By Old School

Lewiston, ME, September 21, 2013:   We interrupt this striper fishing season to bring you NEF X from the Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. I journeyed north to Maine last Saturday night, arriving in time to walk in with Jimmy Quinlan and his crew; Nate Ryan and Joe Lauzon. The fights had already started and my table was a bit spattered with MMA DNA; I felt right at home.

With 25 fights on the NEF X card, I am shifting gears from my usual format, so rather than try to give a blow by blow accounting of 25 fights, we’ll take a different approach to the fights. We had 15 Amateur fights and ten Pro fights. Two of the Pro fights fell out at the weigh-ins. Here’s what went down last night in Lewiston at the Colisee…

Pairs, three of a kind, Full House, and one ace in the hole

The Wounded Knee brothers, Ray Wood and Buck Knuckles, were in the house. Ray is the reigning Maine Featherweight Title holder and Knuckles in the NorthEast’s top Amateur Middleweight. Each is currently awaiting knee surgery, but they were both cage side cheering on their teammates. Buck was sporting a huge Maine smile and a knee brace. Ray was in his best dress slacks and going-to-meeting shirt; he looked pretty sharp but he’s no Dinis Paiva.

Speaking of pairs, we were missing a pair of fighters at the weigh-ins. Main Event Lightweight Title contender Jon Lemke called in to matchmaker Matt Peterson that he would be arriving at the weigh-ins a few pounds over weight. The rumor mill had it that he turned around somewhere between home and the Weigh-ins, and he was never seen or heard from. Also, Tunde Odumosu, who is from the Rhode Island area, got lost on the Maine roads and missed the weigh-ins.

The most striking pair in the house was Chuck O’Neil and Peggy Morgan. Their friendly personalities and bright smiles are infective. They were cage side supporting their teammates, so I don’t know if this was a date. If it was a date, they looked special.

Western Mass provided the three of a kind; City Boy, War Child, and The Artist.

The full house never came to fruition, but Team Triumph did bring a full bus load. The Nashua based team brought six fighters, several cornermen, and a busload of fans. They really chartered a bus; great job Triumph!

It’s always nice to have an ace in the hole, and last night it was Ryan Sanders who pulled out the ace in his fight with Rashaun Spencer. Ryan spent nearly the entire first round on his back in the Welterweight battle, throwing up one submission after another, all the while getting pounded on by a HUGE Welterweight in Rashaun. Things looked to be headed in the same direction in the second when somebody blinked, and before you could say “inverted arm bar”, Rashaun was tapping; Ryan had played his ace.

Champs in the House

In addition to Maine Featherweight Champ Ray Wood, Bantamweight Champ Paul Gorman was also in the house pumping up his next fight. Jesse Peterson, the Maine Middleweight Champ, was on hand as well.

Arrest that man!!!

Mike Zichelle is a renewed fighter. He is training seriously now, and doing it right. The Triumph Middleweight was taken down by Jason Anderson, but Zichelle swept to the top quickly and landed some brutal punches as Anderson tried to defend. Listening to his corner, Zichelle shifted the focus to all elbows, and he commenced an attack that would have him arrested in eleven states.

Winner by Assault and Battery was Mike Zichelle at 1:40 of Rd 1. Mike improves to 5-3.

Gorilla Removal Service (Call 1-800-Gorilla)

Do you know the story of the Gorilla in the tree? Ask me about it the next time you see me…

John “First Class” Raio, Maine’s favorite Mailman/fighter ran through his Amateur career undefeated at 4-0, but since turning Pro, he has gone 0-4. Last night, John TKO’d Asa Zorn in 28 seconds. Likewise, Ryan Sanders began his Pro career at 4-1, but in the past year he had lost three straight to fall to 4-4; that all came to a screeching halt at 1:02 of the second round in his fight with Rashaun Spencer when The Ryan Sanders forced a tap out via an arm bar. I met with both John and Ryan after the event last night and they both agreed that it feels great to have the monkey off their back!

Main Event, minor mishap

Jimmy Quinlan is looking to fight his way back to the UFC. The Mass BJJ Middleweight came in to this fight at 3-1 and ranked seventh on the regional scene. Luc Bondole stepped up to take on Jimmy, but nobody told him he was the underdog. Bondole (2-0) controlled most of rounds one and two; while Quinlan spent much of the time looking for the takedown along the cage, Luc defended well, keeping the fight standing and landed dozens upon dozens of strikes. Nothing Luc threw was any harder than what Funky Ben Askren throws, but cumulative effect was working.

Because much of the fight was along the cage, Luc was warned about cage grabs, as there had been some cage grabbing. I had Luc up two rounds to none to start the third.

Jimmy punched his way into the clinch, and Luc defended and continued what he was doing in the first two rounds; defending the takedown and striking with hammers and elbows, and that was the bulk of round three. With 15 seconds left in the round, Kevin the Ref stopped the action and took a point away from Luc for a cage grab; it was small and insignificant, but he had been warned, and there was a cage grab. Back fighting, Jimmy nailed a takedown and landed a quick barrage from guard to end the round.

The third round was close, but I still thought Luc won it, so I had scored the final round a tie, 9-9; but I can see Jimmy winning that round 10-8 because of the infraction. Two of the Judges saw it that way and the Main Event was ruled a majority draw.

KO of the Night

We had a few KO of the Night candidates. The 18th fight on the card featured some 600 pounds of MMAdness in the cage. Jason “The Large Angry Man” Doloff (He’s really quite a nice guy!) met with Terry “Polar Bear” Blackburn (He’s from Florida…) and locked it up. The big men swung for the fences for the entire first round, and with less than a minute left in the first, Terry caught Jason with a looping punch and Jason dropped like a Maine pine tree at harvest, and that was all she wrote.

Dan Connaughton and Ramon Saintvil met in a Light Heavyweight match-up, and Dan caught Ramon with a punch just 50 seconds into the first, putting the CMBJJ fighter down. Before Dan could administer too much G&P, ref John English saved the fallen fighter from further damage.

But my choice for the winner in the KO of the Night category is Tollison Lewis. Tollison and Matt Denning were engaged in a good two-way battle to start their Welterweight fight when Matt caught a low kick with his left hand and punched Tollison with the right. With his foot still being cradled by Matt, Tollison drove a straight right into the kisser of Matt, and Matt dropped like a deer out of season. Tollison followed him to the mat for one or two more strikes, but this fight was already in the books. Congratulations to Tollison; you can pick up your KO of the Night bonus check from Nick DiSalvo…

Fight of the Night

In the 22nd fight on the card, Independent fighter Josh Parker and Young’s MMA’s Damon Owens put out an excellent effort that was FOTN worthy. The Featherweights came out with an excellent striking display before Parker took the fight to the ground, where he controlled the remainder of the first round. The striking battle picked up in the second, but it was Parker again taking things to the ground. Once there, he worked his top game and found a guillotine choke that would have submitted 95% of the fighters out there. But because they don’t teach tapping out at Young’s MMA, the fight continued, and Owens fought through the Guillotine, even though it was locked in with Parker on the top. Damon worked his own submission game and found a RNC; Parker gave the ref the thumbs up that he was okay, but just a few seconds later he was tapping and Owens had come from behind for the win!!!

Flyweights Chad Kelly and Ernesto Ornelas met at a catch of 130lbs. Ernesto brought a record of just 1-3, but the kid has college wrestling experience, Amateur boxing background, and he trains out of Chois in Maine. FAA’s Chad “Machine Gun” Kelly is one of the hottest tickets in the 125 pound division. He is on a three or four fight win streak dating back to his Amateur days.

Ernesto looked crisp with his striking to start the fight, but after nailing a takedown he spent much of the first round in Kelly’s triangle. The two battled from that position throughout the first round, and somehow Ernesto made it through to the second. Kelly was bloodied up a bit to start the second and Ernesto nailed a nice takedown again, only to get caught back in the triangle again. This time Machine Gun locked it down for good…

My choice for Fight of the Night is Josh parker v Damon Owens.

Microwave Fight of the Night

In case you don’t have fifteen minutes to watch a whole Fight of the Night, we bring you the fastest four minutes and twelve seconds of MMAction …

When ever we have two dynamic fighters, we can expect fireworks. Former National caliber Tai Kwon Do striker and KO of the Year recipient Bruce Boyington and BJJ specialist Smeef Cotito waged an amazingly fast paced battle that lasted but 4:12 into the first round. For the first 90 seconds we were treated to a Boyington Kick Clinic, complete with leg kicks (inside and out), spinning back kicks to the body, spinning hook kick to the face and head, 360 turning rounds, and a few that I missed ‘cause I blinked. For some strange reason, Smeef actually tried to swap shin bones with Bruce, but that didn’t last long. Smeef finally clinched the fight to the ground where the pair muckled on to one another’s legs and battled for leg locks, knee bars, toe holds, and ankle locks. They rolled on the ground looking for many varieties of chokes and locks, but it was Smeef digging in the RNC and earning the tap at 4:12 of round one.

There was posturing and gestures before this fight, and even a few words exchanged during, but in the end these two warriors smiled and shook hands as, once again, two of Maine’s favorite home town camps, Young’s (Bangor by way of Brewer) and Triumph (Nashua by way of NH), put on a display of MMAthleticism.

Submission of the Night

Ryan Sanders had the slick inverted arm bar submission over Rashaun Spencer to come from behind in the second round. Ryan’s teammate at Young’s MMA, Damon Owens, pulled off a smooth RNC submission late in the second round of his fight with Josh Parker. After losing the first round, Owens battled through a wicked deep guillotine and a lot of other adversity to sink in his choke.

Team Irish featherweight Charlie Stambach had a nice submission win over Drew Waltz. Charlie was on top in side control when he locked Drew’s arm into an Americana with his leg and administered some G&P with his free hand for a double whammy!!!

But tonight’s Submission of the Night goes to Mark Graham. Fighting out of First Coast, it was obvious that he didn’t travel up the entire eastern sea board to finish second. Mark out wrestled and out muscled Dominic Cafone for two and a half rounds. In the third, he was on top of Dominic in side control as Dominic held on to that high school headlock from the bottom. Mark engaged the shoulder for a Von Flue choke that was so slick that Cafone went right to sleep without a bed time story…

Entrance Song of the Night

Dom Cafone always plays “Domonic the Donkey” for his entrance song, and while the song itself is not all that special, it has grown on me after seeing four or five of his fights. Is Dominic calling himself a donkey or does he just like the tune? We call that branding.

Our next candidate for Entrance Song of the Night is Jason Bell; Jason came in to “Stuck In The Middle With You” from Steelers Wheel; Nice choice.

Speaking of nice choices, Bruce Boyington walked in to “I am the greatest” by R Kelly.

But tonight’s Entrance song of the Night Award goes out to Chad “Machine Gun” Kelly, who walked out to “Hard Day’s Night” from The Beatles. Rock on Chad…

Pete, Repeat, Fivepeat

Microphone specialists Pete Czymbor and John Vena kept things moving throughout the evening, but Ref John English had himself an interesting evening. In the 14th fight on the card, John proactively stopped the Americana submission that Charlie Stambach had locked in on Drew Waltz. It was a dangerous position that Drew’s arm was in and John may have saved the kid an injury. Just one fight later, Mr. English repeated his heroics when he stopped the fight between Dan Connaughton and Ramon Saintvil. Connaughton had dropped Ramon and was about to administer some G&P to the fallen fighter, but John the Ref protected Ramon. To some this may have looked like an early stoppage, but when Ramon stood up he couldn’t walk straight. Nice repeat for John the Ref…

Maine’s newest home town team from another state, Team Triumph, five-peated. That’s right, the Nashua, NH team won all five of their fights (against no losses). Team Triumph winners were Tom Hutchinson, Ryan DiBartolomeo, Mike Hurlburt, Mike Zichelle, and Smeef Cotito. If Main Event fighter John Ortolani’s opponent didn’t skip the weigh-ins, they might have six-peated!

NEF X Wrap:

1. Team Triumph went 5-0. Nice Job coach John Fain.

2. First Coast Full Contact went 3-1, Young’s MMA went 5-3.

3. Ryan Sanders proclaimed himself “back”!

4. Chad Kelly is better than advertised.

5. 25 fights is too much.

6. Luc Bondole is for real. He is a future top fiver at 185.

Here are the results

Amateur Fights:

Fight # 1


Nash Roy 0-0 (Youngs MMA)

Brandon Traknis 0-1 (Indep)

Nash Roy def. Brandon Traknis via arm triangle, round 1


Fight # 2


Mike Brown 1-0 (Indep)

Dustin Veinott 0-1 (CMBJJ)

Mike Brown def. Dustin Veinott via triangle choke, round 1


Fight # 3


Kevin Barrett 0-1 (Young’s MMA)

Ryan Daley 0-0 (Team Irish)

Kevin Barrett def. Ryan Daley via armbar, round 1


Fight # 4


Jeremy Stevens 1-0 (Sipayik Boxing)

Matt Coolidge 0-0 (CMBJJ)

Jeremy Stevens def. Matt Coolidge via split decision


Fight # 5


Ryan DiBartolomeo 0-3 (Team Triumph)

Nermin Zilic 0-1 (Defensive Edge)

Ryan DiBartolomeo def. Nermin Zilic via split decision


Fight # 6


Jarrod Tyler 0-1 (Team Irish)

Nate Charles 1-5 (Balanced Ground)

Jarrod Tyler def. Nate Charles via unanimous decision


Fight # 7


Corey Hinkley 0-1 (CMBJJ)

Jimmy Jackson 1-0 (Young’s MMA)

Corey Hinkley def. Jimmy Jackson via guillotine, round 3


Fight # 8


Tom Hutchinson 0-0 (Team Triumph)

Jason Bell 0-0 (IABJJ)

Tom Hutchinson def. Jason Bell via rear-naked choke, round 2


Fight # 9


Tollison Lewis 3-8 (Balanced Ground)

Matt Denning 2-2 (CMBJJ)

Tollison Lewis def. Matt Denning via KO, round 1


Fight # 10


CJ Ewer 2-0 (Young’s MMA)

Crowsneck Boutin 3-4 (Chois)

CJ Ewer def. Crowsneck Boutin via TKO, round 2


Fight # 11


Jeremy Tyler 1-1 (Team Irish)

Shawn Bang 1-0 (CMBJJ)

Jeremy Tyler def. Shawn Bang via Kimura, round 1


Fight # 12


Mark Graham 4-0 (First Coast)

Dom Cofone 4-1 (Balanced Ground)

Mark Graham def. Dom Cofone via arm triangle, round 3


Fight # 13


Nick Spencer 1-2 (Chois)

Alex Clark 2-0 (CMBJJ)

Nick Spencer def. Alex Clark via TKO, round 1


Fight # 14


Charlie Stambach 1-0 (Team Irish)

Drew Waltz 1-3 (Young’s MMA)

Charlie Stambach def. Drew Waltz via Americana, round 1


Fight # 15


Dan Connaughton 1-0 (Defensive Edge)

Ramon Saintvil 2-0 (CMBJJ)

Dan Connaughton def. Ramon Saintvil via TKO, round 1


Pro Fights:


Fight # 16


Chad “Machine Gun” Kelly 1-0 (FAA)

Ernesto Ornelas 1-3 (Chois)

Chad “Machine Gun” Kelly def. Ernesto Ornelas via triangle choke, round 2


Fight # 17


Mike Hurlburt 0-1 (Team Triumph)

Ryan Cowette 0-1 (MMAAthletix)

Mike Hurlburt def. Ryan Cowette via guillotine, round 1


Fight # 18


Terry Blackburn 3-2 (First Coast)

Jason Dolloff 6-17 (Anger Mgmt)

Terry Blackburn def. Jason Dolloff via KO, round 1


Fight # 19


Mike Zichelle 4-3 (Team Triumph)

Jason Anderson 11-30 (A&S Fight Team)

Mike Zichelle def. Jason Anderson via TKO, round 1


Fight # 20


Jovan White 0-3 (First Coast)

Tommy Balzano 1-1 (Team Irish)

Jovan White def. Tommy Balzano via guillotine, round 1


Fight # 21


Smeef Cotito 1-2 (Team Triumph)

Bruce Boyington (Young’s MMA)

Smeef Cotito def. Bruce Boyington via rear-naked choke, round 1


Fight # 22


Damon Owens 1-0 (Young’s MMA)

Josh Parker 4-6 (Indep)

Damon Owens def. Josh Parker via rear-naked choke, round 2


Fight # 23


John Raio 0-4 (First Class/Chois)

Asa Zorn 0-4 (Salem City Boxing)

John Raio def. Asa Zorn via TKO, round 1


Fight # 24


Ryan Sanders 4-4 (Young’s MMA)

Rashaun Spencer 4-4 (First Coast)

Ryan Sanders def. Rashaun Spencer via armbar, round 2


Fight # 25


Luc Bondole 2-0 (Team Fink)

Jimmy Quinlan 3-1 (Mass BJJ)

Luc Bondole vs. Jimmy Quinlan ended in a majority draw