FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (July 6, 2022) – New England Fights (NEF) returns with its next mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event “NEF 48: Heatwave” on Saturday, July 30, 2022, at the Rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine. The event will be NEF’s first outdoor event since “NEF 8” in 2013. Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional welterweight bout to the card. Mark “Pockets” Gardner (2-3) will meet Justin Burrill (3-3) at a weight of 170 pounds.

Mark Gardner will look to bounce back from a loss to Ryan Sanders (19-9) last May at “NEF 47” in Auburn, Maine. Prior to that matchup, Gardner was coming off the biggest win of his professional career when he downed Nick Alley (7-5) in November 2021 at “NEF 45.” He is a Bellator veteran, having competed at “Bellator 243” against Dalton Rosta (6-0). Gardner represents The Academy based in Portland, Maine where he trains under early MMA pioneers Jay Jack (12-7) and Amanda Buckner (11-5-1).

“It’ll be good to get back in there,” said Gardner. “I don’t know much about Burrill, but I know he comes from a tough gym and I’m expecting a good fight. I can’t wait to get back to it. I’ve been putting in the work and it’ll show July 30th.”

Like Gardner, Burrill will look to get back on the winning track after a loss in recent weeks on a fight card in Massachusetts. It was his first fight back after a near-nine-year absence from the cage. Burrill is a longtime competitor on the New England MMA scene with a pro career dating back to 2007. He represents South Shore Sportfighting (SSSF) of Rockland, Massachusetts.

“I have lurked in the shadows of the local MMA scene since the early 2000’s,” stated Burrill. “I came from a time where guys would be pulled out of the crowd to fight, it didn’t matter who or what weight. Simpler times. It’s my time to leave my mark on the local scene.”

“NEF 48: Heatwave” takes place on July 30, 2022, at the Rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine. Tickets for the event are on sale now at The event will be the promotion’s first in the outdoors since 2013.

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.