Heavyweight Jon Romero (2-1 MMA, 0-0 MMMA) and J.A. Dudley (8-16 MMA, 0-0 MMMA) will meet at Maverick MMA 1 at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania April 7, 2017.
Romero is looking to rebound after losing by a first-round key lock to Shawn Teed at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 61 Oct. 29, 2016. It marked the first defeat in his professional career.
After finishing (4-1) at the amateur level, Romero turned professional. In his pro debut, the 25-year-old finished Gil Isabel via second-round technical knockout at Global Proving Ground 21: Fighting for Autism July 25, 2016.
In the following bout, “The Future” submitted Ed Abrasley with a rear-naked choke in the opening round of their PA Cage Fight 24 bout in June 2016.
Dudley enters the fight as the more experienced mixed martial artist with 24 professional bouts to his name. The 36-year-old is coming off a second-round TKO win against John Fain at Toe 2 Toe Fights 3 on Oct. 3.
He was scheduled to fight Lorenzo Hood (9-4 MMA) for the GPG No. 1 heavyweight contender spot at GPG 27 Dec. 17, 2016. After Hood experienced traveling issues, GPG canceled the bout.
“From what I was told this morning he had issues with his blood work. Then that was taken care of,” Dudley said. “Then it was his flight. That was taken care of. And he was a no show to the flight.”
With Hood being absent, Dudley earned his chance to take on GPG Heavyweight Champion Shelton “The Gravedigger” Graves (4-3 MMA) later this year.
The night of the bout, Dudley challenged the title holder to a grappling match, but lost.
Before his latest victory, Dudley suffered back-to-back unanimous decision losses against Greg Rebello and former Bellator fighter Andreas Spang in 2014.
Fighting out of Plainfield, New Jersey, Dudley is (2-6) in his last eight fights. His other victory includes a first-round heel hook against Willie Brown Jr.at Classic Entertainment and Sports 24 June 27, 2014.
Headlining the Maverick MMA card is Scott “The Animal” Heckman (21-8 MMA, 0-0 MMMA) and Steve McCabe (7-19 MMA, 0-0 MMMA).