Convicted felon fights Eastport police officer at NEF XII

Pictured: Ryan Cowette - NEF via LMP

Coming soon to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine, on February 8, 2014.

Lewiston, Maine (January 15, 2014) - When New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on February 8 it will feature a professional catchweight bout contested at 160-pounds on the evening's main card. The event will be the popular fight promotion's first of the new year in Maine and the twelfth since the company's inception.

On one side of the cage in the catchweight bout will be Dave Claroni (0-1), a veteran officer currently with the Eastport Police Department and personal trainer at Olympia Health and Fitness Center in Calais, Maine. He has spent much of his MMA career competing in the Canadian Maritimes region. The fight will mark Claroni's debut with NEF MMA. Claroni will be looking for his first victory as a professional.

Opposing him will be Ryan Cowette (1-2), an NEF MMA regular and also a convicted felon. Cowette is the owner and head coach of MMA Athletix in Bath, Maine. After a stellar career as an amateur fighter that saw him ranked among the northeast's elite, Cowette got off to a slow start as a professional with back-to-back losses. Not long ago, Cowette was in Claroni's shoes looking for his first win as a professional. He achieved that goal in the second round of his November 9, 2013 bout against Jesse Erickson (1-2) in Lewiston. Cowette forced the coach of Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to submit to a rear-naked choke for the victory. Now, Cowette's focus is on returning to the cage on February 8 to meet Claroni and put together his first win streak in the pro ranks.

"I'm excited about this fight," said Cowette when reached for comment. "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!"

"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 scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 7:00 pm. In the main event, Maine MMA legend Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis (22-10) faces his former student "THE" Ryan Sanders (5-4) in a much-anticipated welterweight contest. In addition, Maine State MMA Middleweight Champion Jesse Peterson (7-4) will return to action for the first time in nearly a year to defend his title against "Ruthless" Mike Zichelle (6-3). Tickets for "NEF XII" 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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