Bruce Boyington’s scheduled second defense of his New England Fights lightweight championship won’t be a title fight after all Saturday night — though it’s not his fault.
The Brewer resident will still take on Jamie Harrison in the main event of the NEF XVII mixed martial arts card slated for a 7 p.m. start at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
But the bout became a non-title matchup when Harrison, a Windham native now based in Florida, failed to make weight at Friday afternoon’s weigh-ins.
Boyington (10-7) checked in at 154.0 pounds for the 155-pound clash, but Harrison (5-1) weighed in at 156.3, or 1.3 pounds heavier than the allowable limit for a lightweight title fight.
As a result, the bout will be scheduled as a three-round affair rather than the original five-round championship distance with Boyington retaining his crown regardless of the outcome.
“While it’s unfortunate that the title won’t be on the line (Saturday) night, we guarantee that fans will still be treated to an incredible lightweight tilt between Boyington and Harrison — and we encourage everyone to come out for one of the most anticipated lightweight fights in NEF history,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo on Friday night.
Fans can follow results of the 20-fight show, which includes six professional bouts, at www.bangordailynews.com.
The evening’s co-main event will feature welterweights Jared Lawton (4-1) and Dennis Olson (12-7), while other pro bouts include catch-weight matchups with Jesse Erickson (3-4) against Mark DeFord (0-3), John Raio (2-6) against Derek Shorey (1-1), and Elias Leland (2-0) against Jay Perrin (1-0).
NEF also will stage its first women’s professional bout when Kaline Medeiros (3-4) faces Calie Cutler (3-0) in another catchweight matchup. The fight originally was scheduled in the strawweight division but both competitors weighed in over the 115-pound limit, Cutler at 117.9 pounds and Medeiros at 116.2.
This will be just the second pro women’s MMA bout in Maine history, following Sara McMann’s bantamweight victory over Lauren Murphy as part of the UFC Fight Night show at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor last Aug. 16.
The amateur undercard is set to include the MMA debut of Boyington’s fiancee, Randi Beth Knowles, in a strawweight battle against Alex Walker. Walker also is making her MMA debut.
Among other amateur clashes will be the return to the cage of C.J. Ewer for the first time in more than a year after a stint in the U.S. Air Force security forces.
Ewer won three of his first four fights, including a victory over veteran Crowsneck Boutin, before taking a break to fulfill his military obligations.
His return match, against Connor “Bare Knuckle” Barry of Lowell, Massachusetts, will be contested at 165 pounds.
Also fighting on the amateur side are debuting super heavyweights Dave Smith and Ora Spratt IV, super heavyweights Ryan Glover (1-0) and Jason Field (0-0), middleweights Ruben Redman (0-1) against Chris Rideout, Chris Smith (0-0) against Dan Meuse (2-0), and Heath Hanson (0-2) against Brandon Russell (0-1), lightweights Ricky Dexter (2-0) against Zenon Herrera (3-6) and Rick Matthews (1-1) against Matthew Hanning (0-1), bantamweights Mike Crespo (2-1) against Sheldon Bang (1-2) and Caleb Costello (1-3) against Wilmer Carrero (0-0), and catchweight bouts matching Alex Johnson (1-1) against Dustin Shorey (0-0), Norman Fox (3-1) against Dave Brown (1-2), and Clifford Redman (0-1) against Caleb Serra (0-1).