LEWISTON — Still undecided about his future in amateur MMA fighting, Dixfield native Caleb Hall is relishing the present.

Hall retained his New England Fights featherweight title belt Saturday in a split decision over Lisbon’s Johnny Crafts in one of the featured bouts at NEF’s “Heroes and Villains” card at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday night.

“This was a good fight for me, I needed to stay on my feet to make up for some of my weaknesses,” Hall said.

After a pretty even and aggressive opening round, Hall opened a cut over Crafts’ right eye in the second, but it was Crafts who sent Hall sprawling to the mat a couple of times in the round.

In the final round, the two fighters continued their hard-fought bout. trading kicks and punches to the bitter end. A “John-ny Craft” chant by his local fans gave him his final burst to end the fight.

At this point, Crafts eye opened more, and blood was more visible.

“I saw his cut, and my corner yelled to me,” Hall said. “I smelled blood and I wanted to finish him.”

Despite his cut, Crafts held on until the final bell.

Hall retained his title in a split decision.

After the fight, Hall said he was unsure of his future as an amateur MMA fighter. he said he’d review the tape of this bout, see what he did well and what he can work on. 

“I’m going to take some time, watch the tape, talk with my coaches, see what my next step is,” Hall said.

The crowd came to see some action at the Colisee on Saturday, and action they got. Early in the 13-fight card, the professional boxers had their chance to shine. The fights featured mostly Maine boxers.

John Webster of Portland unanimously took down Zenon Herrera in the four-round bout on the eve of his 48th birthday. Originally from North Anson, Brandon Montella returned to Maine to defeat Auburn’s Tollison Lewis with a second-round TKO in the 175-pound class. The final boxing match of the night featured an impressive second-round TKO by Portland’s Casey Kramlich, winning his fifth match against one draw in six fights, and his third TKO.

Fighting in the Octagon began with Walt Shea taking down Joel Drowning from Auburn in a unanimous decision after three hard-fought rounds.

Rachael Joyce of Veazie, fighting in just her second MMA match, used her strength, quickness, and leverage to take down Jessica “The Black Widow” Borga of Florida in a unanimous decision.

“We’ve been looking for someone to fight for some time now,” Joyce said.

Joyce won her first match in October 2015 by TKO and hasn’t been able to find anyone to fight her. Borga provided some good competition for her.

“She’s real tough,” Joyce said of Borga. “She gave me competition that I’ve been looking for.

“I just kept training, getting my work in and once we found an opponent, I started working on preparing for her,” Joyce added.

Joyce is looking to fight again in November in Westbrook, and is looking to travel to North Carolina for a match.

Frank Johanson and Rafael Velado each took their fights early on, both using armbar moves, each earning TKO victories in the first round. Velvado retained the amateur lightweight belt with his win.

Walter Smith-Cotito opened the professional MMA fighting with a convincing second-round TKO over Elias Leland at the 135-pound class. Aaron Lacey wasted no time, using his energy and quickness to defeat Cory Trial in the 145-pound class.

Taylor Trahan of New Hampshire shined in a catchweight bout, defeating Matt Denning with an armbar in the first round. The heaviest class of the night, at 205, Mike “The Mustache” Hansen from Rumford turned the tables on Matt Andrikut, making quick work of him with another tapout TKO. Hansen celebrated the victory by running up the side of the cage and doing a backflip,

“We’ve been working real hard the last 12 days for this fight,” said the former Maine high school wrestling champ. “I’ve been pro now 12 years, I’m starting to really get some momentum. Tonight was nothing, I’ve got a lot more to show.”

In the final match of the night, Jesse Erickson overcame an early pin to down Crowsneck Boutin 2:50 into the first round.


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