The global pandemic may have put a damper on MMA in the region for more than a year, but the sport has exploded with activity since this summer, and that's no more evident than what we have on tap in the region over the next few weeks.
Beginning this Friday (10/29) and running through the following Sunday (11/7), there will be 5 regional MMA events in New England, giving fans plenty of opportunity to see some young up and comers in action, as well as some long-time staples in the region. NEMMA will be putting on some serious mileage over the coming weeks, but this is the shit we love to do! Let us wet your pallet with what to expect over the coming weeks in the region.
Combat Zone 74
Friday October 29th
The action pops off with Calvin Kattar's Combat Zone getting back into the swing of things after a 22 month layoff due to the covid pandemic. This will be the 74th installment that the oldest promotion in New England will be rolling out, and it will be held at their home base at the DoubleTree hotel in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.
As of the release of this article there are 8 MMA fights, 6 kickboxing bouts, and 3 jiu-jitsu matches on tap for the night. Tom Pagliarulo (2-0) has posted on social media that he'll be fighting, but we haven't been able to confirm who his opponent is going to be at this point. The night will be highlighted by the Pagliarulo bout, but Nick Fiore (2-0) will also be showcased, as he takes on Jerome Mickle (3-8) in a 165 lb pro MMA bout.
In what looks to be a great fight on paper, undefeated Spencer Payne (3-0) will take on Carlton Charles (3-2) in an amateur middleweight championship contest. Payne is currently the #1 ranked ammy middleweight in New England, while Charles currently holds down the 6th slot. This will surely be a fun one to watch.
There is another awesome amateur middleweight matchup on the card as well, as #2 ranked Jideofor Ojukwu (2-1) will take on 3rd ranked Jeff Reynolds (2-1). Good chance that the winner of this clash will be taking on the winner of the Payne/Charles bout.
You can check out the full fight card HERE
NEF 45: Uprising
Friday November 5th
Matt Peterson and Nick DiSalvo will be rolling into to Aura Nightclub in Portland's Old Port on a Friday night once again. NEF 45 will be headlined by stallwart of the promotion; Josh "Hook On" Harvey (7-1-1). The Maine native will be taking on Aguilando Brandao (9-8) with the NEF featherweight belt on the line.
Former NEF amateur champion, Zac "Rocky" Richard (6-2 AM) will be making his pro debut against Carl Langston (0-5) in a 140 pound tilt. Richard stopped by The Room Podcast and talked about his recent gym change, and what to expect from him in his professional career.
One fight that I have circled on the card is a pro welterweight scrap the should be highly entertaining, as it presents two different styles from two very talented 170 pounders in the region. Portland's Mark "Pockets" Gardner (1-2) will be taking on an uber experienced, and very talented, Nick "JC" Alley (7-4) from New Hampshire. Gardner will most likely want to get this fight to the mat and utilize is grappling advantage, while Alley will want to keep this fight standing and trade on the feet. This will be a high-level regional welterweight clash that has fight of the night written all over it. Make sure you're not making a beer run when this fight pops off.
NEF 45 will also feature the return of the mythical Jon Deupree (2-0 AM). The co-owner of Recon MMA in Westbrook, Maine, Deupree is a decorated collegiate wrestler who hasn't competed inside a MMA cage in nearly 5 years (although he did have a Muay Thai bout back in 2019). Deupree will be making his professional debut in a welterweight bout, as he takes on the busiest man in New England MMA; Matt "Ken Doll" Denning (5-11). Many eyes will be on Deupree, as many consider him one of the best kept secrets in region that has potential to compete at the highest-levels of the sport.
NEF 45 is invading Portland with 20 fights on tap, and you can check out the full fight card, as well as interviews with with a few of the fighters HERE.
Cage Titans 50
Saturday November 6th
In a truly historic event, Cage Titans will be putting on their 50th event at their home base, and the best venue in regional MMA, of Plymouth Memorial Hall. Mike Polvere will be celebrating this event by putting on a day-night double header with 23 total fights combined between both cards. Cage Titans 50 will pop off with a noon time start with an all amateur card except for the pro main event of Zach Disabatino (7-2) vs. Chance Beck (5-1).
2 other bouts that hold some serious significance on the day card have some gold at stake. Undefeated Jack Congdon (3-0) will take on Steve Foley (1-1) in an amateur welterweight clash that will crown the new Cage Titans 170 lb champ. A 2nd championship bout will put the Cage Titans amateur lightweight strap at stake as #1 ranked Mo Kinani (8-1) will take on Nuridiin Abrar (3-1) in what is almost guaranteed to be a banger of a scrap.
The night card will will tip off at 7:30 and will be highlighted by an awesome welterweight clash pitting Marty Navis (5-0) against the surging Billy Goff (4-2) in a bout that will crown a new Cage Titans welterweight champion. You'll also see many of the Cage Titans regulars on this card. Peter Barrett, Jeff Joy, Don Shainis, Joe Penafiel, and Connor Matthews will all be making appearances on the pro night card in Plymouth.
You can check out the full fight card, as well as interviews with many of the fighters HERE.
Sunday November 7th
Rounding out the barrage of events will be CES' 65th installment of violence. The Rhode Island based promotion will be setting up shop in their backyard, and they've put together a high-level all pro card that has a number of big names littered throughout.
In the main event, Regiment Training Center's Yorgan DeCastro (6-3) will be fighting back in the region after a 4 fight stint with the UFC. After dropping his last 3 fights with the organization, DeCastro will find himself right back on UFC FightPass and headlining the card for one of most prominent regional promotions in the country. He'll be taking on Danyelle Williams (8-6) in a heavyweight scrap that is almost guaranteed to not go to the judges' scorecards.
In the co-main event, CES will be featuring one of the best featherweights not signed to the UFC or Bellator in the world, as Andre Harrison (21-2-1) will be making the trek to New England to take on LFA alum Mauro Chaulet (14-7).
CES was also able to get their biggest ticket draw on the card as well. John Gotti III (5-1) always rolls into town with an entourage, and he'll be making his return to the CES cage coming off the first loss of his career. Gotti dropped a unanimous decision to the aforementioned Nick Alley a little over a year ago at CES 61. We'll find out on Sunday if Gotti used this time away to sure up some holes in his game, and take one step closer to the Contender Series. Also featured on the card will be CES regulars Ashiek Ajim, John Douma, Nate Ghareeb, Pat MaCrohan, and Tim Flores.
There will be an early start time for this unique Sunday card. Make sure you tune into UFC FightPass at 4:00 to watch the CES action from Providence, Rhode Island.
You can check out the full fight card and interviews with the fighters HERE.
*AMMO Fight League will also be holding a card on 10/30 in West Springfield, Mass, but we have not been given access by the promotion, so we don't have much information on what to expect out of that event.