FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (July 31, 2022) – A parade of knockouts and chokes at an outdoor venue left vanquished fighters uncertain if they were seeing stars or looking up at them during New England Fights’ summer showcase Saturday night.

After the opening bout of the evening was settled by unanimous decision, the final 15 fights of NEF 48: “Heatwave” wrapped up in short order at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine.

Twelve of those scraps saw first-round stoppages, including a resounding knockout by professional heavyweight Ras Hylton and a rear naked choke in amateur light heavyweight Jared Turcotte’s debut that were sealed in mere seconds.

Hylton (8-6), coming off a pair of bouts with Bellator, made a triumphant return to the NEF hexagon and spoiled Cody Lightfoot’s swan song after an eight-year layoff with a 13-second blitzkrieg.

Currently a top-100 heavyweight in the sport, hometown favorite Hylton got the better of an early exchange and briefly separated Lightfoot, a New Hampshire police officer, from his senses. Lightfoot rapidly rose to his feet and protested the stoppage, but the damage had been done.

Widely known in his home state for his exploits as a football running back at Lewiston High School and the University of Maine more than a decade ago, Turcotte wasted no time establishing himself as a 30-something newcomer to the cage.Turcotte, representing Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, choked out Seth Godfrey in 25 seconds.

Kyle Hill and David Burke, each representing Nostos MMA of Somersworth, New Hampshire, continued their meteoric rise with a pair of impressive victories.

In the only title fight of the evening, Hill (3-0) had the vacant NEF amateur welterweight title belt wrapped around his waist by his coach, UFC and Bellator veteran Devin Powell, after a third-round technical knockout of Curtis Ouellette.

Hill gained control midway through the second round and unleashed a barrage of big shots. He maintained that advantage in the third stanza, and after a visibly fatigued Ouellette whiffed on an attempt to turn the tide, Hill hastened the finish with a furious ground-and-pound flurry.

Burke (2-0), looking for a tougher test after his own quick knockout in a May debut, battered and bloodied Ryan Fredette in a border battle of former state champion wrestlers.

Fredette, a first-timer in the cage after winning a Maine state title all four years of high school, failed in numerous attempts to take New Hampshire’s Burke to the canvas and absorbed a boatload of punishment as a result. The merciful conclusion came with 13 seconds remaining in the opening chapter.

New York’s Jake Hixenbaugh needed that same time frame to dispatch Nathaniel Grimard in the 155-pound professional main event. Hixenbaugh used his reach to deliver some early punishment, then summoned a reversal after Grimard’s best offensive sequence of the round before locking in a guillotine.

Two additional professional scraps saw veterans Matt Denning and Mark Gardner gain redemption after first-round losses on the most recent NEF card.

Denning required a mere 20 seconds to lock in a rear naked choke against Brian Cosco, who was making his pro debut. Gardner employed a triangle to finish Justin Burrill.

Another notable stoppage in the amateur ranks was a triumphant career launch from the latest in a long line of wrestlers from the cradle of champions at Rumford, Maine’s Mountain Valley High School.

Evrit Roy calmly gained side control after an early outburst from his 145-pound opponent, Will Smith, and closed the deal with an arm triangle midway through the opening chapter.

In the lone women’s clash on the card, Maria Clinton made quick work of B.J. Garceau in a 115-pound amateur bout. Clinton took command with a knee to the midsection before transitioning to a standing guillotine at the 39-second mark.

Key Baltazar had the distinction of being the only fighter to benefit from the judges’ good graces as the card commenced in the coastal twilight.

Baltazar pinned Hannon Sanford to the cage and gained the edge at the end of round one, opened a cut in the second stanza and shot for a takedown late in the third to put the wraps on a convincing victory.

Other amateur winners were Nate Dorr, Bobby Kelley, Jonas Ryerson, Alex Morris and Ed Davis.

Dorr kept journeyman Clifford Redman winless in a 13-fight career with a dazzling combination late in the first round.

Ryerson’s 10-second knockout of John Marcley was the quickest on a night heavy with such don’t-blink theatrics.

Kelley dodged an early kick and twice took Zach Faulkner to the canvas before administering a Kimura to halt the proceedings.

Morris put Quinn Poirier on the business end of heavy strikes from start to finish in their encounter. Davis took out Joe Peters via strikes in one of the few fights to see a second round.

The card was complete in a little more than two hours.

NEF 49 is set for Saturday, September 9 and will be the organization’s long-awaited return to Bangor, Maine. A bout involving fan favorite Glory Watson of nearby Brewer already has been announced as one of the main attractions. For more information, go to  Tickets are available now at