Model transformations are used in model-driven development for mechanizing the interoperability and integration among modeling languages. Due to the graph-theoretic nature of models, the theory of graph transformation systems and its technological support provide a convenient environment for formalizing and verifying model transformations, which can then be used for defining the semantics of modelbased domain-specific languages. In this paper, we present an approach for formalizing and verifying QVT-like transformations that reuses the main concepts of graph transformation systems. Specifically, we formalize model transformations as theories in rewriting logic, so that Maude's reachability analysis and model checking features can be used for verifying them. This approach also provides a new perspective on graph transformation systems, where their formal semantics is given in rewriting logic. All the ideas presented are implemented in MOMENT2. In this way, we can define formal model transformations in the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) and we can verify them in Maude. We use a model of a distributed mutual exclusion algorithm to illustrate the approach.