New England Fights (NEF) made its return to Portland on Saturday night with the fight promotion’s latest mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 33: Riptide.” For the second time in as many events at the venue, NEF packed Aura with a sold-out crowd.
On the amateur portion of the card, Kam Arnold (3-0) continued his winning ways with a highlight-reel, one-punch knockout of David Thompson (1-3). Arnold, a hot prospect out of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in nearby Lewiston, Maine, dropped Thompson with a right hand in the first round to remain undefeated.
Walt Shea (3-1) and Nate Boucher (2-3) met in the amateur headliner at a catchweight of 130-pounds. Both athletes were looking to bounce back from losses in their last respective NEF appearances, but it was Shea who took the victory late in the third round when referee Kevin MacDonald stopped the fight due to strikes. Earlier in the evening, Shea’s First Class MMA teammate, Ben Murtiff (1-0) won his amateur debut, making for a perfect 2-0 night for the Topsham, Maine-based team.
On the professional side of the card, Ernesto Ornelas (3-7) picked up the win over Carl Langston (0-1) via unanimous decision. Moments later, Ornelas’s teammate at the Choi Institute Caleb Hall (1-0) was successful in his pro debut with a first-round submission of veteran John Ortolani (8-13).
The main event of the evening saw longtime Maine MMA veteran Bill Jones (13-11) defeat Matt Denning (5-8) via technical knockout in the second round. Denning announced his retirement from cage competition immediately following the bout. Jones’ win capped a successful night for Nostos MMA of Somersworth, New Hampshire. The team went 3-0 on the night with Zac Richard (1-0) and Killian Murphy (1-0) taking home wins on the amateur card.
NEF announced that its next mixed-martial-arts event, “NEF 34: Home of the Brave” would take place back at Aura in Portland on June 16, 2018. Already announced for that card, Ross Dannar (1-1) and Devin Corson (1-1) will square off in an amateur lightweight contest, while Aaron Lacey (5-1) returns to the NEF cage to take on Da’mon Blackshear (4-1) in a professional featherweight bout.
The results from Portland, Maine:
Bill Jones def. Matt Denning via TKO, round 2
Caleb Hall def. John Ortolani via Von Flue Choke, round 1
Ernesto Ornelas def. Carl Langston via unanimous decision
Walt Shea def. Nate Boucher via TKO, round 3
Killian Murphy def. Krishna Scott via TKO, round 1
Ben Murtiff def. James Lewis via TKO, round 1
Kam Arnold def. David Thompson via KO, round 1
Mark Gardner def. Brandon Schwinck via rear-naked choke, round 1
Duncan Smith def. Taylor Bartlett via standing guillotine, round 1
Zac Richard def. Gabriel Diaz via TKO, round 1
Liam Fagan def. Curtis Ouellette via unanimous decision
Carol Linn Powell drew Chelsea Tucker (Grappling Match)