FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (November 7, 2019)

Arguably no other amateur in the history of the New England Fights (NEF) mixed martial arts promotion has had a longer, harder road to capturing a title than Nate Boucher (5-3), who will compete in his third NEF championship fight this Saturday night at “NEF 41: Collision Course.”

Boucher recently joined Ryan Jarrell on Between Rounds Radio to discuss the winding path he’s taken to get back to title contention, his upcoming opponent, Steve Desjardins (5-3), and what capturing the vacant NEF Flyweight Championship this weekend would mean to him.

“I knew something like that was going to have to come, fighting a veteran like Desjardins,” Boucher said on the show. “I believe he’s probably the only fighter as an amateur at the weight class that is more of a veteran than I am. His debut was 2011. Mine was 2014. So, I definitely knew that he’s been around. He knows how it goes. His record shows that. He’s got very tough wins. But I definitely feel like I’ve more than prepared for this time around.”

“I definitely feel like I’ve been on top of the weight class for a long time as far as the 125 amateur level goes around New England,” Boucher stated.

After compiling a 2-0 record, Nate first fought for the NEF 125-pound championship just over two years ago at “NEF 31: The Old Port.” That November night, Boucher faced longtime NEF competitor Justin Witham (4-4). Boucher ended up losing a controversial split-decision against Witham in a fight that had many fans in attendance divided on who the real winner was.

In February 2018, Boucher experienced another setback when he lost another split decision against former NEF Champion Ryan Burgess (3-2) in a title contender eliminator bout.

In April 2018, Boucher dropped his third loss in a row when he bumped up for a catchweight contest against Walt Shea (3-1), who was coming off of his first loss in a bantamweight championship bout.

After the three-loss skid, Nate went underground to regroup.

Boucher reemerged six months later to stop Jordan Young (2-2) in the first round at “NEF 36: Battle for the Gold.” He followed-up the win over Jordan with another victory on the next NEF card when he submitted Dillon Henry (0-2) in less than a minute.

The back-to-back victories earned Boucher his second shot at the Flyweight Championship when he was scheduled to face Ohio’s Robert Presley (5-5) last summer at “NEF 39: All-American” in a scheduled five-round bout. However, Boucher and Presley both badly missed the 125.0 weight limit, which resulted in the scrap being turned into a non-title affair. The fight went ahead and Boucher easily won by submitting Presley at 1:46 of Round 1, but once again he was unable to collect the title due to the weigh-in blunder.

When Jarrell asked if making weight was a concern for him in his third upcoming title fight, Boucher was clear that he was had a much different fight camp this time around.

“I’ve been more disciplined with myself and my diet, more so than any camp I’ve ever had, leading up to this fight,” Boucher explained.

“I knew I definitely didn’t want to repeat that same mistake. It sucked, honestly, especially winning that fight in such a decisive way. But it happens, and I learned.”

Boucher’s opponent for this weekend, Desjardins, just returned from a five-year layoff last September at “NEF 40: School of Hard Knocks” when he defeated Dillon Henry (0-2) in the first round.  Henry was unable to continue due to a shoulder injury.

Henry is the only common opponent that both Boucher and Desjardins have faced.

“I absolutely had the better performance [against Henry],” Boucher told Jarrell. ‘It was technique. I went in there, and I fought. I went in there, and I took him down. I landed ground and pound, strikes to make him expose his back, took his back and choked him out. That was technique. He [Desjardins] got lucky [against Henry]. He was getting lit up. Dylan came out with some great combinations. Dylan got ahold of him for that guillotine attempt. By the grace of God for Steven that Dylan’s shoulder separated. That fight was off to a very quick start in the wrong direction for him. This time he’s not going to get a separated shoulder, so we’ll have to see what he does.”

“I feel like Dylan had a strong chance in that fight,” Boucher continued. “It’s a shame that he got his shoulder separated. Dylan’s a tough guy. That guy’s done nothing but ask for monsters ever since his first fight at the weight class. He’s fighting all the best guys, and he came out ready for that one. It’s unfortunate his shoulder separated, and I’m not taking anything away from Steven. He came out there and got the takedown anyway. So that was good on his part. But I do think that that fight was definitely going the way Dylan wanted it to go up until his shoulder separating.’

When asked who he anticipated will be the bigger fighter when they step into the hexagon on Saturday, Boucher was hesitant to commit.

“I’ve never met Steve in person, really,” Boucher said. “I’ve seen him at weigh-ins. I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I definitely think I’m a lot more in shape than he is. I definitely think I’m a lot bigger of a 25er than he’s ever going to face. I started from 155 in September, so it doesn’t get much more than that for 125. I definitely think as far as the athleticism go, I got him matched out there.”

“I’m going to outman him,” Boucher continued. “That’s my strategy going into this. I’m going to wear and wear him. I’m going to break him and win when he’s ready to expose himself, that’s generally what my game plan is every fight. Yeah, it’s going to continue into this fight. It’s going to be a dog fight between him and I, and it’s just going to be who’s got the harder bite.”

“I believe that I’ve been at the top of this weight class for this promotion for a long time, and I think I’ve been competing against the tougher guys that this weight class has had to offer,” Boucher said in closing. “It’s still not everyone. There’s more afterwards, but for right now winning the title is just, I can’t even imagine. It’s just I’ve come so close so many times and not had it. I’m sure there’ll be a little something growing inside of me there as soon as I win it.”

To listen to the entire interview visit:

For tickets to “NEF 41: Collision Course,” call (207) 772-8274 or go to

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.