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October 26, 2023



 Bangor, Maine (October 13, 2023)

Ed Davis has gone to war in the New England Fights (NEF) mixed martial arts hexagon at two different venues in Portland, Maine, and now famously as part of a Professional Fighters League (PFL) card in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

He’s a little biased, but Davis believes none of those audiences create a more rambunctious and invigorating ambiance per capita than the spectators who pack the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine, a stone’s throw from his home base of Brewer.

“I can’t even put it into words. I am like a little kid at Christmas, giddy to fight in front of the hometown. Nobody brings energy like Bangor,” Davis said. “All the hometown fans come out. Once they all get together under one roof, it’s crazy. Last time I was in Bangor, the noise in the building was almost the same as in Madison Square Garden.”

Davis, who split his four fights as an amateur, will make his professional debut in a catchweight fight with James Lawson (0-1) at “NEF 55: Glory Days.” The card is set for Saturday, November 11 with a bell time of 7 p.m.

Lawson lost via Von Flue choke to Chris Lee in his pro debut back in July as part of “NEF 53: American Valor.”

Aside from tipping the scales 17 pounds heavier than Davis for their most recent fights, Lawson, who fights out of Orlando, Florida, doesn’t wield any advantages that wow Davis given the strength of his own recent resume.

“I think he’s had a few kickboxing fights and a couple MMAs,” Davis said. “He just got subbed by Chris Lee, who’s a pretty well-rounded fighter himself. I think he’s gonna try and kickbox coming into this fight.”

Davis twice left an indelible impression on his audience even in defeat with his past two outings.

Kyle Pufahl received the unanimous decision nod after a five-round title fight slugfest with Davis at “NEF 51: Banger in Bangor” in February.

Then in August, Davis received an invitation to battle Biaggio Ali Walsh, grandson of the legendary Muhammad Ali, in the lone amateur bout of a PFL playoff card.

Walsh won late in the second round on what was viewed by Davis’ camp and his local supporters as a premature stoppage.

“It was a lot of fun. I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Davis said. “I wish that the fight didn’t get stopped early, because I really do feel like we were starting to find our range in the second round, and the third round could have gone two different ways, you know? But that’s part of the game. Don’t get clipped and the referees won’t stop fights.”

Davis believes he had weathered the storm and was putting his game plan to good use when Mike Walter stepped in and waved off the proceedings.

“When the referee stopped the fight, I was digging for an underhook, and I’m pretty confident that I had a sweep,” Davis said. “We were either gonna get back on our feet, or I was gonna spend the last 30 seconds of the round on top of him.”

Known in NEF circles for raising the entertainment level while exhibiting incredible stamina, Davis was slated for a first-of-its-kind, five-round, non-title bout in the spring before an injury scrubbed the plans.

He brought that same intensity to MSG, and his only regret is that he didn’t push the pace sooner.

“My striking is what I always go for. I’m not the type of guy to go out and shoot or hug legs,” Davis said. “I’m here to fight. I wish that I’d got a faster start in the first round, but that’s all hindsight now.”

The environment and his strong showing in a losing cause solidified Davis’ plans to make his move to the pay window at his next NEF appearance.

“We were planning on it anyway, but that just gave me more push to go pro,” Davis said, “Being out back of a show that had only pro guys at it except for me and Biaggio, it was real cool.”

Having met his match in the past two amateur encounters, Davis knows he will need to step up his game exponentially in order to taste prolonged success in a deeper talent pool.

“There’s a lot more experienced guys at the pro level,” Davis said. “I don’t want to say there’s tougher guys, because pretty much all fighters are tough. Everything is just more well-rounded there.”

When asked to enumerate his goals as a pro, Davis paraphrased the response of young pop star Madonna when she fielded the same question from Dick Clark on a mid-1980s episode of “American Bandstand.”

“I want to take the world over,” Davis said. “I’m gonna get in there and win fights and chase my dream. I want to be an elite-level fighter in the world, and I’m real confident in my ability to do that.”

He expects the move to only enhance his relationship with NEF, a marriage that started with his amateur knockout wins over Joe Peters and Patrick Mitchell in 2022.

Based on his preference for having a fully engaged gallery of onlookers, it is a no-brainer.

“I really enjoy fighting with NEF,” Davis said. “I like working with (co-owners) Matt (Peterson) and Nick (DiSalvo) a lot. And any time I can fight this close to home, it’s real easy to get the whole family out.”

Davis would like to give that cheering section the type of performance to which they have become accustomed, but he predicts they will need to be satisfied with the bottom line this time around.

“Here’s to hoping. I hope that we can go out there and have a three-round war, because I love nothing more than a good scrap,” Davis said, “I don’t foresee it. I just feel like I’m on a different level. I’m gonna go out, push the pace on him and work for a finish.”

Being a prohibitive favorite could give Davis an opportunity to focus on one of his primary goals for the next segment of his budding career.

“I really want to get to being a fast starter more,” Davis said. “I want to start finishing people. My first two fights were finishes. I just want to start knocking some people out again.”

Davis and coaches Jeremy Tyler and Eddie Benjamin have geared training toward those aspirations.

“Pulling the trigger a little faster and just getting those dogfight rounds some time when you need ‘em,” Davis said of his current workouts.

The coincidence of this card being on Veterans Day isn’t lost on Davis, who will put his money where his mouth is and make it a special night for local service men and women.

“It’s huge to me, man. I love our troops more than anything in the world. They do so much for us. I feel they’re underappreciated by a lot of people in America. They’re a real big part in our freedom,” Davis said. “I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m gonna be partnering with Maine Veterans Project this fight and getting some veterans free tickets to go to the fight. It’s gonna be a pretty cool thing.”

His advice to our military and the chorus of civilians in the crowd?

“Don’t blink,” Davis said. “I’m setting the world on fire. I’m coming out of the gate guns blazing from bell to bell, however long the fight goes.”

“NEF 55: Glory Days” is set for a bell time of 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 11 inside the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. Tickets are on sale now at