NEF 36: Battle for the Gold takes place Saturday Nov. 17 from Aura in Portland, ME (Photo Via: NEF MMA)

Has New England Fights saved its best for last with NEF 36 this coming weekend? The promotion is set to close out the year at Aura in downtown Portland on Saturday, having featured five cards this year, and the this weekend’s event features more than meets the eye when it comes to talent and top fights. At the top, a 225-pound cruiserweight title fight between Yorgan De Castro (2-0) and “The Jamaican Shamrock” Ras Hylton (3-1). For the co-main, a lightweight title defense for champ “The” Ryan Sanders (17-9) against NEF newcomer Jacob Bohn (7-5).

On its face the card may seem top-heavy, with the introduction of a new division and two title fights but the rest of the main card and 10 amateur fights add local flare and interesting story-lines that fans can get behind.

Featherweight Lionel “Boogz” Young (7-15) is coming off a two-year layoff, his career going back to 2009 with fights against the likes of UFC vet Rob Font very early in his career. Young welcomes a fresh face to the NEF cage in Matt Probin (2-0 pro, 6-2 amateur) who’s finished 7/8 wins over his career. The first professional bout on the card takes place between flyweights Jose “El Salvaje” Lugo (3-0) and Ernesto Ornelas (4-7). Portland’s Ornelas took off over a year and a half between 2016 and 2018 which has paid immediate dividends and has resulted in two wins this year. Lugo’s won three straight in the last calendar year without seeing a third round.

Young’s MMA in Bangor will be well represented by (from left) BJ Garceau, Glory Watson and Catie Denning at NEF 36 (Photo Via: NEF MMA)

Bangor’s Young’s MMA features three amateur women’s fighters on the card including Catie Denning (1-0), BJ Garceau (1-0) and Glory Watson (1-0). Each have made their MMA debuts in 2018, and highlight a largely Maine heavy card.

UFC vet Devin Powell owned Nostos MMA and Conditioning will also be well represented by amateurs Zac Richard (2-0), Killian Murphy (1-1) and Schuyler Vaillancourt (0-0). Richard’s enjoyed a dynamite 2018, with two first round knockout finishes, and recently revealed in an NEF press release that this weekend holds particular significance for the young former high school state champion wrestler who lost his sister to cancer at this time six years ago.

Teammate Killian Murphy is looking to rebound from a fourth round TKO loss in an unsuccessful bid for the promotion’s amateur bantamweight title in June. The fight at NEF 34 in June, which could be considered as the promotion’s “fight of the year”, saw Lewiston’s Kam Arnold push through a fire fight and wind up successful.

Fight Night Picks’ will have you covered with live play-by-play results and news heading into Saturday’s card. Check in on the Fight Night Picks YouTube channel for more interviews and information!

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