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In his own words: LeVon Maynard talks about the life of a prospect looking to make it big

The following article was written by welterweight prospect LeVon Maynard, who will be sponsored by for his fight this Saturday, February 23 in Richmond, Virginia against Jay R. Palmer at Combat Sports Challenge 23.

By LeVon Maynard levon_5oz1.jpg

My name is LeVon Maynard. I train at Global Martial Arts Academy in Virginia Beach, VA with my instructor Mateo De Los Reyes. I have been competing in MMA since May ’05. I had an amateur record of 8-1 before going pro in September ’07. I won my first pro match at CSC 22 by TKO in the 2nd round to a very skilled opponent.

Before I was scheduled to fight at CSC 22 I had tried on several occasions to have my pro debut. On two occasions my opponents backed out at the last moment leaving me without a replacement. Then two other times the event was either postponed or canceled all together. I have to say my run as a pro fighter has been a tough one. If I was fortunate in all my matches I would already be 5-0 as a pro. I don’t know if other fighters have had as much problems as I have in ’07 but I have to say it has been really aggravating.

I just can’t describe how disappointing it is when you spend all the time to train and prepare for a fight only to have everything fall through. Not only does it affect me but also the friends and family that spend their time and money to come out to a show. I was supposed to have a fight in Jacksonville, FL early last year but the fighter didn’t show up. My family and friends surprised me and actually spent their money to fly all the way out there from New York and Virginia only to find out that the fight was canceled. I can’t describe how that made me feel. I can’t stand “no shows” that back out at the last minute.

If you’re not going to fight or if you’re scared or whatever the case is, don’t wait till the day of the fight or weigh ins to decide not to show up. Have the courtesy to call the promoter in advance and let him know the reason(s) for backing out. Even though I have only one pro fight I have been training like a pro for a long time. If you want to be a professional you have to act like a professional. I am just trying to move up the ladder and make a name for myself.

In between my fights I continue to compete in grappling tournaments and have recently tried out and made the 2008 IFL Draft in New York. They contacted me in December and wanted to set me up with a match with Rory Markham at the Dec 29th Grand Prix. At the time of the call he was 14-3 as a pro fighter with me holding a lowly 1-0 pro record. I’m not sure whether they figured they could toss me in there like a “tomato can” perhaps to add another win to his record, or they have recognized in me the spirit of a determined athlete, the strange thing was it was not important what they thought or how they thought the match would play out.

I am fully confident in my abilities and told them I would take the fight with no hesitation. This would be a big opportunity to show my talents in front of a big audience and show people that I can stand with the best of them. Things would not play out as I was hoping they would as the IFL rep contacted the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission and they made the determination that the fight would not take place because of the discrepancy between our records. As a result, after a few calls to some other draftees they determined that Brett Cooper would be a more suitable match up with Rory.

I have to say I was envious to hear that Brett pulled off the win against Rory and the amount of noise people made over the win. But he did a terrific job and I wish him all the best, I just wish that I had got the same opportunity. But you know what they say “Hakuna Matata.” It’s all good. I’ll keep training and fighting and I am confident that my chance will surely come.

I have a fight scheduled for the 23rd of February at CSC 23 in Richmond, Virginia against Jay R. Palmer. I am very excited about this show as it is suppose to be one of the nicest venues in Richmond and the production value for the show is supposed to be over the top. I want to go in there and put on a fantastic show and hopefully get people to see me as a top level martial artist. At the moment, I am not nervous about the fight but I am sure I will have a few nerves right before getting into the ring, up until the first punch is thrown. After that point, I’ll be in there just having fun, doing the stuff I love to do. Maybe the only thing I am worried about at the moment is whether my opponent will back out as I have experienced this in the past.

Right now, I am actually jamming the keys hard on the keyboard just thinking about it. Hmm…I think it actually makes me more angry than worried (lol). My instructor (Mateo De Los Reyes) is having Erik Paulson out for a seminar on the same weekend and if everything pans out Erik will be cornering me for the match as well. That would be an honor to have him working my corner.

I have to say I have had such an adventure the last few years in my hopes of becoming a successful mixed martial artist. I have had my ups and downs in this sport but I am confident good things are sure to come my way. I love competing and I can’t imagine stopping anytime soon. I guess awhile back I came across a saying and have lived by it ever since:

“Determination…a strong will, the will to look only towards victory despite tough situations. The spirit of a man, with such determination, will energize his worn out body and enable him to throw more punches. Victory comes only from having strong determination.”

For more information about Levon, click here. For more information about Combat Sports Challenge 23, click here.


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