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Thursday, 06/19/2014, 03:00 pm

Promotion Opens Up 300lb. Weight Class For Tim Sylvia

New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA), the Northeast’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine on September 6, 2014 with a bell time of 7:00 pm. The main event of the evening will feature former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) World Heavyweight Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia (31-9) facing fellow UFC veteran Christian Morecraft (8-3) to crown the inaugural Maine State Super-Heavyweight Champion.

The bout will be contested at a weight of 300-pounds.

“This is, quite literally, the biggest fight we’ve ever hosted in the NEF MMA cage,” said NEF MMA co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “It’s going to be 600-pounds of colossal athletes, a real life King Kong and Godzilla, locked in there. Something tells me the judges’ scorecards will not be needed in this one. The fans know it, and tickets have been moving faster than ever before. The Colisee is going to be an absolutely packed madhouse on September 6th.”

Sylvia, a native of nearby Ellsworth, Maine, is one of the most recognizable mixed-martial-artists in the world, having been one of the UFC’s main attractions from 2002 through early-2008. At “UFC 41″ in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Sylvia won his first world heavyweight championship with a first-round knockout of Ricco Rodriguez (53-21). Despite suffering several setbacks due to numerous injuries requiring time off from competition, Sylvia won the title for a second time in April 2006 over rival Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (21-10). He went on to successfully defend the title two more times before relinquishing the belt to Randy “The Natural” Couture (19-11) at “UFC 68″ in one of the most memorable title fights in UFC history.

Following his career in the UFC, Sylvia went on to compete for other national promotions like Affliction and Titan Fighting Championship, as well as overseas on cards in Japan, Russia, and the Philippines. “The Maine-iac” returned home to face Randy “The Wolf” Smith (13-15-1) at “NEF III” which also took place in Lewiston, Maine in June 2012. Sylvia downed Smith via technical knockout a mere twelve-seconds into the first round. Now, as Sylvia prepares to return home to Maine for a second time, he will have the opportunity to make history once again by becoming the first-ever Maine State Super-Heavyweight Champion.

“I am so stoked to be coming back to Maine to fight again,” said Sylvia regarding the title fight. “I am looking forward to putting on a show for my fellow Maine-iacs.”

Sylvia’s opponent, Christian Morecraft, would like nothing better than to re-join the ranks of the UFC, and he knows a win over Sylvia could be a major step in that direction. During his previous stint with the UFC, Morecraft scored a standing guillotine technical submission over Sean “Big Sexy” McCorkle (17-6) at “UFC Fight Night 24″ when he choked McCorkle unconscious – an amazing feat of strength considering McCorkle stands 6’7″ and weighed 266-pounds the day before the fight. Morecraft’s final fight with the UFC came in January 2012 against Pat “HD” Barry (8-7) in a bout that was declared “Fight of the Night” of “UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller.” Now, Morecraft has his sights set on Sylvia and the Maine State Super-Heavyweight Title.

“Just let ‘em know I’ll be there,” was all Morecraft had to say of his first appearance in the Pine Tree State when reached at his home in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

“This isn’t going to be another 12-second knockout for Tim Sylvia,” said NEF MMA co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “Christian Morecraft is six foot, six inches and 300-pounds of pure power. This is the proverbial unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. For fans who like to see the giants collide in the cage, this fight is for you! And when the smoke clears, we’ll see our first super-heavyweight champion crowned on September 6th.”

NEF MMA’s next event, “NEF XIV,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 7:00 pm. In the main event of the evening, Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia (31-9) returns to Maine to face fellow UFC veteran Christian Morecraft (8-3) for the Super-Heavyweight Title. Featherweight Champion Ray “All Business” Wood (4-0) returns from injury after a year of recovery against Brazil’s Gabriel Baino (6-1). Plus, Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (6-7) and Jesse “The Viking” Erickson (3-2) will meet for the Lightweight Title, and John “First Class” Raio (2-5) competes in his final fight. Tickets for “NEF XIV” start at just $25 and are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling The Colisee box office at 207.783.2009 x 525. For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF MMA videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”

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