BANGOR, Maine — The general popularity of mixed martial arts, a heavy dose of local talent and the unique perspective of staging a show along the Bangor waterfront have promoters optimistic that fans will turn out in significant numbers for Friday’s “Nations Collide: Canadian Invasion” mixed martial arts show.
“We’re pleased with it so far,” said New England Fights co-owner Matt Peterson of early ticket sales. “We always are looking for that last-minute push, but having [Waterfront Concerts President] Alex [Gray] on board with all his extensive connections has moved us into markets that we weren’t really able to reach before.”
“Nations Collide: Canadian Invasion” advertisements were featured prominently during the UFC 162 undercard televised on the FX television network last Saturday night, and the Waterfront Concerts website has provided marketing access to potential ticket buyers familiar with coming to the venue for summertime concerts.
Tickets for the Bangor NEF card start at $27.75.
“We’ve got an affordable ticket price,” said Peterson. “The tickets are just a little bit higher than what we’ve established for our shows in Lewiston, but the total experience should be unlike any other show in New England.”
Gray said ticket sales spiked shortly after the full card was announced in mid-June, with another surge in recent days.
“We had a nice flurry over the weekend even with the weather as warm as it was,” he said.
Gray also believes there will be a significant walk-up crowd on the night of the fights, citing the “affordability of lawn tickets that essentially are general admission.”
The gates open at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
Public invited to weigh-ins
Fans will get their first chance to see the participants in “Nations Collide: Canadian Invasion” on Thursday, as the official weigh-ins are scheduled for 4 p.m. at My Fork Restaurant and Sports Lounge, 268 Odlin Road in Bangor.
Among the 30 fighters weighing in for the seven pro bouts and eight amateur contests on the card are eight combatants from Marcus Davis’ Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer and five from Young’s MMA in Bangor.
Representing Young’s MMA will be professionals Wood, “The” Ryan Sanders, Bruce Boyington and Damon Owens and amateur Zak Adams.
The Team Irish contingent features Jon Lemke, who will be fighting Matt DesRoches of Wulfrun MMA in Prince Edward Island in the co-main event, along with fellow professional Andrew Hughes and amateurs Scott Lavoie, Steve Erland, Joel Adams, Jeremy Tyler, Charlie Stambach and Stephen Desjardins.
Boetsch suffers setback
Lincolnville native Tim Boetsch suffered a second straight setback on the Ultimate Fighting Championship circuit Saturday night, losing a three-round unanimous decision to Californian Mark Munoz in a battle of ranked middleweights during UFC 162 in Las Vegas.
Munoz (13-3) was a 30-26, 30-27 and 29-28 winner on the three judges’ scorecards.
The first round was judged as the closest of the three, with 10th-rated Boetsch scoring two early takedowns of the eighth-rated Munoz, a 2001 NCAA Division I wrestling champion while at Oklahoma State.
But Munoz gained control in the second round with some devastating body shots and takedowns and extended that advantage over the final five-minute period.
The loss was the second straight for Boetsch (16-6) after winning his first four fights in the middleweight (185-pound) division. The former four-time wrestling state champion from the former Camden-Rockport High School in Rockport also lost via third-round TKO to Costa Philippou in Las Vegas last December.