While no mixed martial arts shows are on the immediate horizon for the Bangor area, at least three of the area’s top prospects are returning to the cage soon in their efforts to continue building their competitive resumes.
Two of those fighters will be in action Saturday night, with Josh Harvey (8-1-1) battling Adli Edwards (8-1) in a featherweight (145-pound) matchup at The Fillmore in New Orleans, Louisiana.
That XMMA4 card, which is scheduled to feature 14 former Ultimate Fighting Championship competitors, will be available to watch via free live stream on the XMMA TV YouTube page.
Brewer featherweight Aaron Lacey (7-2) will be in action on the same evening, competing in his second main event in less than two months when he takes on veteran Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell to head up the 13-fight Cage Titans 52 show at the Plymouth (Massachusetts) Memorial Hall.
Lacey ended a 3 ½-year absence from the cage — part due to injury, part due to the sport’s COVID-19 shutdown — on Feb. 12 with a second-round technical knockout victory over Jerome Mickle during NEF 46 in Portland.
Lacey’s challenge Saturday night is a much more experienced fighter in Campbell, who will enter the bout with a 21-14 record as well as the home-cage advantage — he trains at South Shore Sportfighting in Rockland, Massachusetts, about 30 minutes from the Plymouth arena.
At 5-foot-10, Lacey, who trains at Nostos’ MMA in Somersworth, New Hampshire, will hold a 4-inch height advantage over Campbell, who has competed for the top-tier Bellator MMA promotion but is coming off a first-round loss to Bruno Dias in a grappling match for Cage Titans on Feb. 25.
Campbell also will be moving up a weight division from his usual bantamweight (135-pound) class to take on Lacey at 145 pounds.
Also announced this week was the next fight for Brewer’s Glory Watson, who will face New Jersey native Natalie “Natty Ice” Schlesinger in a women’s strawweight (115-pound) clash to be held as part of NEF 47 on May 14 at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn.
The 27-year-old Watson (2-1) is coming off her second straight pro victory, a second-round submission by rear naked choke against previously unbeaten Alibeth Milliron at NEF 46 in Portland last month.
“My last fight was an evolutionary step in my fight game,” Watson said. “I found my passion and brought it into the cage. I am looking forward to showcasing the progress I have continued to make since that moment.”
Schlesinger, 23, made a successful professional debut last July 31 with a three-round unanimous decision over Sandy Chheng on a card in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. That bout was contested in the atomweight (105-pound) division, meaning Schlesinger will be moving up a weight class to battle Watson.
“I am grateful to be home in Maine for back-to-back fights, close to family, friends and fans,” said Watson, who trains at the Orrington-based Young’s MMA. “As always, I am thankful to my opponent for accepting the fight and showing she is game for anything. This fight camp is in full swing and I am ready for fight night.”