New England Fights presents its next mixed-martial-arts event “NEF 55: Glory Days” on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of a professional featherweight bout to the card. Derek “Shatterproof” Shorey (4-9) will meet Anthony Vasta (3-4) at a fight weight of 145 pounds.
41-year-old Derek Shorey will make his return to the MMA cage after an absence of over six years. Shorey, who began competing in the sport in 2010, was a regular on NEF cards in the early days of the promotion. He made his pro debut at “NEF 14” in 2014. Shorey appeared in the NEF cage a total of 16 times between 2012 and 2017. Apropos for an event taking place on Veteran’s Day, Shorey is a proud veteran of the United States Navy.
“I am so excited to get back in that NEF cage, and give the NEF fans the best performance of my career,” exclaimed Shorey. “I don’t want to call this a comeback, as I feel like I never really even scratched the surface of my potential. That regret in and of itself is the reason I’m stepping back in the cage. Those closest to me that have learned of my interest in getting back into MMA have expressed concern, asking me all of these ‘what if’s,’ and the only response I can logically come to is simple. I would much rather live the rest of my life in a wheelchair than having to live with the regret that has tortured me for the past six years. I stepped away from MMA for personal reasons, but my own ‘what if’ never went away.
“Anthony Vasta is a very skilled fighter. He seems like a dangerous and intelligent kid, and he definitely has the tools to put this old man to sleep. I received a message of sorts that it was time, and it really doesn’t matter who the opponent is, ask for a fight. So I did, and Vasta was the name given, and I said ‘absolutely.’ I have never once blamed anyone but myself for a loss. I have lost to men I should have beaten, and I have beaten men I have no business being in the cage with. It really boils down to who shows up: Derek or the other guy. Derek doesn’t like hurting people, that’s why the other guy is here. On November 11, I’m going to wake up and choose violence. I hope young Vasta does as well. I hope I get that three-round war that has eluded me up to this point, but the only chance it’s gonna go three is if Anthony’s chin is as strong as his heart, because he’s shown the heart, but I’m planning on checking that chin.”
At 24 years old, Anthony Vasta is 17 years Shorey’s junior. He has shown flashes of greatness over the course of his young career, including a D’arce Choke submission of Aaron Hughes (4-4) at “NEF 47” last year. Most recently, Vasta downed another longtime NEF veteran in the form of Matt Denning (8-20) at “NEF 54” last month. Vasta represents Defensive Edge Martial Arts based in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
“November 11th, I’m going to put on the best performance I have to date,” said Vasta. “Much respect to Shorey, we’ll put on a good scrap for the Bangor fans. I’m sure of it!”
“NEF 55: Glory Days” takes place on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. Doors are scheduled to open at 6 pm with first fight taking place at 7 pm. Tickets to “NEF 55” are available now at www.ticketmaster.com