Cop vs. Criminal: Catchweight NEF Bout Puts Veteran Police Officer Against Convicted Felon

January 16, 2014 6:14 am by Daneul Summers

New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) is scheduled to hold its twelfth event on February 8 as they return to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

On the main card of the evening is a catchweight fight at 160-pounds featuring Dave Claroni (0-1) who is a police officer with the Eastport Police Department and also a personal trainer working with Olympia Health and Fitness Center located in Calais, Maine. This bout will be the veteran police officer’s fight with NEF MMA. Having been defeated in his professional debut Officer Claroni definitely has something to prove.

His opponent is something of an antonym to the officer as Ryan Cowette (1-2) is not fighting for the organization for the first time, but more interestingly Cowette is a convicted felon. The owner and head coach of MMA Athletix in Bath, Maine Cowette had a rather impressive run as an amateur but has lost some steam since going pro. Cowette did, however, defeated Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach Jesse Erickson via rear-naked choke last November. Cowette hopes to continue the momentum and get a “W” over Claroni when they meet on February 8.

“I’m excited about this fight,” said Cowette. “I feel confident that I will get the finish. While it is true that I have a criminal history that was a long time ago. I respect Claroni and the position he holds. But I would be lying if I said I never thought about fighting with the Police. I love my job!”

On Claroni being a cop:

“A convicted felon against a police officer – you just can’t make this stuff up,” chuckled NEF MMA promoter and co-owner Nick DiSalvo. “It’s not the first time it’s happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but it’s always an interesting storyline. Next time these two guys are behind bars it will be inside the NEF cage. And we’ll see whether law and order will prevail in Lewiston on February 8!”

NEF XII is set for Saturday, February 8 at the Androsocoggin Bank Colisee in Lewistoin, Maine and is scheduled to begin at 7:00pm. The main event includes Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis (22-10) who is a legend in the area, as he, interestingly enough, faces off against a former pupil of his in “THE” Ryan Sanders (5-4) in a welterweight bout that is sure to please. Also, Jesse Peterson (7-4), Maine State MMA Middleweight Champ, defends his title for the first time in almost a year against “Ruthless” Mike Zichelle (6-3). Tickets can be found at for $25 bucks a pop. The Colisee box office can also be reached at 207-783-2009 ext. 525.

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