UFC veteran Josh Grispi was arrested in August of 2014 for the “viscous beating” of his wife Kaitlyn Grispi, a beating that one police officer would later say was “the worst case of domestic abuse I’ve ever seen.”
Grispi would be incarcerated for said domestic abuse and has since been released after serving his sentence. The fighter would look to resume his professional MMA career at New England Fights 42 on February 8, but that return has been halted due to “legal complications” and will get replaced at the event by fellow UFC veteran Manny Bermudez. No word has been given at this time as to what exactly those “legal complications” are or entail.
NEF issued the following press release through their Facebook page:
GRISPI OUT, BERMUDEZ IN TO FACE BOYINGTON FOR LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE AT NEF 42
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (January 19, 2020) – New England Fights (NEF) will hold its next mixed-martial-arts (MMA) event, "NEF 42: Symphony of Destruction," on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. Earlier today, NEF announced a change to one-half of the card’s main event. Manny “The Bermudez Triangle” Bermudez (14-2) will now face Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (17-11) for the vacant NEF Professional Lightweight Championship in the night’s headline fight.
Bermudez stepped in to replace his teammate and training partner Josh Grispi (14-5) who was originally scheduled to meet Boyington. Grispi was forced to bow out of the main event due to legal complications unforeseen at the time of the bout’s signing. Mere hours after losing Grispi, NEF executives were notified that Bermudez would accept the fight with Boyington.
Like Grispi, Bermudez is a veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – the pinnacle of the sport. He put together a record of 3-2 while competing in the promotion before being released this past October. All three of Bermudez’s wins in the UFC came by way of submission. The fight with Boyington will be Bermudez’s first since his release.
“I’m looking forward to coming up to Bruce’s home turf and showing where it is I belong on the regional circuit,” stated Bermudez. “I have experience at various levels in the sport and Bruce does too, so it’ll be interesting to see how the matchup unfolds on fight night.”
Bruce Boyington has never been one to back down from a challenge. The Taekwondo black belt and US Marine Corp veteran has made a career of fighting the “best of the best” whether it be in the NEF cage, at Madison Square Garden fighting for the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) on national television, or halfway across the world competing on a global event in Russia. Boyington, a member of Titan Athletics based in Brewer, Maine, looks to capture the lightweight strap for the second time on February 8.
"There is no easy fight and this makes for the same scenario - a main event worthy of any card,” said Boyington. “Two high caliber fighters - that's the kind of fight I like to be in."
Adding to the high-caliber aspect of the fight, two streaks held by Boyington and Bermudez respectively make the fight even that much more intriguing. Boyington has never lost a title fight. He is a perfect 7-0 when a championship strap is on the line. In the same breadth, Bermudez has never lost a regional fight as a professional. He was a perfect 11-0 on the regional scene prior to signing with the UFC. On February 8, someone’s “0” will have to go.
“I first met Manny Bermudez 11-years ago one random weekend while visiting his home gym, South Short Sportfighting,” noted NEF co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “He was a young, gangling teenager at the time that was giving fits on the floor to men two and three times his age. Manny made the gym his second home and the rest, as they say, is history—Manny went on to have a great run in the UFC. When Josh Grispi was forced to pull out of his fight with Bruce, Bruce gave me one directive for a replacement opponent—‘make sure they are good,’ he said. Bruce always wants to face the best and that’s what we were able to bring him in Bermudez. This is a main event fit for a symphony.”
New England Fights' next mixed-martial-arts event, "NEF 42: Symphony of Destruction," will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. Tickets are on sale now at www.PortTix.com.