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New England Fights to ‘Rumble in Bangor’

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Sanders (right) (14-8) lands a punch vs Derrick Kerrington in last year New England's fight event at the Cross Center.. Sanders (right) (14-8) lands a punch vs Derrick Kerrington in last year New England's fight event at the Cross Center.. (Photo courtesy New England Fights/Monty Rand)

BANGOR – Let’s get ready to rumble in Bangor.

New England Fights (NEF), Maine’s premier MMA and boxing promotion, will present “NEF 30: Rumble in Bangor” at the Cross Insurance Center on Aug. 5 starting at 7 p.m.; the all-MMA fight card includes seven local fighters from Young’s MMA in Bangor. 

“There are a number of top prospects [at Young’s] that are on the fast track to fighting in the largest promotions in the world and we wanted to provide fans with the opportunity to see them in their own town,” said New England Fights owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “NEF wanted to bring an event for the fans base and the fighters that reside there.”

The fight card for “Rumble in Bangor” features three professional fights and eight amateur fights.

The professional card is highlighted by the top-ranked lightweight fighter in New England according to Tapology.com. Ryan Sanders (14-8) out of Young’s has won four fights in row.

“Nobody across New England or the Northeast is lining up to fight this guy,” Peterson said. “No one wants to compete against him.”

Sanders is on the cusp of breaking through to higher leagues, added Peterson. The current NEF lightweight champion, Sanders will face off vs Jay Ellis (14-68), a fighter out of Milwaukee.

In the second fight of the professional card, Young’s Aaron Lacey (4-0) faces off with Bryan Goldsby (17-16) out of Ohio. Goldsby is a veteran of Bellator, the world's second largest MMA company behind only the UFC. Lacey has submitted three of his four opponents since turning pro.

President of UFC Dana White was blown away by Lacey at a Bangor event last year, according to Peterson, who said that “Lacey stole the show last year.”

The last fight in the professional card is a middleweight (185) title bout between C.J Ewer out of Young’s (2-0) and Mike Hansen (5-5) from Rumford. Ewer is a serviceman wanting to make his mark, said Peterson. Both fighters are former Maine state wrestling champs.

The amateur card is highlighted by a bantamweight (135) title fight between Fred Lear of Young’s (5-2) and Jefferson native Walt Shea (2-0). Lear is a former John Bapst wrestler on a two-fight win streak.

Another amateur fight pits former Husson University basketball player Josh Jones (2-0) against former UMaine football player Carlton Charles (0-0). According to Peterson, Jones is on everyone’s radar after recording a NEF record four-second knockout in his last fight. While Jones has fought less than 30 seconds in his two wins, that’s no guarantee he’ll have an easy time with this bout.

“Jones has not faced an athlete like Charles,” said Peterson.

On the women's card, Angela Young (2-2) - wife of coach Chris Young - takes on Floridian Jessica Borga (5-2). Young is a mom and a registered nurse. “She has the heart of a lion,” said Peterson. “I know how difficult it is for Chris as her coach and husband, but she delivers.”

The women's fights are usually fan favorites, Peterson said.

“Everyone will tell you that has ever been to a NEF show, nine times out of 10, the female fights steal the show because these women leave nothing on the table.”

New England Fights has been existence for ix years and produced 30 live events in two states. “We take very seriously the responsibility to continue to bring in great athletes to put on fantastic fights for people. We want to deliver,” said Peterson.

“I’ve been a fight fan my entire life; for me, it is second nature to see the growth of the sport. I think people understand it and it is something that resonates with people,” he added. “You watch life itself play out inside that cage.”

Peterson said that fans attending the “Rumble in Bangor” should expect to see a lot of energy and excitement.

“All the people we are bringing from very different places of the country are gonna bring it. No one is coming to Bangor is to lose,” he said. “The electricity in the air; to experience [MMA] at this level, these athletes all have aspirations, are all going in there with all the pride in the world and they want to perform and they want to win. No one wants to lose under those lights.

“If you have ever been curious or ever been a fan of the sport this not a experience you want to miss,” he said.

The rest of the amateur card includes Roger Ewer (0-0 - Young’s MMA) vs Dustin Freeman (0-0 - Independent); Anthony Lapointe (0-1 - Titan Athletics) vs Jesse Hutchinson (0-0 - CMBJJ); Zachary Faulkner (0-0 - Titan Athletics) vs David Hart (0-0 - Kenney’s MMA); Robbie Kiah (1-0 - Young’s MMA) vs Robert H. Norris III (0-0 - Independent); and Nate Boucher (1-0 - CMBJJ) vs Jeremiah Barkac (0-0 - Independent).

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