LEWISTON, Maine — A battle for the New England Fights Maine light heavyweight championship will headline the Fight Night VI mixed martial arts card scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
The 19-bout card was approved Thursday by the Combat Sports Authority of Maine.
Doors will open to the public at 5 p.m. with the first bout set to begin at 6 p.m.
The main event will match Rumford’s Jesse Peterson against Greg Rebello of Providence, R.I., to crown NEF’s first 205-pound champion.
Peterson (7-2-1) already holds the NEF Maine middleweight (185-pound) crown after coming from behind to score a submission victory over Cody Lightfoot of Somersworth, N.H., at Fight Night IV on Sept. 8 in Lewiston. Peterson is ranked eighth among pro middleweights in the Northeast.
Rebello (14-4) is an eight-year MMA veteran who has competed in the upperechelon Bellator promotion as well as in the preliminary round of the UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.
Rebello is coming off a first-round submission victory over Chris Guillen on Oct. 6 in Providence and currently is ranked third among pro light heavyweights in the Northeast.
“This fight is a main event anywhere in New England on any night of the week,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo.
Among the other pro bouts on the card, “The” Ryan Sanders of Brewer and Young’s MMA in Bangor, who has fought in all five previous Fight Night cards, will keep that streak alive in a welterweight (170-pound) clash with promising Cody “Mr. Anderson” Anderson of Team Triumph in Nashua, N.H. The 19-year-old Anderson won his pro debut in November after going 5-0 as an amateur.
Sanders, who suffered a last-second loss to Augusta’s Jarod Lawton at Fight Night V in November, brings a 4-3 professional record into the bout.
Also slated to return for his sixth Fight Night bout is John “First Class” Raio of Topsham, who will take on Antony Woodman in a 150-pound battle. Raio went 4-0 as an amateur last year before losing his pro debut in November to highly regarded Ray “All Business” Wood. Woodman brings a 2-6 record into the bout.
“There’s so much talent right here in Maine,” said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “It’s been a pleasure to work with the teams that have really helped the sport take shape here. This card is just filled with talent from those teams. In addition, we have several fighters on this card with Maine roots that have moved on to train in other parts of the country.”
Other pro bouts have Ryan Cowette (0-1) against John Downey (2-9) at 185 pounds; Josh Bellows (1-1) against Mike Sullivan (0-0) at 170; Josh Parker (3-5) against Amos Collins (1-2) at 150; Ryan Hodge (4-6) against Luc Bondole (1-0) at 185; and Ernie Ornelas (0-2) against Kody Nordby (1-0) at 125 pounds.
Fight Night VI will mark the return of Maine native Brandon Bushaw (4-2) to the NEF cage in one of 11 scheduled amateur bouts. Born in Lincoln, Bushaw was an all-state and all-conference wrestler at Westbrook High School who went on to become a 2011 inductee into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame.
Bushaw now lives and trains in South Carolina, but he returned to Maine for Fight Night V in November and earned a victory by decision over Nick Spencer.
Bushaw is set to take on Cody Sargent (1-1) at Fight Night VI.
Another scheduled amateur bout is a women’s battle at 110 pounds between Angela Theriault of Oxford Hills Karate and Erin Cooney of South Shore Sportfighting and Fitness of Norwell, Ma. Both fighters are making their debuts.
Other amateur bouts have John Parker (0-1) against Conner Murphy (0-0) at 125 pounds; Nick Spencer (2-2) against Jay Perrin (1-1) and Steve Sobel (1-1) against James Doherty (0-0), both at 135; Vovka Clay (3-2) against Damon Owens (3-4) at 145; Jesse Erickson (3-2) against Isaiah Gomez (3-0) at 155; Tollison Lewis (2-3) against John Healey (2-3) at 165; Crowsneck Boutin (1-2) against Mike Robinson (1-2) at 195; Jason Gilbert (0-0) against Brandon Gibbs (0-0) at 205; and Aaron Shoaf (0-0) against Nate Comeau (0-0) at 265 pounds.
Young’s MMA stable recognized
Young’s MMA of Bangor received plenty of recognition in NortheastMMA.net’s recent 2012 year-end awards, being cited in four categories in the fan voting.
Ray “All Business” Wood won two awards, as amateur fighter of the year and for his role in the fight of the year.
Wood went 2-1 in amateur bouts in 2012 before turning pro in November with a victory over John “First Class” Raio at Fight Night V in Lewiston.
Wood defeated New Yorker Ahsan Abdullah by first-round technical knockout at Fight Night I in Lewiston on Feb. 11, then moved up from his regular 145-pound weight class and lost a unanimous decision to another New Yorker, Shane Manley, at Fight Night II in Biddeford on April 14.
Wood then won the NortheastMMA.net fight of the year with a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Soaphanarith “Soap” Am in a battle of two of the top 145-pound amateurs in the region at Derry, N.H., on Oct. 12.
The 23-year-old Wood, ranked third in the division, used the wrestling skills he honed while at Bucksport High School to overpower the top-ranked Am, who had entered the bout with a 4-0 record.
Wood finished his amateur career with a 5-1 record, then went on to defeat Raio by technical knockout at 4:22 of the second round of their mutual pro debut in his most recent bout.
Young’s MMA teammate Aaron Lacey of Orono won submission of the year honors, rallying after losing the first two rounds of his amateur debut to win defeat Jared Lanagas with a triangle choke at 54 seconds of the third round of their 155-pound bout on the Oct. 12 card at Derry, N.H.
And knockout of the year honors went to Brewer’s Bruce Boyington, whose stunning 10-second stoppage of Keegan Hornstra with a spinning back kick at Fight Night III at Lewiston on June 16 gained national attention on the “Inside MMA” television program and went viral on the Internet with more than a quarter-million views.