FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (January 30, 2019) – New England Fights (NEF) returns to Bangor, Maine at the Cross Insurance Center on Friday, February 1st for their 37th mixed martial arts (MMA) program entitled, appropriately enough based on the forecast for the weekend, “Sub Zero.” However, the card could have just as easily been dubbed “Young’s MMA vs The World” based on the fact that Young’s athletes populate eight of the scheduled eleven bouts on the anticipated fight card.

The founder, head coach and namesake of Young’s MMA, Chris Young, recently sat down with Between Rounds Radio hosts Bryan Stackpole and Ryan Jarrell to talk about the upcoming event, which he sees as a showcase opportunity for his team.

“Camp went great,” Young explained in regards to the atmosphere in the gym in the weeks leading up to Friday’s extravaganza. “The team pulled together really well…. Camp went awesome. Everyone is healthy. No injuries, just the normal bumps and bruises that you get going through camp.”

Young has coached one of the combatants in Friday night’s main event, undefeated Josh “Hook-On” Harvey, since Harvey began competing as an amateur several years ago. On February 1st, Harvey is scheduled to face longtime New England MMA veteran Bill “Jonesi” Jones for the NEF Featherweight Championship. In recent weeks, Jones has had strong words for his opponent and another Young’s MMA fighter that he was scheduled to face in 2018, Aaron Lacey, before Lacey had to bow out of the bout with an injury. Young acknowledged that the trash talk has been substantial in the lead-in to the white-hot feature fight.

“You know, it’s funny—I think Aaron Lacey was more annoyed by the comments,” Young stated. “Josh, I don’t think, is really biting on to the psychological warfare. Bill Jones is actually a really cool guy. I think he’s really playing the role right now. I think he’s trying to get into Josh’s head a little bit, and it doesn’t seem like it’s working.”

“I think he’s [Jones] going to bring it,” Young continued. “I think that’s what Bill Jones does. Bill Jones is going to bring high intensity, high pace. He’s going to make Josh work, there’s no doubt. I just think he’s probably going to run into a wall in Josh Harvey. Josh Harvey’s super physical, athletic, really good all-around skills. I have no doubt Bill will come and he’s going to bring it, but I think he’s going to run into a wall.”

“Bill will fight,” Young noted. “Bill has a tank—he’s going to fight. He’ll be there for all of the rounds, if he has to be. He’s not a guy that, if you watch his past fights, he can take a beating and keep coming. I mean, he’s tough.”

Young speculated as to what might be Jones’ motivation to continue competing after almost 25-fights in the cage.

“He’s in his 40’s, he’s older,” Young said. “You have to question why he’s doing it. Is he wanting to make another run? Is he looking for a paycheck, is he kind-of looking for that one last moment of glory? These are all things that you’re going to have to consider, whereas Josh is reaching his prime, wants to be there, wants to fight, these type of things.”

Young, who founded Young’s MMA almost a decade ago in his basement, has seen all manner of fighter, actual and otherwise, come and go during his time in the sport. The Young’s MMA fight team, which has produced several amateur and professional champions and top contenders over the last seven years, now resides within Union Street Athletics, Bangor’s premiere full-scale fitness facility.

When asked why he thought competitors such as Jones, or Roger Ewer, who is also in his 40’s and another Young’s MMA team member scheduled to compete on Friday night’s card, continue to take the risk of stepping into the cage out of the prime of their youth, Chris detailed the depth of his experience in working with athletes of all ages.

“I think it’s a lot of different things,” Young said. “I think proving to yourself that you can still do it. Especially with the male psyche, we want to prove to ourselves that we can go out there and that we can still compete. A lot of these guys were avid competitors. Roger wrestled all through high school, he’s an avid competitor. You get older, you start a family, you get a house and you start losing that edge a little bit, and you miss it. And you’re like ‘Can I still do this, is this something I can still do?’ And MMA is a great avenue to do that. You can get back in, you can compete. There’s fights out there that I feel are balanced enough for these type of people to do that.’

“It’s the thrill of it,” Young explained. “There’s no doubt that Roger knows—he’s not trying to make a run at the UFC or anything. He may not even go pro. He just wants to make a run, have some fun, train hard, prove to himself that he can still do it. That was a big thing, my wife [retired fighter Angela Young] was doing it because she was an avid competitor when she was younger, and she just wanted something to keep her focus and keep her driving to stay in shape.”

Another of Chris’s longtime students, NEF Middleweight Champion CJ “The Albino Rhino” Ewer, is set to take on Mark “Pockets” Gardner from The Academy this weekend in a nontitle bout.

“CJ is so stoic,” Young said. “He’s, without a doubt, one of my best professionals. He’s a legit adult training with a bunch of younger kids. He comes in, he knows why he’s there, he trains hard. He’s a blast to have around. And he listens. He trains hard and puts in the work.’

“Jay Jack, who is his [Gardner’s] head coach knows CJ decently well,” Chris explained. “CJ has gone down there, we used to cross-train with The Academy often.”

“Gardner’s coming in prepared—there’s no doubt about it,” Young continued. “And Jay, knowing CJ, knows his strengths, he’s rolled with him a couple of times—he knows CJ. So, we had to be really creative in how we’re going to approach this fight. And we’ll see if CJ can execute. I think if CJ executes the plan, I think he walks away with the win.”

Despite the tall order to make sure that all of his fighters are warmed-up, cued up, and ready to compete at their full potential by the time the cage door closes behind them and their names are called on fight night is nothing new for Chris Young. He’s been doing this for years and, ultimately, he lives for this stuff.

“It’s just good, good storytelling, is really what it is,” Young concluded. “That’s what the fights are all about. We go to see the story unfold. With this many fights [on this card] there’s a lot of stories playing out.”

NEF’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 37: SUB ZERO,” will take place this Friday, February 1, 2019 at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine with a bell time of 8 pm. Tickets are sold out, but fans can watch the live stream of the event at www.Youtube.com/NEFMMA.

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.