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January 13, 2023



Bangor, Maine (January 13, 2023) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine on February 11, 2023, with its next mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event “NEF 51: Banger in Bangor.”  On Thursday, the fight promotion announced the main event for the card. Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (17-12) will meet Ross Dannar (1-0) in the professional lightweight division.

Maine MMA pioneer Bruce Boyington will return to the cage after an absence of three years.  He last appeared at “NEF 42” in Portland, Maine just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Boyington’s exploits in the NEF cage are nothing short of legendary.  He won the NEF Professional Lightweight Championship in 2016 and successfully defended it three times over the following two years before vacating the title to sign with national promotion World Series of Fighting in 2018.  His split decision win over Jon Lemke (7-9) at “NEF 21” in a title defense is regarded as one of the greatest fights in NEF history.

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Boyington is a lifelong practitioner of Taekwondo.  He has become known for his flashy spin kicks in the cage.  His highlight-reel knockout of Keegan Hornstra (4-11) at “NEF 3” went viral and was featured prominently on several nationally televised MMA shows in 2012.  With such vast exposure and a reputation for putting on exciting fights, Boyington’s MMA career has taken him all over the world from the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City to Penza, Russia. 

The fight with Dannar will be Boyington’s first in his hometown of Bangor since “NEF 8” in the summer of 2013.  Boyington currently represents Titan Athletics based in nearby Brewer, Maine.

“I’m more excited than I’ve ever been for a fight because this one is in my hometown,” said Boyington.  “It’s my first time fighting at the Cross Insurance Center which is just five minutes from my house. It seems like I’m leading the charge on what is turning out to be a hell of a fight card for Titan Athletics. There’s something to be said about training with a bunch of guys that are at this level. We’re all pushing each other while sharing in the experience and whether our hands get raised or not, you’ll see a show, I can assure you of that!”

A fight featuring an athlete with the vast experience of Bruce Boyington against an opponent with only one pro bout to his credit might seem like a mismatch in most books, but Ross Dannar is no ordinary one-win opponent.  Dannar shocked the New England MMA circuit last spring with his third-round technical knockout win over Mohammad Al Kinani (4-1) at “NEF 47.”  Up to that point in his career, Al Kinani had seemed indestructible.  Dannar took the fight right to Al Kinani at the opening bell, showing no reluctance to scrap with one of New England’s top prospects.  He became the first fighter to defeat Al Kinani in the cage in nearly five years.

The win over Al Kinani came as no surprise to Dannar’s teammates and those familiar with his athletic accomplishments outside the cage.  Dannar was a standout on the wrestling mats while at Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire where he won a state title.  In addition to his wrestling, Dannar also holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He currently trains at Nostos MMA in Somersworth, New Hampshire under another former NEF Professional Lightweight Champion, and UFC veteran, Devin Powell (10-5).  Powell actually defeated Boyington by unanimous decision on a fight card in New Hampshire in 2013, so Dannar can rest assured that he is in good hands for the upcoming bout.  A win over a veteran like Boyington would catapult Dannar to the upper levels of the lightweight division in the region.

“I don't know much about Bruce other than the fact that he, amongst others like my coach Devin Powell, are responsible for laying the path that I am walking,” stated Dannar.  “I am excited to share the cage with one of the pioneers of New England Mixed Martial Arts and can only hope that I do this main event justice with my performance.”

“NEF 51: Banger in Bangor” is scheduled for Saturday night, February 11, 2023, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine.  Tickets are available now at




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