FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bangor, Maine (September 8, 2019) – New England Fights (NEF) debuted at the Collins Center for the Arts on the UMaine campus in Orono, Maine on Saturday night. A capacity crowd of more than 1400 bore witness to one of the most brutal, violent and awe-inspiring events in the promotion’s near-eight-year history at “NEF 40: School of Hard Knocks.”
In the main event of the evening, top New England prospect, and reigning NEF Professional Featherweight Champion, Josh “Hook On” Harvey remained undefeated when he submitted Dom “Domnation” Jones (2-2) with an Americana in the first round. Jones stepped in to take the fight on short notice when Harvey’s original opponent, Ricky Dexter, could not obtain medical clearance to compete. Harvey improved his professional record to 7-0-1.
The co-main event produced one of the most shocking and memorable moments ever in the NEF cage as the pro-debuting Chris Sarro (1-0) knocked veteran Ras “Rasquatch” Hylton (4-3) out cold with a devastating overhand right that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Sarro is the 2019 Northern New England Golden Gloves champion in the superheavyweight boxing division. Never having competed in MMA prior to “NEF 40,” Sarro came in as the underdog against the 6’6” Hylton. The finish will undoubtedly be in the running for “Knockout of the Year” honors in December.
On the amateur portion of the card, Tom “The Phenom” Pagliarulo (4-1) successfully defended his NEF Amateur Featherweight Title against Jimmy Jackson (4-4). The fight was stopped by the referee on advice from ringside medical staff prior to the start of round two when the blood flow from Jackson’s nose could not be stopped. In Pagliarulo’s corner for the fight was UFC star Rob Font (16-4). Font is currently ranked as the number-eleven challenger to Henry Cejudo’s (14-2) UFC Bantamweight Title.
Glory “The Fury” Watson (6-0), reigning NEF Amateur Women’s Flyweight Champion, made her debut in the 115-pound strawweight division with a technical knockout victory over Toronto, Canada’s Lin MacMillan (0-2) in the first round. Watson remarked after the bout that she planned to remain in the strawweight division as she looks to wrap up the amateur portion of her career and turn pro in the near future.
Zac “Rocky” Richard (4-2-1) got back on the winning track with a first-round knockout of Erik Tainter (0-2). Tainter had an armbar applied which Richard defended by lifting Tainter into the air and slamming him on the back of his head on the mat. Tainter had to receive several minutes of medical attention after the bout as the ringside medical team stabilized his neck as a precaution.
Nate “The Mule” White (3-0) remained undefeated in his amateur career with a technical knockout win over Ryan Savage (0-2) in a lightweight bout that went deep into the third round. White, who took the fight on just six days’ notice, was both tazed and pepper-sprayed just hours before the fight as part of National Guard training.
“Magic” Mike Murray (2-0) picked up the second win of his amateur career with a first-round submission of Jordan Crim (1-1). After the bout, Mike Murray called out Nate White during his post-fight interview.
In a physical contest, Devin Corson (3-1) defeated Jacob Deppmeyer (1-2-1). Many in attendance considered it the “fight of the night.” Deppmeyer worked his striking for much of the fight while Corson scored a series of highlight-reel slams that have become his trademark.
Mike “Boogaloo” Bezanson (3-0) handed Jason Landry (2-1) the first loss of his amateur career. The much-anticipated fight turned into a wild slugfest immediately at the sound of the opening bell. The referee called a halt to the action after Bezanson knocked Landry to the mat with a combination. Following the fight, Landry’s cornermen vehemently protested what they felt was an early stoppage.
NEF also announced its return to Aura in Portland, Maine on November 9, 2019 with the fight promotion’s next event, “NEF 41: COLLISION COURSE.” One fight for the event was already announced. “Killa” Kam Arnold (5-1) is scheduled to defend the NEF Amateur Bantamweight Title against Walt Shea (3-1).
The full results from Orono, Maine:
Josh Harvey def. Dom Jones via Americana submission, round 1
Chris Sarro def. Ras Hylton via knockout, round 1
Tom Pagliarulo def. Jimmy Jackson via technical knockout, round 2
Devin Corson def. Jacob Deppmeyer via unanimous decision
Zac Richard def. Erik Tainter via knockout, round 1
Caleb Austin def. Cory Richards via technical knockout, round 1
Steve Desjardins def. Dillon Henry via verbal submission, round 1
Mike Bezanson def. Jason Landry via technical knockout, round 1
Ben Murtiff def. Henry Jeffs via technical knockout, round 1
Taylor Bartlett def. Randall Hathorn via technical knockout, round 1
Nate White def. Ryan Savage via technical knockout, round 3
Glory Watson def. Lin MacMillan via technical knockout, round 1
Mike Murray def. Jordan Crim via rear-naked choke submission, round 1
Justin Philbrook def. Dylan Williams via unanimous decision
Nathaniel Grimard def. Justin Kangas via armbar submission, round 1
New England Fights’ next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 41: COLLISION COURSE,” will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Aura in Portland, Maine. Tickets are on sale now at www.auramaine.com.
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.