FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Orono, Maine (July 31, 2019) – New England Fights (NEF) will debut in Orono on September 7, 2019 at the Collins Center for the Arts with the promotion’s next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 40: School of Hard Knocks.”  Earlier today, NEF announced the professional main event for the fight card.  Josh “Hook On” Harvey (6-0-1) will take on Ricky Dexter (1-0) at a catchweight of 160 pounds.

Until earlier this year, Dexter and Harvey had been teammates at Young’s MMA in Bangor, Maine.  Harvey, the reigning NEF Professional Featherweight Champion, has since left the team and a rift developed between him and Dexter in the following months.

This will not be the first time Harvey and Dexter have met in the cage as adversaries.  Prior to Dexter joining Young’s MMA in 2015, the pair met at “NEF 18” for the vacant NEF Amateur Lightweight Title.  Harvey came out on top in that encounter, handing Dexter the first loss of his MMA career.  Dexter would go on to win the amateur welterweight strap a few months later at “NEF 21,” but the loss to Harvey has always been in the back of his mind.

“I’ve had a bitter taste in my mouth ever since the first time me and Harvey met in the cage four years ago,” said Dexter.  “I look at that fight as me simply choking early on in my career. Bet your ass I’m a different animal and nothing motivates me more than to get my hand raised for this fight. This fight is extra dangerous for Harvey because I’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. My sole purpose in the next five weeks of my life is to derail the Harvey hype train and expose him for what he is. This fall, I’m going back to college and I’ll be majoring in violence.”

Josh Harvey, since leaving Young’s MMA, has represented Vision Quest Muay Thai.  He captured the pro featherweight title at “NEF 37″ earlier this year with a first-round submission of veteran Bill Jones (13-12).  Harvey is considered one of the top prospects on the New England MMA circuit at this time, and many observers feel he could get the call up to the next level of the sport at any moment.

While this fight will be a set up in weight for Harvey, he is eager to prove that his win over Dexter in 2015 was no fluke.  Harvey promises another definitive victory over his ex-teammate on September 7 in Orono.

“Howdy fight fans,” exclaimed Harvey. “Since the first time Dexter and I hooked-on it was some people’s opinion that I’d just caught him early and perhaps the best fighter didn’t win that night. This September, I’m grateful to the NEF who has awarded me this opportunity to prove that in the four-years time that past since him and I tangled, the results will remain the same. Everyone shows that their truest color in the cage is blood red. I’m wishing Rick and anyone else competing a safe and healthy camp. God bless.”

“Nothing beats a bad blood matchup in fight sports, and boy do we have a blood disease set for this show,” said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson.  “Josh and Ricky have trained together for years. They know everything about each other—their habits, their weaknesses. They understand every subtle factor about each other’s style at a level of detail that only comes after years of living in the same gym and sharing countless sparring hours together. Which one will be able to figure out how to capitalize on the deficiencies of the other? Every aspect of this main event is interesting, from the backstory to the setting to the contracted weight to the longterm career implications for both fighters. Good thing the school nurse will be on campus on September 7th because I expect the bio waste to be significant in this bout!”

New England Fights’ next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 40: SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS,” will take place Saturday, September 7, 2019 at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine as the promotion debuts in Orono, Maine.  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.