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April 16, 2023



 Portland, Maine (April 12, 2023) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to Aura in Portland, Maine on Saturday, May 13, 2023, with its next mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event “NEF 52: Zero Hour.” Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of an amateur lightweight championship bout to the card.  Zach Faulkner (5-3) is scheduled to face Artur Minev (3-0) for the 155-pound title.  The belt was vacated by former champion Kyle Pufahl (5-1) upon his decision to turn pro at “NEF 52.”

Zach Faulkner is coming off a win by majority decision over Chase O’Brien (1-1) last November at “NEF 50.”  He challenged previously for an NEF amateur title on one occasion, losing a very close split decision to Mike Murray (4-2) in February 2022 in a matchup for the welterweight strap.  Three of Faulkner’s five wins have come by finish.  He currently represents Recon MMA based in Westbrook, Maine.

“I’m super excited to test myself once again against a super skilled opponent,” said Faulkner. “Artur looks like he comes to fight, and that’s what I’m looking for. I can’t wait to put on a show in Portland and be able to fight for another title.”

Undefeated Artur Minev will make his first appearance in the NEF cage at “NEF 52.”  A native of Ukraine, Minev trains at Defensive Edge MMA in Wakefield, Massachusetts.  He is coming off a unanimous decision victory on a fight card in Connecticut last month where he handed the previously-undefeated Justin Graves (2-1) his first loss.  Minev scored a second round knockout win last December on a fight card in Germany.

“NEF 52: Zero Hour” will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Aura in Portland, Maine.  Doors will open at 6 pm with first fight taking place at 7 pm.  Tickets are on sale now at