LEWISTON — Professionals from Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Lewiston and amateurs from Greater Rumford Community Center share the spotlight Saturday night when mixed martial arts ends its summer hiatus with New England Fights XIX.

Bell time at Androscoggin Bank Colisee is 7 p.m. Seven pro bouts and 14 amateur scraps are scheduled.

Teammates Jesse “The Viking” Erickson and Matt “Ken Doll” Denning of CMBJJ will be fan favorites on the pro portion of the docket. Erickson (5-4) rides a two-fight winning streak into his 155-pound match against Ricky Sylvester (2-1) of Lowell, Mass.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges Ricky presents,” Erickson said in a press release. “He is a talented athlete with power behind his strikes. I have worked hard to develop my striking game and look forward to putting it on display against him.”

Denning (1-0) defeated Derek Shorey in his professional debut before taking 10 months away from the cage. He returns against Zenon Herrera of Skowhegan, whom his mentor, Erickson, defeated in his most recent bout.

“It’s going to be a tough fight. Zenon has had over ten (amateur) fights and made his pro debut against my coach, who is a really tough opponent,” Denning said. “The only loss I’ve had for NEF was at 155, and it’s going to be a test for me to come back and see how I do. I’m a small 155er and I’m ready to show skills win over size.”


Another pro bout features Mike “the Mustache” Hansen (2-2) of Rumford against 2014 NEF fighter of the year Crowsneck Boutin (1-0).

Hansen, who won a 2004 state wrestling title at Mountain Valley High School before serving in the U.S. Army, has stayed busy since gravitating to MMA under the tutelage of longtime River Valley wrestling coach Gary Dolloff.

His fight club, Berserkers MMA, has been a fixture on NEF cards over the past year.

“It feels great to be fighting again. I was never completely away from it. While I was in the Army, I spent a lot of time with the Army Combatives team,” Hansen said. “My goals are to string some wins together and improve as a fighter. I have the same goals for my school also. We need to keep winning and make any losses more valuable than the wins.”

Ryan Glover (1-1), also out of Berserkers, returns to the amateur fray against Jason Field of Auburn, who makes his debut at heavyweight.

Glover lost a grueling NEF amateur title bout to Billy “Bigfoot” Leahy in June.


“That fight was a lot of fun. Even though I didn’t win, I felt like I did win by keeping the crowd on their feet,” Glover said. “The silence that was in the building as we waited for the judge’s decision was priceless. Win or lose, I was there to put on a show, and we did just that.

Caleb Farrington of Farmington is matched with Chris Palmer in a 175-pound amateur bout.

There is no title on the line in the pro main event, but fans of the cage should find it captivating. Darrius Heyliger (4-2) of Ithaca, N.Y., last seen putting on a good show in a losing cause against Maine legend Marcus Davis at NEF VII, takes on Sidney Outlaw (4-1) at welterweight.

“I feel like the time away from the sport was needed, and I’m now ready to take over and dominate,” Heyliger said. “And to make my comeback fight in front of the Maine fans and for NEF, where the support is so strong, makes it that much better.”

It won’t be an easy comeback. Outlaw is a veteran of Bellator, World Series of Fighting and Cage Fury Fighting Championships.

“This is an elite fight. You have two athletes who are maybe one or two solid wins away from getting the call up permanently to the major leagues of the sport,” NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo said. “We always tell our fans to come see these guys now before you can see them on national TV and pay-per-view. This fight definitely falls in that category.”

Tickets are available starting at $25 by calling the Colisee box office at 783-2009, ext. 525.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: