New England Fights crowned a new lightweight champion this weekend for the fourth time in the history of the promotion, during NEF 28.

“The” Ryan Sanders of Young’s MMA in Bangor submitted Jon Lemke of Titan Athletics in Brewer in the second round of the main event on Saturday night to become the fourth holder of the title.  He joins teammate Bruce Boyington, along with UFC fighter Des Green and Devin Powell as those who have held the championship.  With the win Sanders improved his record to 14-8 and dedicated his victory to his wife.  The couple had just celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary the day prior.

Among other winners in the pro fights were Josh Harvey who remains undefeated with a first round knockout.  Matt Denning, Walter Smith-Cotito, and Dominic Jones also scored victories on the evening.

Former Husson basketball standout Josh Jones made his MMA debut at the event and won in 20 seconds over Sean Worcester.  Jones was drafted by Rio Grande of the NBA D-League after his time with the Eagles, and later spent six months overseas playing in the German Bundesliga B League.  He said that First Class MMA fighter Walt Shea got him into the sport and was excited for his next bout.

James Allen Walker // Courtesy of New England Fights
James Allen Walker // Courtesy of New England Fights

High school wrestler Caleb Austin scored a controversial knockout win after the official missed him tapping out to a choke put on by his opponent James Ploss.  Austin had logged over 200 high school wrestling victories during his athletic career in the state.

During the event the NEF also announced the date of the NEF 29 show that will take place on June 17th.  Former Young’s MMA standout and Bellator veteran Ray Wood will be competing in the main event versus Brazilian Alexandre Bezzerra who also has logged nine fights for Bellator.

Other fights scheduled for the card include former champion Paul Gorman facing James Blair of American Top Team, Ras Hylton of First Class MMA facing Eric Ramsey of Oklahoma, Rafael Velado defending his amateur title against Pat Kelly, and Alex Walker facing Sarah Ziehm.

The show will be a joint boxing-MMA card that will feature James “Buster” Douglas in attendance to meet with fans, and will be hosted in the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.  Tickets are available online for the June event on

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