Hawn (left) was able to stop Maynard with just seconds remaining in the first round (Photo by Augustine Dashiell, Plainfield Sports News).
Rick Hawn Stops Levon Maynard in First Round
On a night when the championship of his weight division was on the line, welterweight Rick Hawn (9-0) did not disappoint in his debut fight with Bellator Fighting Championships. Hawn had a tough task in front of him in Levon Maynard (10-7), but the Boston product was able to capitalize on a late first round mistake by his opponent to record a TKO at the 4:53 mark.
These two fighters showed mutual respect at the bell with a tap of the gloves, but they immediately went to business after that. Maynard tried to work the kicks early while Hawn looked to counter with strikes. Maynard was able to square in on his opposition in the opening minute and lock him up by the cage, but Hawn was able to quickly dismiss the clinch.
The duo then went back to an exchange from the stand-up position with Maynard looking to be the aggressor, but Hawn strategically stood his ground and countered with some well-timed punches. Maynard continued to press with kicks in an attempt to chop down the legs of his opponent, but Hawn did well to avoid the strikes and was able to get his opposition into the clinch on the side of the cage. At that point, he looked to sweep and take the fight to the ground while Maynard continued to throw kicks from the enclosed position.
At the two-minute mark, the two fighters broke on their own accord and began to again exchange strikes from the stand-up. Maynard did land a couple of big kicks as the final minute of the first round began to approach, but Hawn did not appear to be too phased by the damage. With around 30 seconds remaining in the frame, however, Hawn threw a kick and was immediately swept to the canvas. When Maynard closed in on him, Hawn was able to quickly hip toss his opponent and pounced into a devastating deliverance of ground and pound. He began the assault with lightning quick hammer strikes before finally punching out his opposition, ending a successful debut in front of Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney and a rambunctious Philadelphia audience.
The official time of the TKO was 4:53 of the first stanza.