UFC welterweight George Sullivan has signed to fight for Maverick MMA at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Sullivan’s opponent on the November 17 fight card will be Manny Walo of Driven Gym, also a native of New Jersey.
Sullivan is currently riding a three fight losing streak with the UFC organization but states that he has been given permission to fight outside the promotion. His most recent loss came last month at UFC Lincoln to fellow New Jersey native Mickey Gall.
Sullivan’s UFC career has been a rollercoaster ride and a half. The former Cage Fury Fighting Championships title holder landed in the UFC in 2014, earning two wins out the cage at what seemed to be the highest point in his mixed martial arts career.
Just as most any other fighter who reaches the pinnacle promotion in the UFC, you will experience loss. Sullivan dropped a fight to Tim Means, but then picked up another win immediately following the blemish. But it was what would come next that hit the New Jersey native hard.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Sullivan of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection taken on January 14, 2017. Sullivan was to return at UFC 208 in February after serving a suspension that resulted from another violation in 2016.
Sullivan was serving a one year suspension under the UFC Anti-Doping Program, for his use of a product containing the prohibited substance Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1). Sullivan never actually tested positive for the substance; instead the UFC welterweight came forth and admitted that he found out the prohibited substance was in product he was taking.
Sullivan was due to end his current suspension on January 31, 2017, and compete on the UFC 208 card in Brooklyn, New York, against Randy Brown. However, USADA provisionally suspended Sullivan based on the new potential anti-doping violation, and the UFC removed Sullivan from the UFC 208 card.
Before the Maverick MMA’s first event in early 2017, Sullivan was on hand at open workouts where he talked about his friendship with promoter Willy Sisca.
“Willy and I first met back in a league that I was champion for, Cage Fury (Fighting Championships), so we got a really good friendship off of Cage Fury. And then we did some anti-bullying work together. I went out to his hometown and talked to the school. So we always stayed in touch, and that’s basically how we became friends,” Sullivan said.
“Willy is a good friend of mine, and I know he is going to do great things. I know Maverick MMA is gonna blow up. I just want to support it and show that he has a lot of good connections, he knows a lot of good people, he loves fighting and you know, I respect that so I have to give back to what he’s given me.”