BANGOR – “The” Ryan Sanders has long had his eyes on big time fight organizations like Bellator and UFC, but he has struggled to get over the hump despite some recent success. The primary reason? Nobody wants to fight him.
“The fact that nobody will fight me at 155 in New England, even though we’ve put out offers, we’ve put my name out to pretty much everyone in the top five, and they go silent, they go dark,” he said Tuesday. “It’s harder to get a fight with me than finding Area 51.”
Sanders (16-9) has seen his frustrations grow in New England’s lightweight division, despite him being one of New England Fights’ top contenders. With the promotion coming to Bangor Sept. 8, he was anxious to find an opponent, but no one wanted to step to the plate. So instead, he will step out of the comfort zone to battle Armando “Big Chino” Montoya (10-6) in a welterweight bout at 170-pounds.
He believes that taking the fight at a higher weight class, should he win, could bring forth more opportunities from major organizations in the future.
“Hopefully it opens up their eyes, and shows them I can compete in both weight classes,” he said.
Sanders competed at last year’s Bangor NEF show, defeating Jay Ellis via submission.