He almost didn’t get the chance.

The 20-year-old Farrington withstood a barrage of heavy strikes landed by Nash Roy during the opening round of their 175-pound amateur bout on New England Fights’ NEF XIV card at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, then used his grappling skills to score a second-round tapout via armbar.

“Holy crap. it was something man,” said Farrington. “I must have been in over 300 combative sports matches between wrestling and jiu-jutsu, but nothing like this where I was wobbly and losing myself.”

The Farrington-Roy clash was perhaps the most action packed of 17 amateur bouts that preceded an eight-bout professional card headlined by Bucksport native Ray “All Business” Wood’s first defense of his NEF Maine state featherweight title against Brazilian Gabriel Baino.

That fight nearly fell through, as Baino showed up late for the mandatory rules meeting and subsequently was fined a portion of his purse by the Combat Sports Authority of Maine in order to be allowed to go on with the bout.

“Gabriel Baino was late for the rules meeting, and the commission had to take action to fine him to allow the fight to proceed,” said a relieved NEF MMA co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “Gabriel’s camp agreed to the fine, Young’s MMA (Wood’s camp) agreed to the terms and we still have our main event.”


For Wood, the bout was his first since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament after winning the NEF state championship belt with a 61-second stoppage of Canadian Lenny “The Show Stealer” Wheeler on the Bangor Waterfront on July 12, 2013.

Two other title fights also were on the pro docket, with Portland’s Paul Gorman defending his state bantamweight title against Tom Goodwin and Bruce Boyington of Brewer facing Auburn’s Jesse Erickson for the vacant lightweight title.

Farrington, the Class A state wrestling champion at 170 pounds during his senior year at Mt. Blue High School in 2012, had focused his combat sports attention on jiu-jitsu for the last two years under trainer Peter Roberts at New England United, then added boxing to his training regimen this summer.

“Peter went to the fights two NEF (shows) ago and thought it was something I could do so he gave me the option to try it and I went with it,” said Farrington. “I trusted his wisdom.”

Farrington may have been questioning that wisdom early in his bout against Roy.

The Young’s MMA competitor, who had won his first two bouts, landed an overhand left a minute into the first round that sent Farrington to one knee and landed a succession of follow-up shots during the remainder of the period that left his opponent’s nose bloodied — but not his mindset.


Farrington scored an early takedown in the second round and pressed the attack from the ground, finally securing an armbar that ended the match with 39 seconds left in the period.

“My thought going into the fight was that this guy wasn’t going to knock me out,” said Farrington. “I’ve trained with some heavy hitters and this was completely not what I expected. He almost had me a few times, but I came back and got it to the ground so I could actually fight.”

Also scoring a come-from-behind victory was Winterport’s Jarrod Tyler, who was nearly submitted by armbar at the end of the second round of his featherweight battle against Mike Robinson but used his striking game to score a knockout victory at 1:41 of the final period.

“Going into the third round (Team Irish trainer) Marcus (Davis) told me straight out, ‘three minutes, give it everything you’ve got because he’s won two rounds, you’ve got to knock him out,’” said Tyler. “I wanted to make my coaches proud and leave it all in the cage.”

The amateur card also was good to a pair of high school coaches, Mike Vangelist and Pat Kelly.

Vangelist, the boys lacrosse coach at Massabesic High School in Waterboro, rallied to stop Buck “Knuckles” Pineau with an armbar at 1:54 of the third round in the featured amateur bout of the evening.


Pineau controlled the first two rounds with his reach and quickness before Vangelist closed the distance in the final round and improve his record to 3-0.

Kelley, the longtime wrestling coach at Camden Hills Regional High School, made a successful mixed martial arts debut with a victory by rear naked choke over over Frank Dellasalla at 2:12 of the first round of their welterweight bout.

The 50-year-old Kelly gained control early in the round with an overhand left that sent Dellasalla reeling toward the cage wall, then used his wrestling instincts to score a takedown and assume back control, leading to the stoppage.

And earlier in the evening, Bath featherweight Michael Crespo improved his record to 2-0 with a three-round unanimous decision over Trevor Hebert of Rumford, then asked girlfriend Natalie Robbins to come to the cage where he proposed marriage — and she accepted.

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