FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (May 1, 2017) – Between them they have a dozen fights in the Bellator cage. Now, they have signed to face each other in the New England Fights (NEF) hexagon. Ray “All Business” Wood (8-3) will meet Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra (19-5) in the main event of “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES.” The event, which will feature a full slate of mixed-martial-arts and professional boxing bouts, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
“This would be a main card fight on any nationally-televised event,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “It doesn’t get any bigger or better than this on the regional level. This is the kind of fight we love to deliver to the NEF fans.”
Wood grew up in Bucksport, Maine and became a top MMA prospect after joining Young’s MMA in Bangor. He was victorious in ten of his first eleven fights over the course of his amateur and early professional careers. Wood’s sole loss during that impressive run came when he moved up to the lightweight division to face a larger Shane Manley (3-3).
It took Wood just over a minute to submit Lenny Wheeler (9-5) at “NEF 8.” In doing so, Wood became the first NEF Featherweight Champion. He went on to successfully defend the title against tough Brazilian prospect Gabriel Baino (6-2) with a second-round TKO. Months later, Wood would drop the title to Anthony Morrison (20-11) via fifth-round submission.
The next few years would see Wood travel away from Maine to settle first in South Carolina and later Texas. Since leaving Maine, he has been training at some of the top gyms in all of mixed martial arts with world-class athletes, and he has fought for national promotion Bellator three times. Wood’s Bellator debut saw him finish Chris Jones (10-5) in the first round. He is now looking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to AJ McKee, Jr. (8-0) at Bellator 166 late last year. The fight with Bezerra will be Wood’s first on Maine soil since February 2015.
“I’m excited to fight in front of the New England fans once again,” said Wood when reached for comment at his home in Amarillo, Texas. “It’s been way too long. It’s time to get back to where all my success began. The last time I fought in Maine, I left with a loss, and I have no easy task in front of me this time. Alexandre is no joke, and has fought some of the best in the world, and with me coming off back-to-back losses, I have no choice but to have my hand raised by the end of three rounds. I have never lost three straight in anything.”
A native of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Alexandre Bezerra now lives and trains in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he is a member of Daddis Fight Camps. Bezerra holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and he is also a teacher of the sport.
Bezerra has nine Bellator bouts under his belt. He competed in both the Season Six and Season Eight featherweight tournaments, making it past the quarterfinal rounds but losing in the semifinals each time. Most recently, Bezerra competed for national promotion Titan Fighting Championships in late 2016. Like Wood, Bezerra is looking to bounce back from a loss.
“I am very excited to compete for NEF, they are a fantastic organization and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity,” said Bezerra. “My opponent is a tough, up-and-coming prospect, and this should be a great fight. Both of us are looking to finish fights, so the fans are in for a treat!”
“Everyone in Maine and New England fight sports knows the talent that is Ray Wood,” stated NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “He cut his teeth in NEF and after going on to compete in several high-profile Bellator fights, he’s coming back home to where it all began for him. His opponent, a native of Brazil, is a seasoned veteran that has a black belt in jiu-jitsu. Fans can expect to see the highest level of mixed martial arts skill on display in this blockbuster main event.”
New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES,” on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at www.TheColisee.com.
For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”
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 Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.