle upon U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota for Super Bowl 52,  the eyes of New England MMA fans will settle, once again, upon the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine as New England Fights presents it’s first fight card of the 2018 calendar year; NEF 32. Much like the show that will take place in Minnesota on Sunday; NEF 32 comes packed with “Star Power” as New England Fights welcomes back perhaps the biggest star in the promotions history, former Lightweight Champion; Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (14-11). Boyington’s rise to star power took place across 13 fights in the NEF cage, including four title fights on his way to becoming one of the region’s most decorated Lightweights of all time. New England Fights fans thought they had seen the last of Boyington in the NEF cage when he took his talents to the national level in 2016 signing a multi-fight contract with the World Series of Fighting. However, after three fights (2-1) including two hard fought split-decision victories over Rodrigo Almeida (13-4) and Saul Almeida (19-9) and a single loss to one of the World’s Top- Featherweight Prospects in Andre “The Bull” Harrison (17-0), current Professional Fighters League (formally WSOF) Featherweight Champion, Boyington’s contract was no longer being honored by the promotion. Boyington’s journey back to New England kicked off in August, when he fought top New England Lightweight; Nate “The Snake” Andrews (12-1) at CES 45 in Lincoln, Rhode Island. After suffering a tough loss to Andrews, it became more evident to NEF fans that Boyington’s career could in fact come full circle, with a return to the Lewiston, Maine based promotion. NEF matchmaker Matt Peterson wasted little time snatching up their promotion’s biggest star when he signed fan-favorite; Boyington to make his long awaited return to the NEF cage against 2-time NEF veteran; Team Link’s Taylor Trahan (7-8).

Trahan’s two previous fights for the promotion include a loss to Featherweight prospect Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (4-1) as well as a submission of NEF Veteran Matt “Ken Doll” Denning (5-7). Trahan will add Bruce Boyington to a career resume that already includes the “Whoes Who” of both the region’s Featherweight and Lightweight divisions. Trahan versus Boyington promises to live up to the hype, as the Main Event of NEF: Super Saturday’s stacked five fight professional Main Card.

In the evening’s Co-Main Event NEF veterans Jesse “The Viking” Erickson (9-7) and Mike “The Mustache” Hansen (5-8) have a score to settle, as the two men agreed to a fight at Welterweight (170 pounds) announced at NEF 31: The Old Port in November. However an injury and medical suspension sustained in Hansen’s last fight, a first round TKO loss to Reginaldo Felix (2-2) at Premier FC 24, the Middleweight Hansen was unable to make the 170 pound Welterweight mark. Erickson and Hansen made the fight a war of words on social media following Mike’s inability to make weight as the two fighters went back and forth before agreeing to a fight weight of 179 pounds. Erickson, who is a natural Lightweight will be giving up plenty of size to Rumford’s Hansen but insists that the weight will not matter as he looks to give Mike a lesson in professionalism. The social media warfare these two have waged over the last week leading up to the fight will just add more intrigue to and already storied Co-Main Event.

Middleweight Champion, CJ Ewer (3-0) will look to become the promotions only two division champion as he locks horns with Bellator veteran Kemran Lachinov (5-2) for the vacant Welterweight title. Ewer made quick work of Mike Hansen at NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor, submitting Hansen in the first round to capture the NEF Middleweight Title, a win over Lachinov and Ewer would be returning to Young’s MMA with two NEF Championship Straps. Team Link’s Lachinov comes into the contest winner of his last three bouts including a split decision victory over Sam Watford (2-2) at Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4 and looks to return home to Massachusetts with the NEF Welterweight Belt around his waist.

The aforementioned Featherweight prospect Aaron “Relentless” Lacey (4-1) returns home to the NEF cage, where he started his pro career off 4-0, and looks to bounce back off the first loss of his career to highly touted Vovka Clay (8-2) in the Main Event at Combat Zone 64: Glory back in November. Lacey takes on NEF veteran; Featherweight “Ruthless” Josh Parker (6-9) in a featured bout on the NEF 32 main card. Parker, a ten fight veteran of the NEF cage, will have his hands full with the talented Lacey as he looks to make it back to back wins following a decision victory over Andre Belcarris (0-2) at NEF 29: Stars and Stripes, his last time out. The professional card comes to a close in the Lightweight division as Zenon Herrera (0-6) welcomes Nate Charles (Pro Debut) back to the NEF cage after a five year layoff, the fight will also be Charles’ professional debut after going just 1-7 as an Amateur, albeit against some tough competition.

Headlining the ten fight Amateur Undercard; former Mountain Valley High School Wrestling teammates Ryan Burgess (2-2) and Nate Boucher (2-1) will square off in a Flyweight bout that will determine the number one contender for Justin Witham’s (4-4) Flyweight crown. Boucher battled  current Champion; Justin Witham to a razor thin split-decision loss at NEF 31: The Old Port, a decision that drew scrutiny from fans who thought Boucher had done enough against Witham to capture the then vacant title. Burgess and Boucher will not let their history as teammates get in the way of their ultimate goal of being the NEF Amateur Flyweight Champion.

2017 Rookie of the Year; Jayda Bailey (1-0) will return to action as she searches for a second straight first round finish when she welcomes Georgia’s Amanda Gallo (0-1) to the NEF Women’s Bantamweight division. Bailey is one of the most highly anticipated prospects in the promotions history and looks to continue to open eyes in just her second fight in the cage. Bailey's training regiment is second to none as she calls Young's MMA home but will also be cornered by Nostos MMA founder and current UFC Lightweight Devin Powell for this fight against Gallo. Also former Light-Heavyweight Champion Ryan Glover (3-2) will begin his march back to the top as he squares off with New York’s Joe Berube (0-0). Exciting Featherweight Devin Corson (1-0) tries to put a halt to Shawn Lunghi’s (2-0) two fight winning streak to start his career, both fighters will look to keep their pristine records in tact once the bell sounds. Exciting Welterweight Carlton Charles (1-1) matches wits with newcomer Delmarkis Edwards (0-0) at a Catchweight of 175 pounds. Also Highly anticipated Women’s Strawweight and Young’s MMA product BJ Garceau (0-0) will begin her career with a tough match against Central Maine BJJ’s Sarah Ziehm (1-1).

Four more fights round out the Amateur portion of the card and they line up like this:
Lightweight: Stacy Lupo (0-1) vs. David Hart (0-2)
Women’s Bantamweight: Catie Denning (0-0) vs. Chelsea Elizabeth (0-1)
Bantamweight: Kam Arnold (1-0) vs. Kyle Kenney (0-0)
Catchweight (160 pounds): Muhammad Al Kinani (2-0) vs. Isaac Therrien (1-0)

Also as a special treat to both New England Fights fans and New England Patriots fans alike, the NEF brass have brought in former New England Patriots players Max Lane, who started Super Bowl XXXI for the Patriots as well as Ronnie Lippett, who started for the Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Sticking with the Super Bowl weekend theme, these former Patriots players will be available prior to the opening bell to take pictures with NEF fans and to sign autographs as New England gets ready to watch the 2018 New England Patriots battle the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52 the following evening, as the Patriots look to capture the franchise’s 6th Super Bowl title. NEF 32 promises to be an exciting night of action as the promotion returns to the Colisee in front of a sold out crowd as New England Fights kicks off Super Bowl weekend in style!