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Locals compete in New England Fights
BANGOR -- There was plenty of high hopes for two individuals who each stepped in to the cage for their respective mixed martial fights and it was certainly worth it for Caleb Hall and Trevor Hebert, who each had to regroup and rally on the New England Fights VIII card held recently at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion.
Hall of Dixfield raised his amateur record to 3-0, following a third-round TKO against Zackary Adams. Hebert of Topsham (nee Roxbury) evened his record at 1-1 by storming back to drop Stephen Desjardins (2-3).
Hebert, a Mountain Valley graduate who is a welder at Bath Iron Works, has used his twin brother Travis as inspiration, and the connection was vastly needed. Travis who was injured in an automobile accident over two decades ago has a resulting mental illness and was unable to attend the fight.
''He had a pretty bad episode and had to go to the hospital Wednesday, so he and my dad (Don) and my mom (Betty) couldn't be here,'' said Hebert. ''I had a lot of motivation. Travis was in the cage with me tonight, I can tell you that.''
Hebert had entered the third round knowing full well that he was behind on the judges cards. This had transpired for having had two points deducted for hitting Desjardins below the belt three times in the first round. Hebert was still flustered in the second round and his over-zealousness allowed further pummeling.
''I had to tone it down a bit, especially after (referee Kevin MacDonald) took the second point,'' said Hebert. ''Trainer Brent Dillingham can pick up on it where a lot of fight fans can't.''
Hebert regained footing and tatooed Desjardins with a hard right hand, followed by a barrage of punches. The fight was stopped with 10 seconds remaining in the second round.
''I talked with my dad today and he was a little choked up,'' said Hebert, who received a call from Hebert's sister Tasha directly following the fight.
Hall, 18, who wrestles at Plymouth State University, has utilized his mat skills in dominating his opponents. The former two-time state wrestling champion, was neutralized by Adams who background in jiu-jitsu also showed ground and-pound skills.
''I thought I was down 2-9, maybe even 10-8 in the second,'' said Hall.
Hall gained the upper hand early in the third round by nailing Adams with the first shot and then teed-off by landing more than 20 left-right combinations in succession to stop the fight at 19 seconds.
''I just wasn't sticking to the game plan,'' said Hall, who had a TKO in 51 seconds, with a rear naked choke at NEF V last September.
''Regarding clean, crisp punches and avoid going to the ground game at all costs.''
Hebert, 28, who made his MMA amateur debut in May, didn't really have a chance to let loose. Mike Brown of Massachusetts grabbed Hebert's arm and produced an arm bar, forcing Hebert to tap out in 48 seconds.
Former state champion wrestlers Charlie Stambach (Lisbon) and C.J Ewer (Foxcroft) each won their amateur fights. The outdoor venue was a change for NEF which had staged seven successful events at the Androscoggin Bank Collisee.
NEF is co-owned by Matt Peterson of Rumford.