Though Ray Wood lives in Texas, he is one of three fighters with Maine connections to find their way into the New England professional MMA rankings as compiled by

Wood, who last fought in Maine in February 2015, is ranked second in the region’s featherweight division, trailing only Chris “Cassius” Foster (8-4) of Middletown, Connecticut.

Two other Mainers with ties to Young’s MMA are ranked among New England’s top-10 lightweights.

“The” Ryan Sanders (10-7) is ranked second in the division thanks to four victories in his last five fights, including a second-round stoppage of top-ranked Luis Felix on the nationally televised CES 32 card held in early January at the Twin Rivers casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

That fight ended when Felix (14-9) suffered an apparent right knee injury.

Sanders previously won the Toe2Toe lightweight championship with a split-decision victory over Lucas Cruz in Portland last fall.

New England Fights lightweight champion Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington, who trains out of Young’s MMA and Boyington’s Taekwondo Academy, is ranked eighth in the New England lightweight division.

Boyington, who won his World Series of Fighting debut last fall with a split-decision victory over Rodrigo Almeida at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, scored his fourth straight win and improved his record to 13-8 on Feb. 6 by split decision over Jon Lemke in an NEF title defense at Lewiston.

Several amateur MMA fighters from Maine also are ranked among the top 10 regionally by, including two Young’s MMA products ranked No. 1 in their weight class.

Aaron Lacey (6-1) of Bangor is the top-rated amateur featherweight after winning the NEF title in that 145-pound division with a unanimous decision over Caleb Horner last November in Lewiston.

Josh Harvey, a former standout wrestler from Dexter Regional High School, is ranked tops in the New England amateur lightweight division. The NEF amateur champ at 155 pounds, Harvey has a 5-1 record.

Other ranked amateur fighters from the area include Billy Leahy (3-1) of Young’s MMA, third in the heavyweight division; Ricky Dexter (5-2) of Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer, fourth among welterweights (170 pounds); and Fred Lear (3-2) of Young’s MMA, eighth in the bantamweight (135-pound) class.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...