FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (October 20, 2021) – New England Fights (NEF) returns with its next mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event, “NEF 45: Uprising,” on Friday, November 5, 2021, at Aura in Portland, Maine. NEF has announced that Matt “Ken Doll” Denning (5-10) will meet Jon Deupree (0-0) in a professional welterweight contest.

Matt Denning is a longtime veteran of the NEF cage, having debuted with the promotion as an amateur in the spring of 2013. He will be looking for his first win in Maine since “NEF 29” when he submitted Dom Jones in the first round. Denning has competed in the past for global MMA promotions Bellator and World Series of Fighting. Since his last fight for NEF in 2018, Denning has begun training fighters at his own gym – Denning’s MMA.

“I’m excited to be back to my roots with NEF,” said Denning. “When I retired in 2018, I thought I would never be back. Now, sober, with an amazing family, career and support group, I’m ready to return. People have said that this is too much of a fighter for me and that Jon’s the best in New England. Well, where has he been? Why didn’t he go pro? I’ve been actively fighting since 2014 as a loser-drunk who didn’t have anything to show for his life. I used this sport to get me through the hardest time of my life and for a guy with a losing record, I won every time I fought. I’ve gained experience and valuable heart. Those are two things I don’t think my opponent has and it’s what I’m hoping to use to get me back in the win column. And what’s the worst thing that happens? I lose to ‘the best fighter in New England.’ Thanks again, NEF. I’m excited to be back!”

Jon Deupree will make his long-awaited NEF, and professional, debut in the November 5th fight with Denning. His wrestling career at the University of Southern Maine (USM) was nothing short of legendary. Deupree was a two-time NCAA Northeast regional champion and was ranked as high as number-two nationally his senior year. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Deupree became an assistant coach of the USM wrestling team. He is a co-owner of Recon Fitness based in Westbrook, Maine. Deupree had a perfect career as an amateur in MMA and kickboxing of 3-0 prior to turning pro.

“After taking four years off from competing, I’m excited to compete again against a game opponent,” said Deupree. “The last two years, I have been fortunate to train with the best in the world, the New England Cartel, as well as my teammates and coaches at Recon. I can’t wait to showcase my skills November 5th.”

“NEF 45: Uprising” takes place on Friday, November 5, 2021, at Aura in Portland, Maine. Doors open at 6 pm with first fight at 7 pm. Tickets are on sale now at

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.