Fred Lear’s professional mixed martial arts debut came up short as North Carolinian Bryan Bullock scored a second-round stoppage of the Bangor fighter during Saturday night’s NEF 38 show held in front of 1,100 fans at the Aura nightclub in Portland.
Lear, who entered the pro ranks after compiling a 6-2-1 amateur record, controlled much of the first round of the scheduled three-round bantamweight contest but got caught in a guillotine choke while working a takedown late in the second period.
The tapout came at 4:12 of the five-minute period, when Bullock improved his professional record to 2-0.
Among other professional fights on the card, former two-time Class C wrestling state champion Caleb Hall of Dirigo High School in Dixfield boosted his pro record to 3-0 with a first-round submission of journeyman Jay Ellis. Hall fights out of the Choi Institute in Portland.
The amateur portion of the fight card featured four New England Fights title bouts.
Tom Pagliarulo (3-1) of Haverhill, Massachusetts, won the vacant NEF amateur featherweight title with a unanimous-decision victory over Zac Richard of Waterboro. Richard (3-1-1) was coming off a five-round draw with Lear in their battle for the vacant title in February at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Duncan Smith of Evolution Athletix in Saco (5-3) defended his NEF amateur welterweight title with a unanimous decision over Jon Tefft (2-1) of First Class Fitness & MMA in Brunswick.
Massachusetts-based Taylor Thompson (4-0) stopped Michigan’s Andrea Howland (2-1) by first-round armbar to become the first NEF women’s amateur bantamweight champion.
Kam Arnold (5-0) of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Lewiston scored his fifth straight knockout victory; he stopped Henry Clark (5-5) of the Choi Institute to retain the NEF amateur bantamweight belt.
The fight promotion also announced several fights for its next show, NEF 39 on June 22 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
Among the headliners will be Bangor-area pro Josh Harvey (6-0-1), who will defend his NEF featherweight championship against Jordan Downey (5-4) of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Harvey will make his first defense of the title he captured this past February in Bangor, while Downey enters the contest on a two-fight winning streak.
Nate Boucher (4-3) of CMBJJ will face Robert Presley (5-4) for the vacant NEF amateur flyweight title. Boucher has finished his last two opponents in the first round to move into contention for the 125-pound belt. Presley represents the Lancaster (Ohio) Academy of MMA.