LEWISTON, Maine — The Classic Entertainment & Sports and New England Fights mixed martial arts co-promotion scheduled for Nov. 4 in Lewiston has been canceled due to matchmaking issues, executives from both companies said Monday.
With several fighters pulling out of the main portion of the card to be broadcast by AXS-TV, others turning down fights offered by matchmakers and with the 30-day deadline to submit the fight card to the Combat Sports Authority of Maine for approval looming Tuesday, the two companies called the event off.
“We are disappointed that this event didn’t materialize as planned,” CES MMA chief operating officer Jimmy Burchfield Jr. said in a news release. “But we are optimistic that we can make it happen in 2017.”
Details will follow for the revised CES 39, now scheduled for Nov. 4 at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
The two New England MMA promotions announced their first collaborative effort in mid-September. The deal was to allow the Providence, Rhode Island-based CES to expand its footprint into northernmost New England while providing both NEF and some of its fighters a chance to compete in front a global audience through CES’ relationship with AXS-TV’s
Friday night mixed martial arts programming.
“It’s unfortunate, but we had no other option,” said NEF co-owner promoter Nick DiSalvo. “When one door closes, another opens.”
NEF has rescheduled its next show, “NEF 26,” for Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. That card will feature NEF combatants who already had been scheduled to compete on Nov. 4 plus additional fighters.
NEF officials chose to push the event date back two weeks in order to give new fighters added to the card more time to prepare. In addition, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first show at Madison Square Garden since the legalization of pro MMA in New York state earlier this year, “UFC 205,” is scheduled for Nov. 12.
“Once we made the mutual decision to cancel the event,” said NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson, “I got on the phone and immediately started making calls. Within hours we had already assembled a spectacular card that we’ll be sharing with fans this week.”
Doors for the Nov. 19 show will open at 6 p.m. with first fight at 7.
Those who have purchased tickets for the Nov. 4 show through the Colisee box office may either secure a full refund or use their tickets for the Nov. 19 card. Fans will have until 4 p.m. Friday to call the box office at 783-2009, ext. 525, to request a full refund.
The box office cannot refund tickets purchased from fighters. Any fans who purchased a ticket from a fighter and would like a refund will have to return their tickets to the fighter for the refund.
Fans who choose to keep their tickets for Nov. 19 do not have to do anything. All tickets printed with the “November 4” date will be honored at the door on Nov. 19.