Tonight Maverick MMA held Maverick MMA 3 from the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Maverick MMA 3 was headlined by a featherweight title rematch as champion Scott “The Animal” Heckman defended his title against Rob Sullivan.
Heckman defeated Sullivan in an epic brawl back in July to claim the organization’s 145-pound belt.
MyMMANews recently caught up with Heckman at the Maverick MMA 3 open workouts where he said, “If you re-watch that fight it was definitely not a split decision. I believe I won unanimously, but it is what it is. At the end of the day I got the win, and I was able in this camp to go back and look at different things that I can work on to help me win this fight decisively.”
A lightweight bout between Mike DeLouisa and Stephen Zakarauskas was cancelled by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission hours before the card began. Maverick MMA 3 will proceed with 12 fights.
In the opening bout of the night Ness Cardenas made short work of Marvin Munson. Cardenas rocked Munson with a few bombs, slammed him to the mat, worked for the arm before transitioning to full back control and sinking in the rear-naked choke.
Back-to-Back Ladies Bouts
Melissa Gardner and Lisa Edinger stood and traded shots before Gardener took the fight to the mat. While on the bottom Edinger worked for a triangle choke but Gardner defended perfectly, placing her glove in between her cheek and opponents thigh as to create space. The round ended in north-south position.
Round two begins and again the fists are flying. Gardner has Edinger up against the cage, but not much damage before Edinger moves to the center and unloads a combo of her own. The round ends with the two ladies exchanging leather up against the fence.
In the third and final round Gardner once again presses against the fence and attempts a takedown on Edinger. The two combatants fall but Edinger lands on top and begins to work the arm for a submission. The fight ends with Edinger cranking in an armbar but not before the bell tolls. This fight goes to a decision with Edinger getting the nod.
WOW!!! What a start to Liz Welch vs. Jessica Ruiz. Welch came out blazing, rocking Ruiz. Welch came out like a bulldog. Ruiz was in a bit of trouble until she landed a spinning backfist that echoed throughout the Sherman Theater. Welch attempted a standing guillotine with her back up against the cage before the round ended.
Round two picked up where one left off; the fists are flying. The entire round was contested on the feet. We move to the third and final frame where ended. Ruiz is landing shots from the southpaw stance before clinching with Welch and landing a few knees. Welch comes back with some serious striking power of her own. This fight is simply amazing. Ruiz wins a split decision.
Cooper comes out on top
Pat Cooper pushed James Lyons up against the cage at the start of their featherweight fight. Lyons circled off and got the fight to the ground where applied a deep armbar to close out the first round. Lyons lands a shot to start the fight that drops Cooper to a knee. The fight is now on the ground with Cooper on top. No damage is done here in this position and they move back to the feet. The second round ends with Lyons pushing Cooper up against the cage. The majority of the final two minutes was contested on the feet and then up against the cage before Cooper took it down to the canvas in the final ten seconds. Cooper wins a split decision.
Before her fight with Natalie Schlesinger, Kristy Wolterbeek told me that she was gaining confidence in her hands and wanted to test them. In the opening round Wolterbeek stood toe-to-toe with Schlesinger and while she did find a home on her opponent’s chin every once in a while, Schlesinger had the better outing in the opening five minutes. Wolterbeek found better success in the stand up game in frame number two, but again did not attempt to take the fight to the ground. Wolterbeek’s corner is instructing her to take the fight to the ground here before the third round starts. Once again the two fighters stand and trade the entire round and this one goes to the judges and Schlesinger wins a unanimous decision.
These K-Dojo gym guys are no joke. No matter the promotion, their fighters continue to deliver. David Juliano was too much for Mamdouh Nasr. Juliano could have finished the fight in the first but Nasr began to run, reminding me of Kalib Starnes. The second round began, Juliano poured it on, got the fight to the ground and put Nasr to sleep with an arm triangle choke.
Devon Estes made quick work of Destiny Quinones to win the Maverick MMA amateur strawweight championship.
Estes got the fight to the ground, trapped her opponents arm and locked on a kimura.
That’s all she wrote.
Foster ferocious in win over Nuno
Ricky Nuno vs. Travis Foster was the first pro fight of the night. Foster came out guns blazing and rocked Nuno early on. The fight went down to the mat but Foster did not really take advantage of the ground and pound, although he would likely earn points in the minds of the judges. Once the action resumed Foster continued to pour it on and landed an illegal inadvertent low blow to Nuno. The fight was temporarily stopped. Once resumed Foster threw a fast spinning back fist that fight have ended the fight if Nuno did not have cat like reflexes and ducked to avoid the contact. The fight is now back to the canvas and this time Foster is landing shots from the top while Nuno tries to pull him close into a full guard.
Round two is underway and Foster and Nuno are trading toe-to-toe. Foster is pushing forward but Nuno will not back down. He sticks out his tongue and laughs. The fight goes to the ground and it is not looking good for Nuno. Not takign damage but down on points. Then he must have read my mind. Nuno powers up, gets to his feet lands big shots, shoots in for a takedown and gets the slam. They stand back up and Nuno is pushing Foster up against the cage and landing shots. The round ends and the two fighters are jawing back and forth at one another and had to be separated.
The third round begins and Foster looks to win back the round he may have just lost. He begins to exchange with Nuno and each fighter is landing heavy shots. The fight makes its way to the canvas and Foster locks in a rear-naked choke. Nuno tries to fight it off but eventually the pressure is too much and the fight is stopped. Once over, Foster stands up and gets in the face of Nuno who just shrugs it off.
Espinosa ends feud with win
Tommy Espinosa and Federico Vento carried a social media beef into the Maverick MMA cage tonight and it made for an exciting fight. Vento found early success in the stand up game. At one point Espinosa went to take a step back and tripped up a bit. Moments later Vento landed a head kick and then threw Espinosa down to the canvas where he took back control. Espinosa makes his way to his feet but the fight goes back down to the mat. Espinosa grabs hold of Vento’s arm, looking to rip it off. Now Espinosa in on top landing vicious elbows and ground and pound to finish the first five minutes.
Espinosa gets flashy with the kicks early in the second round. Vento appears to be fading but still not backing down. There is a mouse forming over the right eye of Vento which may be impairing his vision. Espinosa lands a knee to the body and drops Vento. Espinosa pounces in and lands the finishing blows before referee Keith Petersen steps in. Espinosa gets up and flicks off his opponent as he walks away with the win.
Lindsey VanZandt is a threat at atomweight
Right out the gate of this Maverick MMA atomweight fight, Lindsey VanZandt landed a big right hand to the face of Rachel Sazoff. VanZandt throws up a big jump kick but falls on the landing. She gets back up and continues to push forward. At a mere 105-pounds, VanZandt has serious power in her paws. The second round is all VanZandt. The fight goes to the ground where she just unleashes hellish ground and pound, listening to every instruction her coach at Precision MMA shouts out. Referee Keith Petersen steps in after dozens of unanswered strikes are landed. Do not sleep on Lindsey VanZandt.
Joey Angelo wins middleweight gold
Kris Gratalo was the flashier striker of the two when he met Joey Angelo in the center of the cage for the Maverick MMA middleweight title. Gratalo, light on his feet moves in and out with crisp kicks. Angelo doesn’t care so much for the flash and is landing big thunderous kicks of his own. Angelo working to soften up the legs of Gratalo.
The fight moves to the second round and they continue to unleash fury upon one another. Angelo landing the kicks and Gratalo working the hands. Half way through the second round Gratalo picks Angelo up and slams him in the center of the cage. Gratalo is on top of Angelo landing ground and pound, working for control of the round. We move to the third and final round.
Gratalo opens up the third rounds with a spear like takdown and moves Angelo to the center of the cage. Angelo tries to escape and Gratalo takes his back. Angelo works his way out the fight moves back to the feet. They exchange for a bit before Gratalo pushes Angelo up against the cage. Angelo lands a big knee that rocks and almost drops Gratalo. The referee swarms in and Angelo continues the assault. Gratalo is rocked but still in the fight. He manages to gather himself and pushes Angelo up against the cage but drops to a knee for a single leg. Angelo lands hard shots to the body. Gratalo leaning on Angelo up against the cage, they break and Gratalo lands huge shots before the bell tolls. Joey Angelo wins a unanimous decision and is the Maverick MMA middleweight champion.
Scott Heckman was having trouble finding his footing early on in the opening round as it seemed that every time Sullivan leaned it with a shot, Heckman got tied up on his feet. Sullivan is throwing hard shots early on, keeping Heckman’s back to the cage. The champion throws heavy kicks and the crowd begins a “Sullivan” chant. Once it fizzles out, a louder “Scotty” chant takes over. Heckman throws a few legs kicks, gets spun around and Sullivan ends the round with a head kick. This round may go to the challenger.
Sullivan lands a looping heavy right hand as Heckman shoots in for a takedown to start the second frame. Heckman lands a flush jab followed by a spinning backfist. He now has Sullivan pressed up against the cage. The two then begin to circle one another and land some jabs. Heckman shoots in and secures a takedown. They work back to the feet. Just like in their first fight, Sullivan now has a cut on top of his head and is leaking a bit of blood. Heckman lands a kick to the calf of Sullivan and nearly spins him around. We move to the third and final round.
Sullivan finding more success in this round and is beginning to frustrate the champion. The crowd begins chanting “Sullivan” again. This fight is an absolute war just like the first and it appears that if this one goes to the judges we may just need rounds 7, 8, and 9. They slug it out til the final bell. Heckman retains the title in a split decision once again. The crowd not pleased, sending boos throughout the Sherman Theater. The fight was incredible.
Complete Maverick MMA 3 Results below:
Scott Heckman defeated Rob Sullivan via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) (for featherweight title)
Joey Angelo defeated Kris Gratalo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) (for middleweight title)
Lindsey VanZandt defeated Rachel Sazoff via TKO – Round 2, 4:42
Tommy Espinosa defeated Federico Vento via TKO – Round 2, 3:56
Travis Foster defeated Ricky Nuno via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:19
Mike DeLouisa vs. Stephen Zakarauskas (cancelled)
Devon Estes defeated Destiny Quinones via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 1:41 (for amateur strawweight championship)
David Juliano defeated Mamdouh Nasr via submission (arm-triangle choke) – 0:50
Natalie Schlesinger defeated Kristy Wolterbeek via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Pat Cooper defeated James Lyons via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jessica Ruiz defeated Liz Welch via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Lisa Edinger defeated Melissa Gardener via unanimous decision (no score announced)
Ness Cardenas defeated Marvin Munson via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:32