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July 21, 2021

REMATCH OF CONTROVERSIAL BOUT WILL FINALLY TAKE PLACE AT NEF 44


[NEF PRESS RELEASE]

New England Fights (NEF) returns with its next event, “NEF 44: Back in Black,” on August 21, 2021, at the Hampshire Dome in Milford, New Hampshire.  The show will feature both mixed-martial-arts (MMA) and kickboxing fights.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur flyweight bout to the fight card.  Caleb “Dr. Feelgood” Austin (4-0) will take on James Ploss (1-2) at a fight weight of 125 pounds.

 This will be the second time the pair has met.  The first fight, which happened at NEF 28 in April 2017, was mired in controversy.  Ploss had forced Austin to tap out to a guillotine choke less than a minute into the first round, but the referee did not see Austin submit.  Ploss released the hold and the bout continued despite Ploss’ protests.  Austin would go on to win the bout later in the same round via technical knockout.

 A rematch was scheduled to take place in 2020 at “NEF 43,” but the pandemic forced a postponement of both the event and the bout.

 “I am honored and grateful to fight Caleb Austin again,” said Ploss who represents Team Kaze of Lancaster, New Hampshire.  “I know the first time we competed it was an unusual, widely-viewed, and controversial match. I look forward to the challenge of defeating Caleb in this upcoming rematch. May the best man win! Let’s go, Team Kaze!”

 Austin, who was only 18 at the time of the first bout, still a senior in high school, and making his cage debut, took a lot of criticism on social media for the result, but handled it all with a high degree of maturity.

 Austin excelled as a wrestler in high school with a record of 208-11 over four years at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine.  He won state titles at 126 pounds his junior and senior years.  Austin was named the 2017 "Wrestler of the Year" by the Lewiston Sun Journal.  After graduation, Austin continued his wrestling career at the University of Southern Maine.  He is still undefeated as an amateur MMA competitor, having won three bouts since the Ploss fight – all finishes.

 “This fight is fate,” stated Austin who represents Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) and  I’ve been waiting a long time to set the record straight against James to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind. I am prepared and ready to put on a show for NEF’s debut in New Hampshire.”

 Tickets for “NEF 44: Back in Black” are on sale now at www.NewEnglandFights.com/Tickets/.  The MMA and kickboxing event will take place at the Hampshire Dome in Milford, New Hampshire on Saturday, August 21, 2021, with a bell-time of 7 pm. 

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