Double Pro Debut Added to NEF53


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (June 25, 2023) – New England Fights returns to Merrill Auditorium in Portland with its next mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event, “NEF 53: American Valor,” on Saturday, July 8, 2023.  Earlier today, the fight promotion announced the addition of a professional welterweight bout to the card.  Chris Lee (0-0) is scheduled to face James Lawson (0-0) in a double pro debut.

Chris “Light Horse” Lee comes to NEF from Lee Brothers MMA based in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he operates the gym with his brother Mike Lee.  Despite the 1000-mile distance, Lee Brothers fighters have been regulars on NEF cards in Maine for the past several years, including Jordan Downey (10-9-1), Kyler Hoobler (2-1), and Sarai Knapp (2-2).  Lee’s last fight as an amateur took place in the spring of 2022 and saw him knockout Matthew Sarabyn (0-1) just 18 seconds into the first round.  He holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“Everything has its proper time,” said Lee. “Now is mine. Portland, Maine at NEF?! C’mon! The only thing that could make a pro debut more perfect is the Super Seafood Chowder at Gilbert’s Chowder House!”

James Lawson will also make his pro debut at “NEF 53” after an amateur career that saw him compete in two MMA fights and one kickboxing bout.  It will be his first appearance in the NEF cage.  Lawson looks to showcase his skills before the Maine audience.

“Thank you to NEF for this opportunity,” said Lawson.  “I am very excited to make my debut against such a skilled and experienced opponent and of course not only put on a show for the people, but finally show my true talent and ability that I didn’t get to in my amateur career.”

“NEF 53: American Valor” takes place on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine.  Doors are scheduled to open at 6 pm with first fight taking place at 7 pm.  Tickets to “NEF 53” are available now at

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