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July 23, 2019



Orono, Maine (July 17, 2019) – New England Fights (NEF) will debut in Orono on September 7, 2019 at the Collins Center for the Arts with the promotion's next mixed-martial-arts event, "NEF 40: School of Hard Knocks."  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of a professional bantamweight bout to the card.  Fred Lear (0-1) will take on Tommy "The Irish Beast" Kenney (0-2) at a fight weight of 135-pounds.

 Fred Lear had a prolific, and successful, career as an amateur fighter in the NEF cage.  He captured the NEF amateur bantamweight title in August 2017 before his hometown fans in Bangor, Maine.  Earlier this year, he went to war in a draw with Zac Richard (3-2-1) in what is the frontrunner thus far for "Fight of the Year" in 2019.  In the spring, Lear made his professional debut against Bryant Bullock (2-0).  It was not the successful debut Lear, a product of Young's MMA, had hoped for.  He was submitted late in the second round by Bullock.  Lear will look for his first win as a professional on September 7.

 “I’ve never been a stranger to adversity," noted Lear. "Anyone who grew-up wrestling like I did learns to deal with defeat at an early age. Although my pro debut didn’t go my way, I’m far from done. As an amateur MMA fighter, I tasted defeat and came back stronger than ever. As a pro, I will do the same. I grew-up with UMaine in my backyard and collecting my first pro win on this historic card means everything to me. There’s no way I will go back to my community carrying a loss. Now that we’re going back to school, I’m on to the next page.”

 Tommy Kenney is a thirteen-year veteran of combat sports.  A native of Dorchester, Massachusetts now living and training in Vermont, Kenney is the head of Team Irish Beasts.  He brings with him a wealth of experience in the MMA cage and kickboxing ring, having competed on many cards in recent years throughout Vermont and upstate New York.  Like Lear, Kenney will be looking for his first victory as a professional.

 "It's gonna be a good fight," said Kenney on the bout with Lear.  "I'm just coming right at you, and hit you with everything I got."

 New England Fights' next mixed-martial-arts event, "NEF 40: SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS," will take place Saturday, September 7, 2019 at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine as the promotion debuts in Orono, Maine.  Tickets are on sale now at