Bruce Boyington’s next mixed martial arts challenge will still have an Ultimate Fighting Championship pedigree.
The 40-year-old Brewer resident will compete in the main event of NEF 42 on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland against Manny Bermudez, who recently concluded a five-fight stint with the UFC, MMA’s top promotion.
The five-round bout will be for the vacant New England Fights professional lightweight (155-pound) championship, a belt Boyington also held earlier in his career.
Bermudez was not Boyington’s original scheduled opponent for the state’s first 2020 MMA show. Another UFC veteran, Josh Grispi, was set to fight Boyington but late last week bowed out because of what NEF officials in a press release described as “legal complications unforeseen at the time of the bout’s signing.”
Grispi would have been making his return to the cage for the first time since February 2013.
He was arrested in Massachusetts in 2014 in a domestic violence case and in 2017 was convicted on seven charges and sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison and five years of probation.
MMAjunkie.com reported earlier this week the following statement from NEF co-owner Nick DiSalvo related to the change in fight plans.