LEWISTON, Maine — If you blinked or sneezed, you missed a pair of savage pro fights where the blows and blood flowed freely before a raucous crowd of around 3,000 during New England Fights’ Fight Night XII at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday night.
The headlining fight between Marcus Davis of Bangor and Ryan Sanders of Brewer turned out to be a shocker when the fight was called after the match doctor looked over Davis’ eye and stopped the fight due to an injury after the first round.
“I thought it was a shocker,” said Sanders, a former student at Davis’ gym. “Marcus has put MMA on the map.”
Sanders thought several of his key blows made the difference in his victory Saturday night.
Mike Zichelle and Jesse Peterson clobbered each other in a brutal first round that featured key blows to the head.
Zichelle clobbered Peterson in the second round with a sharp hook and then let loose a barrage of punches on a dazed Peterson when the official called the fight and Zichelle won by TKO stoppage.
“He was strong and he was able to withstand my chokes,” Peterson said. “To be honest, he was real fast.”
All looked lost when Bruce Boyington unloaded blow after blow on John Raio’s head. But Raio executed a rear-naked choke, and the referee stopped the fight and Raio was declared the winner 4:36 into the first round.
“I thought everything was going great,” Boyington said.
John Ortolani of Massachusetts and Jarod Lawton, who hails from Auburn, pummeled each other in the opening round and the melee continued into the second.
A series of kicks and hard slams made for a grueling and sometimes gruesome fight. Lawton dispatched Ortolani in the second round after unleashing a flurry of punches to Ortolani’s head after he was sprawled on the floor. The official stopped the fight and Lawton was declared the winner. Ortolani didn’t move for a few moments before he got to his feet.
Auburn’s Jesse Erickson kept a strong Tollison Lewis of Windham at bay and then finished off Lewis with a triangular choke 4:56 into the opening round to win a pro lightweight bout.
Ryan Cowette didn’t waste anytime taking out Dave Claroni in the first pro bout of the night. Cowette got the upper hand and would not allow Claroni off the floor as Cowette hammered away at Claroni’s head.
The official stopped the fight 1:21 into the first round and Cowette was declared the winner.
After a series of missed jabs and kicks, Trevor Hebert of Rumford tackled Alex Clark of Auburn late in the first round, and both fighters got tangled up on the fence in the featured amateur fight Saturday night.
The two fighters engaged in all out warfare in the second round. Hebert and Clark threw each other around the ring like worn-out pillows and each ended up a bloody mess.
The fighters wouldn’t quit in the third. They got tangled up again for most of the round before the horn blew. Clark, who appeared injured, had trouble getting up off the floor before he was declared the winner, beating Hebert, 29-28 in the 150-pound amateur class.
Ryan Daley and John Crafts of Lisbon wasted no time knocking each other around in the ring. In the first round. Daley tagged Crafts and the two fighters took it to the floor to settle their differences. In Round 2, the fighters went to a ground game on the floor. Crafts used an arm bar before the referee called the fight with 1:29 left in the round, declaring Crafts the winner.
Dan Thayer of Portland and Jason Carpenter of Syracuse, N.Y., slapped each other around as soon as the bell rang in the first round of the 120-pound bout. They were relentless as they spilled onto the floor, each hammering away at each other before bouncing of the floor.
The second round was a slugfest, with both fighters feeling the impact of their swift punches. Thayer and Carpenter were dazed when the horn sounded.
Carpenter dropped Thayer with hard, head-on kick in the third round. A split decision was called, with Carpenter being declared the champion.
When Caleb Costello and Matt Denning of Lewiston went head to head, it wasn’t clear who would come out on top in the first round. Denning’s strength was evident when he drove Costello to the floor. Denning demonstrated his power again in the second round eventually dispatched Costello with a triangle choke to win the match.
In the 185-pound division, Dan Connaughton used his knees and fists on feisty Mike Vangelist of Portland in the first round.
Vangelist stood his ground and was the aggressor in the second round, dropping Connaughton hard to the floor and pounding away with his fists on Connaughton’s exposed head in the second round. Vangelist’s relentless attack won him the match in the second round with a choke.
Stephen Desjardins of Bangor slammed Dustin Veinott of Auburn in the first round of a phantom-weight bout. There were more jabs and a bunch of attempted chokeholds before heading for a third round. But Desjardins came out on top and got the win by unanimous decision.
A featherweight bout between Joshua Greenway and Aaron Lacy ended at 2:01 in the first round after Lacy of Bangor tackled Greenway, never let him up and pounded on his head before the official called the fight in Lacy’s favor.
Another featherweight bout featured Charlie Stamback and Carl Langston, who charged Stamback, tagged him and both fighters ended up grappling on the floor in the second round. Stamback brought down Langston with another tackle as Stamback pounded away on Langston’s head. Stambach walked away with the victory.
Crowsneck Boulin won by unanimous decision after dominating a three-round fight using his agility and relentless pursuit of Brandon Gibbs.
It was like two freights colliding with each other when Devon Newell and Kevin Smith squared off in a 285-pound bout. Smith hammered away at Newell and never a took a breather. There was no feeling-out process when these two fighters traded blows.
The official called the fight when Smith unleashed a barrage of blows in the third round, leaving Newell bloodied but still standing. Smith won by guillotine.
Jeremy Tyler won the final amateur bout, beating Corey Hinkley with a tap-out.