FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (December 16, 2019) – New England Fights (NEF) today announced the nominees for their annual Year End Awards for 2019’s “Rookie of the Year.” The four nominated fighters who made their mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in 2019 were: Nate “The Mule” White (4-0); “Magic” Mike Murray (2-1); Jason Landry (2-1); Gregory Ishihara (2-1).

Leading the field of nominees is Nate “The Mule” White, who made his NEF debut at “NEF 38: STORMBORN” last April when he forced Clifford “Frodo” Redman (0-11) to tap due to an injury at 48-seconds into the first round. White returned to the cage two months later when he stopped newcomer Justin Kangas (0-2) at “NEF 39: ALL AMERICAN” in the second round via technical knockout. In September, White took a last-minute fight at “NEF 40: SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS” where he finished Ryan Savage (0-2) via technical knockout. White took another short-notice bout at NEF’s final event of 2019, “NEF 41: COLLISSION COURSE,” where he stopped newcomer Austin Hamilton (0-1). White, a 19-year old wrestling state runner-up from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine, fought from 145-pounds to 175-pounds throughout the year and finished all of his opponents. He represents Central Maine Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (CMBJJ) and trains locally with Jason Bell in Rumford.

“Magic” Mike Murray (2-1) made a big splash in the NEF community when he debuted last summer at “NEF 39.” “Magic” Mike stopped Dylan Williams (0-3) in the first round via rear naked choke submission, but not before displaying his striking fluidity and comfort inside the cage walls. Murray, a proud serving Marine currently stationed in Georgia, quickly turned around and fought again at “NEF 40” where he tapped Jordin Crim (1-1) in the first round with another rear naked choke. The win over Crim earned Murray a shot at the NEF Lightweight Championship in November against Zac “Rocky” Richard (5-2-1). After an action-packed five-round 15-minute fight that had fans on their feet, Murray dropped a unanimous decision to Richard, thus ending his 2019 freshman campaign. Murray has been training jiu jitsu and studying fight sports since he was a teenager under the guidance of his mentor, former NEF Heavyweight Champion, Nick “Gully” Gulliver (4-1).

Jason Landry (2-1) hails from Solon, a small, sleepy town in Northern Maine with a population of just over 1000, but there was nothing small about the way in which he made his MMA debut in 2019. Landry, who maintains a tight circle and trains in seclusion with his brothers, burst onto the scene against Justin Boraczek (4-3) at “NEF 38.” Landry stopped the more experienced Boraczek in the very first round, buttoning up Boraczek’s eye in the process. Landry returned at “NEF 39” and knocked out Dan Seigars (0-1) in seven seconds with one punch. Landry’s only loss in 2019 came at “NEF 40” when the ref stepped in to stop things after a 41-second firefight with undefeated welterweight giant Mike Bezanson (4-0).

Gregory Ishihara (2-1) found himself on the losing end of his debut at “NEF 38” when he dropped a second round TKO to Jordan Norman (2-1) last April, but that would be the only time that he would see defeat this year. Ishihara rebounded with a 49-second drubbing of Henry Jeffs (0-2) at “NEF 39” and stopped Dylan Williams in the first-round with a beautiful knee last month at “NEF 41.” Ishihara trains out of Recon in Westbrook, Maine.

Fan voting to determine the winner of the 2019 NEF Year End Awards “Rookie of the Year” will officially open at 12:00pm on Friday, December 20, 2019 and run until 5:00pm on Thursday, December 26, 2019. Fans will determine the outcome of the contest so all are encouraged to participate to vote for their favorite fighter.

New England Fights’ next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 42: Symphony of Destruction,” will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. Tickets are on sale now at

About NEF Year End Awards

The NEF Year End Awards are chosen annually at the conclusion of every calendar year to recognize outstanding athletic achievement and excellence in New England Fights (NEF). Nominees are selected by a qualified panel of professionals with expertise in combat sports and NEF competitions. Award Winners are determined by fan vote. All NEF Year End Awards Winners will receive a trophy to commemorate their accomplishment.

About New England Fights

New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.