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April 9, 2019



Portland, Maine (April 8, 2019)

It is easy to understand why challenges don't intimidate New England Fights' mixed martial artist Megan Rosado.

You want challenges? Try working overnights, then managing a household with a husband, three children and two stepchildren by day. Try picking up a new and non-traditional sport in your late 20s after losing 100 pounds and rehabilitating a serious knee injury. Try being the only woman in your gym actively competing in that sport.

Getting punched and kicked in the face at “NEF 38: Stormborn” on Saturday, April 27 at Aura in Portland, Maine, might be the least intimidating thing that happens to this local fighter all month long.

“You have to be able to put everything together, like in MMA,” Rosado said. “MMA isn't just one thing.”

It's one of the main things in Rosado's life these days. Expect her large family, delegation of devoted fans and training partners from Evolution Athletix in Saco to turn out in droves for her bout with Amanda Bennett on April 27th.

Both women are relative newcomers to the sport and looking to avenge split-decision losses in their recent debuts. Rosado took the defeat against Glory Watson in November, while Bennett is back after a close call against Catie Denning in February.

“I watched her fight against Catie, and that's basically all I know,” Rosado said of Bennett. “I try not to study people so much that it stresses me out.”

Rosado is eager to get back into the cage after her what-might-have-been experience against Watson.

“That fight definitely stayed in my mind. It was pretty close. You always learn from any situation you're in and wonder what you might have done differently,” Rosado said.

The biggest lesson from her rookie foray, Rosado remarked, was to keep her hands up at all times.

“At first you're like 'Oh (bleep), where's the … door? What did I just get myself into and why did I agree to do this?'” Rosado said with a laugh. “But you know, it was my first fight ever. I had to learn how to get hit first. It changed when I got hit in the face by everything all at once, but actually it helped.”

Rosado, a self-described “super tomboy” in her childhood, has absorbed plenty of hits as a result of that fearless makeup.

“Soccer was my go-to sport. I played it from the time I was 7 years old,” Rosado said. “I played whatever sport I could get my hands on, from ice hockey to basketball to gymnastics. I tried them all, and I wanted to try wrestling, but my mom was like, 'No, I don't want the boys on you.' That was just her rule, so I had to go along with it.”

That curiosity about combat sports never went away, however. Fast forward to early adulthood, when the young mother walked into a fitness class at the local gym.

As it wrapped up for the evening, she watched other men and women setting up for a grappling course.

“I was like, 'What … is … THAT?' I'd always been curious about grappling. So I watched for a bit, and the next time I went into the class, and I was hooked,” Rosado said. “Then they had a striking class, and again, 'What is that?' So I tried that, and it was like, 'Oh my God, this is awesome.' That was probably five or six years ago.”

It wasn't long before Rosado pronounced herself ready for the natural progression to the hexagon. She made those convictions known to her coach, Nate Libby, who of course wasn't as certain.

“He told me, 'You have to show me you're capable of stepping into a cage. That doesn't just happen overnight.' But it wasn't long before he saw something in me and said, 'I want you on my fight team,'” Rosado said.

Life intervened on multiple occasions and delayed those plans.

“I tore my MCL and had a bunch of other nagging little injuries I had to take care of,” Rosado said. “And then I had a baby.”

Megan and her husband, Luis, have children aged 16, 13, nine, four, and two.

Fighting isn't encouraged in families, but it quite literally holds this one together.

“I work overnights and he works during the day, so during the week we barely see each other,” Rosado said. “We train together on the weekends, and that's like our bonding time. The four-year-old is already going to MMA practice. The little ones are like, 'Mom's at jiu-jitsu' or 'Mom's fighting.' And the older ones are all into it. The 13-year-old will watch the little ones while we train. We also have daycare at the gym, which is super helpful. The 16-year-old is doing jiu-jitsu. We all dabble in it.”

When she isn't busy with all the demands of being a mom, Rosado often is hard at work perfecting her craft.

“It's one day at a time, just trying to do all the training I can. I definitely want to take it to a career level and have no plans to stop until I reach that goal,” she said. “Striking is new to me. Grappling really isn't new to me. Although I guess you're not really supposed to tell people all that.”

Libby previously trained another female fighter, although she had a background with Maine MMA legend Marcus Davis. Rosado is his first product from scratch.

Combat sports already have given back Rosado her youthful fitness and provided all the stamina her daily life requires.

“I lost a ton of weight. About a hundred pounds. The fight camps really helped with that, because you lose it fast,” Rosado said. “You have a goal, and you have to hit it, or else you can't fight and you let yourself and everybody else down.”

Rosado and Bennett will meet at 140 pounds, although Megan confidently said, “I want to get down even lower.”

Want to bet against her? Good luck.

NEF's next mixed-martial-arts event, "NEF 38: STORMBORN," will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Aura in Portland, Maine with a bell time of 7 pm.  Tickets are on sale now at