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August 1, 2019


Dillon Henry


Orono, Maine (July 24, 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 an amateur catchweight bout to the card.  Steve Desjardins (4-3) will face Dillon Henry (0-2) at a fight weight of 130 pounds.

 Steve Desjardins, who made his MMA debut in 2011, returns to the NEF cage for the first time since September 2014.  He won a split decision that night over Erik Nelson (2-3).  It was Desjardins' second win in a row, also having defeated Dustin Veinott (5-4) earlier that year at "NEF 12."  A native of Bangor, Maine, Desjardins competed on the first-ever MMA event held in the Queen City in the summer of 2013.  "NEF 40" will be Desjardins' first opportunity to fight in front of his hometown friends and family in over six years.

 "I’m excited and happy to be returning back after almost six years in my home territory," exclaimed Desjardins.  "I’m looking forward to getting that quick finish."
Stephen Desjardins

 Dillon Henry, a native of Windham, Maine, comes to "NEF 40" hungry for the first win of his amateur career.  Henry has lost twice via submission this year, first to Nate Boucher (5-3) at "NEF 37" and then to Schuyler Vaillancourt (1-1) at "NEF 38" in April.  Henry dominated the first round against Vaillancourt with a series of takedowns.  He came out strong again in the second round, but got submitted by Vaillancourt to a Kimura while Henry was in top position.  Henry represents First Class MMA based in Brunswick, Maine.

 “Nothing excites me more than a challenge," declared Henry. "I couldn't be more ready for this one. Stephen is a very tough opponent, but I've been training very hard. After starting out at 0-2, it's time I make a statement. Don’t blink!”

 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