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Tuesday September 20, 2011 | 08:23 PM
Posted by Jay Baltes

  This Friday, September 23rd, Bellum Promotions will put together a remarkable card now titled GFL 13 “Heavy Hitters” at the Portland Expo.

  The highlight to most will be when Bangor native and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis steps into the cage to earn the distinction of being the first UFC fighter to compete in Maine.

   “After the success of our first card at the Expo, “The Maine Event”, last May it was a no brainer to up the ante this time around.” said Bellum Promotions President Jason Leeman.

  Davis, 38, will not have an easy time when he takes on 24-year-old Travis "Iron Chin" Coyle fighting out of Denver. Colorado. Coyle (9-4) is a submission specialist with only one loss in his last nine fights.

  The Co-Main Event of evening is a battle of the behemoths as Portland native Shaun Durfee (6’4”, 240) takes on John Johnston (6’6”, 235).

  Durfee, an assistant coach at The Academy on Riverside Street, is 2-0 inside the cage after a dominant submission victory at "The Maine Event".

  Johnston, an assistant trainer at the world famous Sit-Yod-Tong run by Kru Mark Dellagrotte, is a former professional Muay Tai fighter who notched a first round TKO in his MMA debut in June.

  "I know most people are looking forward to seeing Marcus", said Leeman, "but I personally can not wait to see Shaun Durfee and John Johnston. Total fireworks off the charts"

  Other notable fights include Maine native Josh Watson (6-3) returning home from Las Vegas to take on Carlos Lovato (2-0). Watson is a strong grappler originally fighting out of the Academy while Lovato is a hard-hitting former Golden Gloves boxer.

  National Geographic will be on hand to film their Television Show “Taboo”. They will be filming at both weigh-ins and the night of the show. The subject of the show will be female MMA in the United States as they follow four female fighters on their road to GFL 13. Maria Rios vs. Heather Lambert is the state of Maine’s first ever female fight (also the debut of women’s MMA in the GFL) and is sure to be an historic event. In addition Jill Valenzuela faces veteran fighter Sarah McLeod.

  Leeman is expecting another big turnout at the Expo and glad to be partnering with the Global Fight League again. A veteran martial artist himself, he spent nearly two years visiting regional MMA promotions before deciding to start Bellum Combat Association (now Bellum Promotions). After visiting the GFL event at University of New Hampshire in September of 2010, Leeman decided to reach out to CEO Scott Millette about bringing the the GFL to the Vacation State.

  "After meeting with Jason and his partner Phil Hamilton, I could see how passionate they were about bringing MMA fans in Maine the best show possible. We are honored that they consider our show the best and are proud to have them promote our brand of MMA in the State of Maine", said Millette.

  Leeman went on to say, ”We want to give fans and fighters the most professional, best atmosphere possible. Instead of starting purely a fight promotion, we figured we will do what we do best which is promote events here in Maine and hire the GFL to do the live production.”

  Here is how the card is shaping up ahead of Wednesday's weigh-ins:

  Welterweights, Marcus Davis vs. Travis Coyle
  Heavyweights, Shaun Durfee vs. John Johnston
  Welterweights, Ryan Sanders vs. Vincent Silvestre
  Light heavyweights, Josh Watson vs. Carlos Lovato
  Featherweights, Eloy Kaminski vs. Nate Ainsworth
  Featherweights, Elias Leland vs. Ray Wood
  Flyweights, Maria Rios vs. Heather Lambert
  Bantamweights, Cecil Haney vs. Tom Balzano
  Welterweights, Daniel Meuse vs. Joel Adams
  Lightweights, Trevor Kell vs. Ted Washburn
  Lightweights, Ken Kersch vs. Caleb Costello
  Bantamweights, Ernesto Ornelas vs. Steve Desjardins
  Welterweights, Shaun Head vs. Scott Lavoie
  Strawweights, Jill Valenzuela vs. Sarah McLeod
  Lightweights, Jon Lemke vs. Zach Labbay
  Light Heavyweights, Rick Garland vs. Nolan Brown
  Light Heavyweights, Buck Pineau vs. Paul Sokolowski

  Check back here Wednesday night for weigh-in results and and last minute shake-ups.

  For tickets log onto www.fightmaine.com and check out www.gflmma.com for more information about the GFL, upcoming hype videos, etc.


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