LEWISTON, Maine — One title bout and a bevy of local fighters will play prominent roles in the Fight Night V mixed martial arts card slated for Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
The card — which includes five professional bouts and 16 amateur fights — was announced Thursday by the New England Fights promotional group after being approved by the Combat Sports Authority of Maine.
Headlining the 5 p.m. card will be a bout between Portland’s Paul Gorman (9-9) against Adam Toussaint (5-4) of North Berwick to crown the inaugural Maine State MMA bantamweight (135-pound) champion.
Gorman had been slated to take on veteran Pedro Gonzalez at Fight Night IV in September only to have his opponent back out hours before weigh-ins the day before the fight because Gonzalez couldn’t make weight.
“It’s been a rough few months with a couple of fights falling apart for me, but I feel good about this one and am more motivated than ever to get in there with Toussaint in November,” said Gorman. “It’s an honor to have a chance to fight for Maine’s first bantamweight championship and what better way than to have two Mainers battle it out in front of a hometown crowd.”
Toussaint is undefeated in 2012 thus far, first defeating Chris Rowley at Fight Night I in February and more recently stopping Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell in July during a match in which Toussaint was considered the underdog.
“Years of sacrifice and hard work have gotten me to this point. I look forward to fighting a skilled veteran in Paul Gorman,” Toussaint said.
That bout was to be one of two championship fights on the card, but a lightweight (155-pound) title bout between Windham native Jamie Harrison and undefeated New Yorker Dez Green fell through because Harrison suffered an injury in training. The fight may be rescheduled early next year.
Other scheduled pro bouts will include three fighters from Young’s MMA in Bangor: Bruce Boyington, “The” Ryan Sanders and Ray “All Business” Wood.
Wood moved to 5-1 as an amateur after scoring a unanimous decision over Sophanarith “Soap” Am in Derry, N.H., earlier this month and will make his pro debut against John “First Class” Raio of Topsham in a featherweight (145-pound) bout.
Raio, also making his pro debut, has won amateur matches on each of the four previous Fight Night cards held this year.
The 4-2 Sanders, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Gil de Freitas in a battle for the Maine State welterweight title at Fight Night IV, will take on Brazilian ju-jitsu standout Jarod Lawton in a 170-pound bout.
“There’s no question Ryan and I are the best 170-pound fighters from Maine,” said Lawton, 1-1 as a pro. “We are both coming off of losses and have a lot to prove. We match up really well and we are similar fighters. Ryan is very tough, but I believe my technical ability and power will prove dominant in this fight.”
Boyington (3-4) will face John Ortolani (6-6) in a lightweight bout. Ortolani is a professional lacrosse player currently with the Rochester Rattlers, but he formerly played with the 2011 Major League Lacrosse champion Boston Cannons.
“[Boyington] is a dangerous fighter with one of the best knockout kicks I have ever seen at any level,” said Ortolani.
Jon Lemke of the Brewer-based Team Irish, who made a successful pro debut at Fight Night IV with a unanimous decision over Boston’s Nate Oses, will return to the cage in a lightweight battle against Ashan Abdulla (1-1) of Team Bombsquad in Ithaca, N.Y.
Abdulla suffered a first-round technical knockout loss on strikes to Wood in an amateur bout at Fight Night I in February but this will be his fifth fight since then, with two amateur victories before he turned pro in August.
Among the amateur fighters on the Fight Night V card are five representing Team Irish and two from Young’s MMA.
Team Irish bouts will have Tommy Balzano (3-1) against Elias Leland (1-1) of The Academy and Steve Sobel (1-0) against Eric Austin (1-0) of the Mountain Valley Wrestling Club, both at 135 pounds; Will McCall (1-0) against Steven Bang (0-0) of Central Maine Brazilian Ju-Jitsu at 155 pounds; Dave Norton (0-0) against Chris Ouellette (0-0) of Havoc and Andrew Tripp (2-0) against Brian Sparrow (3-0) of Pro Elite, both at 170 pounds.
Drew Waltz (1-1) of Young’s MMA will take on Jesse Erickson (2-1) of CMBJJ in a 155-pound bout while teammate Kevin Smith will make his amateur debut in a heavyweight clash against Brando Newman (0-2) of Team United Muay Lao.
Other scheduled amateur bouts have Dover-Foxcroft native Derek Shorey (2-5) against Cody Sargent (0-1) at 135 pounds, Lubec’s Crowsneck Boutin (0-2) against Tony Wells (0-1) at 195 pounds, Ben Raven (0-0) of the Sipayik Boxing Club against Brent “Frosty” Dillingham (3-0) of Lewiston at 205 pounds; John Parker (0-1) against Ken Foster (0-1) at 125 pounds, Nick Spencer (2-1) against Brandon Bushaw (2-2) at 135 pounds, Shawn Goodrich (0-0) against Edward Milville (0-0) at 145 pounds, Rob Vanadastine (0-0) against Nate Charles (0-4) at 155 pounds and Tollison Lewis (2-2) against Tim Tucker (0-2) at 165 pounds.
Buck “Knuckles” Pineau (4-2) also is scheduled for the card, but his opponent has yet to be determined.