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June 15, 2018

NEF 34: Home of the Brave Preview

New England Fights 34: Home of the Brave
Travis Lizotte

On Saturday June 16th New England Fights once again brings their show on the road when they make their third trip to the Aura Nightclub in the heart of Portland, Maine’s Old Port district. NEF 34 Home of the Brave will unfurl a Star Spangled line up, sure to keep the New England Fights fans entertained throughout the night with a fight card that features 18 total bouts including two title fights in the Amateur ranks as well as two professional bouts. The night’s featured bouts will include some of the biggest names currently on the NEF roster, when a pair of Young’s MMA veterans are set to highlight the nights action. In the night’s Main Event; 5-1 Featherweight “Relentless” Aaron Lacey will be in search of his sixth professional victory when he welcomes the Fayetteville, North Carolina’s Da’Mon “The Diamond” Blackshear (4-1) to the NEF cage for the very first time. Owner of three submission victories amongst his four career victories as a professional, Blackshear will be looking to bounce back off his first career loss last time out when he dropped a narrow Split Decision to veteran Keith Richardson (16-9) at Welfare MMA 16 in August of last year. Lacey did some bouncing back of his own in his last fight when he put a TKO loss to Vovka Clay (8-2) behind him by Submitting Josh Parker (6-9) at NEF 32: Super Saturday in the very first round. The Co-Main event of the evening features on of the biggest names to ever step inside the NEF cage when fan favorite “The” Ryan Sanders (15-9) of Young’s MMA makes his eleventh trip to the NEF cage, but his first at Aura Nightclub. Standing across the cage will be Brooklyn, New York born Vince McGuiness (5-7), a veteran of New England MMA, Vince now trains out of Bang Muay Thai in Tampa, Florida. McGuiness will be looking to shake the toughest run of his career as he is coming of four consecutive decision losses, but the task doesn’t get any easier as he steps in against Bangor, Maine’s star Lightweight; Ryan Sanders. To say that Sanders needs little introduction to New England fans would be a gross understatement, Sanders is 8-2 inside the NEF cage with six wins by stoppage en route to attaining the NEF Lightweight World title in February of last year with his first round stoppage of Jon Lemke. Sanders hopes that a return home to the NEF cage will be a great place to bounce back from a tough loss to UFC veteran Jon Manley (11-4) last time out at AMMO Fight League 4.
Two Amateur titles will be on the line on the main card; as red hot Bantamweight prospect Kam Arnold (3-0) looks to stake his claim on when he feel like is already his, when he throws down with Nostos MMA’s Killian Murphy (1-0) for the vacant Amateur Bantamweight title. Arnold has used overpowering wrestling and high offensive output on his way to three consecutive knockouts to start his amateur career. A wrestler in his own right, and a Maine State Champion at that, Killian Murphy (1-0) used his wrestling expertise to dismantle Krishna Scott in just over a minute at NEF 33: Riptide, a performance that garnered the attention of NEF matchmaker Matt Peterson. Peterson was impressed enough with Murphy’s performance to offer him a shot at the Amateur Bantamweight strap. In the evenings second title fight Welterweights Carlton Charles (2-1) and Duncan Smith (2-2) will do battle for another vacant Amateur belt. Knockout artist Carlton Charles is the owner of two knockouts inside the NEF cage, both of which came within the first thirty seconds of his fights with Josh Jones and Delmarkis Edwards. Charles will square off with Duncan Smith who made his NEF debut a memorable one in his last contest, when he used just over a minute to choke Taylor Bartlett (0-1) into submission at NEF 33: Riptide.
Below is a look at the entire fight card, which is subject to change, as it comes to you live from Aura Nightclub in Portland, Maine. First bell sounds at 7pm as New England Fights presents NEF 34: Home of the Brave.

Carl Langston vs. Ernesto Ornelas has been scrapped due to Langston illness during weight cut.
Below is a detailed breakdown of the Professional bouts:

Aaron Lacey (5-1) v. Da’Mon Blackshear (4-1)
Aaron “Relentless” Lacey
Affiliation: Young’s MMA  
Record: 5-1 (1 Knockout, 3 Submissions)
Summary: Aaron Lacey could easily be 6-0 in his career, but a cut in his contest with Vovka Clay at Combat Zone 64 forced the doctors to stop the contest, leading to the only loss in Lacey’s dominant career. Lacey has established himself as a finisher inside the cage, stopping his opponents in four of his five career wins. Lacey is a well rounded fighter with above average submission skills that make Aaron a threat to finish any fight early.      
Last fight: First round Submission (Choke) of Josh Parker at NEF 32: Super Saturday.
Da’Mon “The Diamond” Blackshear
Affiliation: Team ROC
Record: 4-1 (3 Submissions)
Summary: Blackshear has also established himself as a lethal finisher, ending three of his four professional wins by submission. Of his three submissions, his biggest came in the fourth round of his title fight against Aalon Cruz at Conflict MMA 43, to capture the promotion’s Featherweight title last June. Blackshear took his talents to the Bantamweight division last time out as he came up on the short end of a split-decision against Veteran Keith “The Rockstar” Richardson; for the Warfare MMA Bantamweight belt.    
Last fight: Split Decision loss to Keith Richardson at Warfare MMA 16.
Breakdown: Don’t sleep on this matchup there is a reason this fight trumps the Sanders vs. McGuiness bout for the Main Event, this bout should be all action from the word go. Both fighters have shined in the submission game throughout their careers, leading me to believe that this fight is going to be won based on these fighters other skills like that in the stand up department. Furthermore both of these fighters have been in the cage with some very dangerous opponents in the past and will not be afraid to engage in war with one another which should lead to what could be an early favorite for fight of the night.

Ryan Sanders (15-9) v. Vince McGuiness (5-7)
“The” Ryan Sanders
Affiliation: Young’s MMA  
Record: 15-9 (2 Knockouts, 10 Submissions)
Summary: Sanders has fought the best New England has to offer in both the Lightweight and Welterweight division on his way to becoming one of the most decorated fighters to come out of the state of Maine. Sanders is one of the most talented Martial Artists is all of New England and he will be looking to show McGuiness that there are levels here in the MMA game.  
Last fight: Decision loss to Jon Manley at AMMO Fight League 4: House of Pain.
Vince McGuiness
Affiliation: Bang Muay Thai  
Record: 5-7 (1 Knockout, 1 Submission)
Summary: Speaking of levels McGuiness will be looking to show Sanders that he can still compete on the level that once made him one of the most sought after Lightweights in New England himself. Being the recipient of four straight decision losses; McGuiness lays it all on the line every time he enters the cage and will be a tough out for anyone in the division.
Last fight: Decision loss to Joe Giannetti at Cage Titans 34.
Breakdown: Sanders is running out of top level opponents to add to his resume here in New England; enter grizzled New England veteran Vince McGuiness, who tends to get the best out of anyone he is locked in the cage with. McGuiness has taken both “Slippery” Pete Barrett and Joe Joe Giannetti to decisions in his last two fights ending up on the wrong side of both those decisions. McGuiness has the ability and the heart to take this fight into the later rounds but Sanders has no interest in getting into a was with McGuiness and would like to end this fight early and get out of Aura unscathed and with his hand raised.