Maverick MMA may only have a few years in the game, but the Pennsylvania based mixed martial arts promotion is already set on honoring some of the fighters who helped put the promotion on the map. Fight promoter Willy Sisca has informed MyMMANews.com that he intends to induct three former fighters into the inaugural class of the Maverick MMA Hall of Fame at next weekend’s Maverick 14 fight card in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The induction ceremony will take place before the night’s main event which pairs Travis Foster up against Gabriel Barletta to crown the promotion’s first 165-pound champion.
“The Maverick Hall of Fame is a cool thing we decided to do to recognize the fighters who have been key to the growth of mixed mrtial arts and Maverick MMA,” Sisca told MyMMANews. “The first class features a UFC Legend, a TUF champion and current rising star, and a local legend, as Matt Hammill, Mike Trizano and Scott Heckman become the first inducted members of the HOF.”
“It’s an honor to be inducted into the inaugural Maverick Hall of Fame,” said former UFC star and current Maverick MMA light heavyweight champion Matt Hamill (13-8). “I am glad to have fought for Maverick and have won the light heavyweight championship. It is one of my greatest memories.”
“The Hammer” Hamill, known for be the first and only deaf fighter to compete for the UFC, made his way on to the Ultimate Fighter season 3 in 2006. While on the show, Hamill was coached by former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. The student would later face the teacher at UFC 121, defeating his mentor by way of unanimous decision. Hamill has fought some of the very best light heavyweights in the world to include Ortiz, Michael Bisping, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Rich Franklin, and Alexander Gustafasson. He is the only fighter to currently hold a win over Jon Jones. The win came to a disqualification from illegal strikes. Hamill defeated Chris Birchler in the main event at Maverick 6 to win the title in April 2018. He has not returned to action since.
Heckman, (28-9) is the first and only professional featherweight champion the promotion has seen. Heckman, who initially retired before returning to action with Maverick, is a former Cage Fury Fighting Championships title holder. He is easily Maverick’s biggest star to date, having headlined multiple shows and competing in seven fights with the promotion which is still in its infancy. He won the title in a hard fought decision victory over Robert Sullivan. The two men would rematch again at Maverick 3 where Heckman would again win a decision. Both fights are arguably the two best fights in Maverick MMA history to date. Heckman would go on to continue to successfully defend his belt again Myron Baker, Jay Haas, Ryan Kim Cafaro, and Jesse Stirn. He retired from competitive mixed martial arts after the Stirn victory in June.
“It’s an honor to be selected into the Maverick MMA Hall of Fame” Heckman said. “It’s somewhat hard for me to even put it into words since I have retired. But Maverick was one of my favorite events to be part of. Besides the good people running the event, I was able to preform in front of my friends and family. It saddens me that I will no longer fight again, but also makes it exciting to see the next wave of outstanding fighters coming through the regional promotion such as Maverick MMA.”
Trizano, (8-1) winner of the Ultimate Fighter season 27, had just one fight with Maverick, but what a performance it was. “The Lone Wolf” would knock out Tim Kunkel just 51 seconds into their fight. From there, Trizano went on to win impressively for Ring of Combat and Bellator before getting his shot with the UFC.
“I’m honored to be inducted into the first class of the Maverick MMA Hall of Fame,” Trizano told MyMMANews. “It’s special because we are paving the way for future generations of fighters looking to take their talents to the next level.”
Maverick 14 takes place Saturday, September 14 at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.