FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (June 15, 2016) – Fighting anyone, anywhere, anytime and under any circumstances has become Mike Hansen’s calling card with New England Fights.
No surprise, then, that the 30-year-old father of three from Rumford, ME will gladly entertain the idea of a mixed martial arts contest … against an opponent about whom he admittedly knows precious little … on the eve of Father’s Day.
Hansen (4-4) will take on Robert Laroski in a heavyweight clash at “NEF 24: Promised Land” on Saturday, June 18 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
There is no fear of the unknown in a man who has carved out his reputation confronting substantially bigger foes since his days as a state champion wrestler at Mountain Valley High School. During his relatively short time in NEF, Hansen has fought as a middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.
“When I took the fight (at NEF 23 in Massachusetts) against Brendan Battles, people were saying, ‘You’re crazy! He’s going to bust your head!’ I understand why the weight classes exist, and I respect that it’s about safety and all that, but I’ve always felt that a fighter should be ready to fight anybody, no matter what,” Hansen said. “In high school, I would drink two gallons of water and put lead in my uniform just so I could get to the minimum weight for the unlimited class.”
That’s the attitude of a fighter whose skill and talent level far exceed his current record as a professional.
Hansen’s docket includes a stoppage win over former NEF “Fighter of the Year” Crowsneck Boutin. His record also includes TKO losses to Battles and Cody Anderson and a choke-out at the hands of Zach Elkins.
When he reflects upon his unique life story, Hansen, who fought twice for the World Fighting League as a 20-year-old college student, marvels that he ever got back into the cage at all.
“I started the winter of 2004-05. I started training because I had gone from 187 to 242 pounds in a few months. I was seeing stretch marks,” Hansen recalled. “I was pretty upset with myself for allowing that to happen. I started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu two nights a week to get in shape. Then I went home for the summer and ended up with my first fight in August. My friends got me the fight without my coaches knowing about it. They told me it was a good thing I won, or they would have kicked my butt.”
Hansen kept a promise to his father to quit the sport after a knockout loss to Alexander Chianurashvili in 2006. He was studying at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, with intentions to enter the medical field.
He was stabbed and attacked with a baseball bat by three men in a case of mistaken identity not long thereafter. “I walked out of the hospital the next day, and all three of them were still in there from the beating I gave them in self-defense,” Hansen said proudly.
That dogged determination served Hansen well in the United States Army, where he studied in the elite Combatives program.
“They ask you ‘Who wins the fight?’ and the answer is, ‘Whoever’s buddy gets there first to help him clean up.’ That’s what Combatives taught me: How to survive that extra 30 to 60 seconds,” Hansen said. “Work ethic is what it taught me. It helped me grow and do things I might have questioned mentally whether or not I could do. Not many people find that extra little motivation. The Army taught me how to find it and utilize it.”
A few years later, Hansen found that inner fire again. Even as he returned to coaching wrestlers in his hometown, his own physical fitness suffered as work and fatherhood took precedence.
Hansen vividly describes sitting in a bean bag chair, eating snack food, watching TV at 2:11 a.m. when his phone rang. He assumed it was a friend in trouble.
“It was (NEF co-owner) Matt Peterson. Our families grew up maybe 200 yards apart. My high school wrestling coach had called him, unbeknownst to me, to tell him he needed to get me back in the cage,” Hansen said.
Three weeks later and 20 pounds lighter, Hansen dispatched super heavyweight fixture Artie Mullen at “NEF 16: New Blood Rising,” and the comeback was on.
In the 15 months that have followed, Hansen has been instrumental in launching Berserkers MMA and building his reputation as both a fighter and an instructor.
Life is blossoming at home, also. Hansen is the father of two girls, ages 5 and 2, and a boy of four months. His older daughter, Kaydn, often accompanies Dad to the gym at Greater Rumford Community Center. He returns the favor by chaperoning field trips for her kindergarten class.
“She and her friends will be on the playground practicing boxing stances and stuff,” Hansen said. “Her teacher says it’s adorable. Hopefully she is learning to take care of herself so I don’t have to.”
Kaydn’s parents are making plans to take her to her first live NEF show after she turns 6. For now, she is content to watch her Dad’s fights on YouTube.
“If we’re watching TV together,” Hansen said, “we have a thing where I get two shows and then she gets two shows. If I put in a fight tape, she’ll say, ‘Daddy, I know this doesn’t count as one of your shows, because this is your work.’”
The opening bell on June 18 is set for 7 p.m. Tickets for “NEF 24: Promised Land” start at $25 and are available at www.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009, extension 525.
For more information on the events 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.