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Austin in MMA match Saturday
RUMFORD -- Since being introduced to the fast and furious mixed martial arts, Eric Austin has become hooked and is prepared to test his skills in the cage again. The Rumford native will be on the card when New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston this Saturday. It will be Austin's second fight after making his debut at the Colisee in September.
Austin won a unanimous decision against Noah Hall, who was ranked No. 5 (135 pounds) in New England at the time. Austin, who won a state championship in the early 1990s for Mountain Valley, had no reservations about fighting and credited his performance for having trained with Hall for eight weeks. In the bout, Austin secured a head and arm takedown, but quickly realized he was in for a battle against Noah Hall. The combatants returned to their feet and went toe-to-toe.
"He is a Brazilian ju-jitsu fighter," said Austin, after returning from the hospital for stitches "So I had planned on staying on my feet and working up a sweat before going to the mat because his style is comfortable on back and works well securing holds on the mat."
Austin encountered trouble when he picked up off the mat, but Hall secured an arm bar and was excreting pressure on the elbow. Austin quickly realized the danger and dropped Hall on his head.
“He would have broken my elbow," said Austin. "I had also underestimated his striking ability, but he was coming from over the top."
MMA fighting features several different styles, so each competitor must be prepared to adjust their own execution throughout the battle.
The River Valley flavor was evident among the thousands of fans because Austin was joined by Jesse Peterson and Caleb Hall in September. Peterson, of Rumford, was the main event and won the first-ever Maine state Middleweight championship with 47 seconds left in the second round against Cody Lightfoot. Hall went on the offensive and it paid off, forcing John Parker to tap out due to a rear-naked choke hold, 51 seconds into the first period. NEF co-owner Matt Peterson is Jesse's brother and a state rep. from Rumford.