OAKLAND — Josh Bellows hasn’t had a mixed martial arts fight in more than a year. Josh Parker last fought in February, but now that he’s back at 155 pounds, Parker is eager to get back in the cage.

Both fighters, trained by Wes Littlefield, are on the card for professional fights in Saturday’s New England Fight Night III at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

Eight pro fights are on the card, with 10 amateur fights also scheduled. Littlefield said the promoters are expecting a crowd of at least 6,000.

The night features Maine native Tim Sylvia, a two-time UFC world heavyweight champion, fighting in his home state for the first time. Sylvia will take on Randy Smith in a 265-pound bout.

For Bellows, 26, of Winslow, this will be his first professional fight. He won his only amateur fight in April 2011, beating Ryan Jean of Gardiner. The long time between fights doesn’t concern Bellows. He’s used the time to train for this opportunity.

“That’s why it’s been so long,” Bellows said. “I needed to be absolutely 100 percent in confidence, strength, endurance, and cardio.”

Added Littlefield: “We’ve been sparring a lot. We’ve really honed in on his skills.”

Bellows will face Ryan Cowette in a 170-pound fight. Cowette, who runs MMAathletix gym in Brunswick, also is making his pro debut. Littlefield said a focus of Bellows preparation was cardio work.

“I felt his cardio was his weakness. We concentrated on cardio and standing up,” Littlefield said. “I don’t think (Cowette) can handle the pace.”

Parker’s opponent will be Chris Ramos (0-3) of Central New York MMA. After losing his last two fights at 145 pounds, Parker, 31, of Oakland, decided to train at 155 pounds.

“I can’t take cutting the weight any more,” Parker, who is 2-4 in professional fights, said. “I’m coming in confident. I feel like I still haven’t performed yet.”

The key for Parker’s success Saturday night is punch selection and quantity, Littlefield said.

“He just needs to let his hands go,” Littlefield said. “We’ve trained on movement and straight punches. We want to throw a lot of punches and bring (Ramos) into the late rounds if we can.”

Bellows and Parker have trained together under Littlefield’s tutelage for almost three years.

“Coach, he makes sure I do what I need to do up here,” Parker said, motioning to the ring on the second floor of Littlefield’s Gym.

Littlefield appreciates the hard work Parker and Bellows put in to stick with mixed martial arts.

“This isn’t an easy sport. It’s grueling on your body,” Littlefield said. “When the door to that cage locks, it’s ‘There’s nobody in here with me.’ “

Former Gardiner Area High School wrestler John Raio will fight in a 145-pound amateur contest against Derek Shorey.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.