Derek “Shatterproof” Shorey had planned to take some time off from the mixed martial arts wars after a loss to Josh Parker last November.

But family matters have prompted the head of the Dexter-based Shatterproof Combat Club to return to the cage on April 29 as part of a New England Fights card at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

The sudden urgency for his return to action came in the aftermath of a recent two-alarm fire in Somersworth, New Hampshire, that put four of his children and their mother out of their home.

“I wasn’t planning on fighting this soon,” said Shorey, “but when something like this happens, we do what we can. I asked Matt [Peterson, NEF co-owner and matchmaker] for a fight to try and get some money to help rebuild after the fire and as fate would have it, a spot opened up.”

That opening will match Shorey (4-8) against the debuting Rob “The Beast” Best in a three-round pro featherweight clash at NEF 28. Best’s original opponent dropped out due to medical reasons.

“Derek Shorey has shown no fear in his fight career,” said Peterson. “His fights are always exciting and he’s executed some of the most dynamic wrestling throws of all time inside the NEF cage. While he hasn’t always found victory in his bouts, he always puts on a show and brings the fight. He’s always had the courage to go up against the best and he’s saved more than a couple of bouts over the years by being willing to step in on short notice to replace fighters that pulled out.”

In addition to Shorey’s personal fundraising efforts, Peterson said New England Fights will hold a 50-50 raffle at the show to benefit the family and is considering other possible fundraising options.

A Gofundme campaign also has been established for the family at

“Derek has fought for NEF for a long time and we’re hoping that fans will join us in rallying around him and his family during this difficult time,” said Peterson.

NEF 28 will be headlined by a battle for the promotion’s professional lightweight title between Bangor-area combatants “The” Ryan Sanders and Jon Lemke.

NEF alum makes UFC debut

New England Fights has helped develop several regional- and national-level fighters in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. Bruce Boyington (World Series of Fighting), Ray Wood (Bellator MMA) and Devin Powell (UFC) all have earned opportunities at higher levels of the sport.

Now another NEF alumnus is attempting to make his mark in the big time.

Former NEF lightweight champion Desmond Green made a successful UFC debut last Saturday with a split-decision victory over previously undefeated Josh Emmett on the undercard of UFC 210 at Buffalo, New York.

The 27-year-old Green (20-5) began his pro career training with the Empire State-based Team Bombsquad but because pro MMA was not yet legal in New York he and his teammates were forced to seek fights out of state.

That led Green to Maine and New England Fights, and he won the inaugural NEF pro lightweight championship by defeating Henry Martinez by second-round technical knockout at NEF 7 in 2013.

It was Green’s third fight for the promotion, having scored earlier victories over Boyington and Brandon Fleming.

Green never defended his NEF belt, opting to vacate the title in order to sign with Bellator MMA.

“We were very proud to see him go in and have such a great showing in the UFC’s octagon last Saturday,” said Peterson. “We’re certain he will quickly make his mark as one of the top 145- or 155-pound fighters in the world in whatever weight class he chooses to settle in at, and Maine fight fans can say they got to see him when he first burst onto the MMA scene.”

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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...