Royal Farms Arena

Shogun Fights XXIV

April 11, 2020 - 6:30PM


The East Coast’s Premier MMA Organization

The brain-child of John Rallo, Shogun fights regularly packs several of the largest venues in the region including Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, The Theater at MGM National Harbor and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Ft Lauderdale. A hotbed for celebrities and UFC stars, Shogun events will continue to be a Baltimore mainstay for a time to come.

With a successful (albeit short) MMA career and stint as a celebrity bodyguard under his belt, working with the likes of Tommy Lee and Sylvester Stallone, Rallo focused on opening a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy after receiving his blackbelt from Renzo Gracie himself. During this time he worked towards legalizing MMA in the state of Maryland, eventually passing legalization in one session – an unheard of feat with new legislature. With the arena wide-open, Rallo has spent years promoting shows and building a roster of packed talent, with several fighters going to the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Dana White’s Contender Series and PFL amongst others.

John Rallo Owner / Operator



  • Khabib Nurmagomedov sends Justin Gaethje an ominous warning ahead of October fight 
    by Damon Martin on August 4, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Esther Lin, MMA Fighting UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has a lot of respect for Justin Gaethje, but that won’t stop him from attempting to smash the human highlight-reel when they meet in October. On Monday, Gaethje was in Los Angeles spending some time with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan while getting in a workout with his head coach Trevor Wittman. Rogan posted a short video on his Instagram calling Gaethje a “savage” after witnessing his training session with Wittman. In response, Nurmagomedov dropped into the comments to offer Gaethje a not so subtle reminder of the war ahead of him in the lightweight title unification bout at UFC 254. “Justin is a very nice guy and good opponent for me, but when octagon close he have to be ready not only boxing match, I’m not Dustin [Poirier] or Tony [Ferguson],” Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram. “I will take him to the deepest ocean and drown him.” View this post on Instagram Awesome morning at the studio where I had the privilege of seeing the savage @justin_gaethje and the master Trevor Whitman of @onxlabs put in work! Thank you also to my brother @yacoubianmuaythai for the awesome training session! A post shared by Joe Rogan (@joerogan) on Aug 3, 2020 at 11:55am PDT That’s an ominous warning from Nurmagomedov, who has largely dominated every single one of the 28 fights on his resume. In fact, the undefeated Russian has only lost one round during his entire UFC career. That came in the third round of his fight against Conor McGregor … and then Nurmagomedov finished the fight in the fourth round with a submission. Rarely does Nurmagomedov try to disguise his game plan to take his opponents to the ground and maul them but it will be an interesting test with Gaethje, who’s a former Division I NCAA All-American wrestler from his time at the University of Northern Colorado. Currently, Nurmagomedov is training close to home in Dagestan, but it’s expected that he will travel back to the United States to work with his coaches and teammates at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., before facing Gaethje in October.

  • Eric Spicely opens up on UFC release, antidepressants after severe concussion in Deron Winn fight
    by Steven Marrocco on August 3, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Eric Spicely holds no grudge against the UFC and expects to fight his way back into the octagon after the promotion recently released him from contract. “I have no regrets,” he told MMA Fighting on Monday. “I didn’t sh*t talk the UFC. I understand what’s going on. I didn’t fulfill my contractual duties, and I can only go forward from here and be positive.” Spicely said he was pulled from the fight after he “miscalculated” his weight cut, arriving on fight week over 20 pounds heavy for a scheduled bout against Markus Perez at UFC Vegas 5. “I didn’t know what to expect, and it just went wrong,” Spicely said. “I thought I could get the weight off, but I couldn’t. I made weight on six days’ notice last time, so I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem making weight.” The veteran middleweight attributed his struggle to a regimen of anti-depressants he started over six months ago to treat symptoms of a “really bad” concussion he suffered in a June 2019 loss to Deron Winn. He said he was unable to go outside for one month after the fight and was severely depressed afterward. The medication helped Spicely return to training after a long period of listlessness, but he said it turned his body against him on the week of the event. “I’ve been fighting for a long time, and it was just after the Deron fight, I had a concussion for so long, and I was just so depressed after, I started taking medication,” he said. “Naturally, with a lot of them, one of the side effects is you start gaining a lot of weight. It’s very hard to lose weight. So I’ve been trying to figure it out, and the weight cut just went f*cking south for the first time in my career.” Even before Spicely showed up, things had already started to go south. He lost both of his corners when they were denied entry into the country from Canada, where he trains at the famed Tristar Gym in Montreal. Due to the quarantine requirements of the UFC’s COVID-19 policy, he improvised training by propping his mattress against the hotel wall. Nevertheless, Spicely and his team pulled out all the stops to make weight. His manager, Daniel Rubenstein, secured octagon veteran Tom Lawlor as a corner, and a rep from Lockhart and Leith, UFC weight-cutting specialists, helped during his cut. At one point, Spicely went up to 220 pounds, so he stopped taking his medication and reported a five-pound loss. Meanwhile, Rubenstein negotiated a 195-pound catchweight fight. On Thursday at 10 p.m., the manager said, Spicely reported multiple blackouts and, at 210 pounds, anxiety attacks in the bath. After switching to a portable sauna, the fighter said he’d lost one pound in two hours, but added, “I feel less like I’m dying.” Twenty minutes later, Spicely reported another blackout, and Rubenstein said he called the fight. Spicely said the UFC’s doctor, Jeff Davidson, also recommended against cutting more weight. “They were in my corner,” Spicely said. “They went to bat for me. My manager went to bat for me. There was nothing we could do.” Spicely said he apologized via email to Maynard and offered to change his medication so he could fight without issue. But when he landed in Montreal, he got a text from Rubenstein with word that he’d been released. After the Winn loss was awarded “Fight of the Night,” Spicely thought he’d impressed the UFC enough to earn some job security; he was told he could fight out the remaining three bouts on his contract. His previous stint ended on a three-fight skid. “There’s no rhyme or reason to anything,” he said. “I don’t think that I’m being treated unfairly. It’s a bummer, but it’s the way the cookie crumbles. It’s unfortunate. I haven’t fought in one year, I haven’t made money. I was supposed to fight in March, but the coronavirus happened and the fight got canceled, and they said they’d rebook me soon. This is the first fight they’ve rebooked me, and it’s been a hard one, for sure.” Despite the physical and psychological consequences of his career, Spicely said his goals haven’t shifted at all. Admitting his use of anti-depressants helped him discover his journey isn’t unique. “Once I started the medication, everyone saw a complete change in me and my attitude and my emotions,” he said. “I feel so much better. I’m telling you, I think this might have been ‘Fight of the Night’ with Markus Perez. If anything, everyone’s been very supportive of it. It hasn’t been a bad thing. “I’ve struggled with depression my entire life, so getting punched in the head is only going to make that worse. It’s not like it’s just from this or it came out of nowhere. I think you’d find 95 percent of fighters – maybe that’s a high number – or 75 percent of fighters are struggling with the same thing. And I know they are - they’ve reached out to me. They’ve thanked me for speaking about it because they didn’t have the courage to speak about it. This is what we signed up for. This is what I love. I’m not ready to give up yet. I know what the consequences are, just like everyone who plays football and everyone who does a contact sport. We all know the consequences, but the heart wants what the heart wants. “I think for most people, it’s a dirty secret, and even for me, I probably should have started taking them a long time ago, but I didn’t want to admit to myself there was an issue, or I was embarrassed. The response that I’ve gotten is just so overwhelming and positive, and even when I started them and I told my coaches and friends, it was like, ‘Yeah, OK, it’s normal.’ A million people are going through the same thing, and it’s not that big of a deal.” Spicely said the “old” him would have taken his second release as a mortal blow. Now, he just looks at it as another setback to overcome. He’s ready to move on. First on his list of priorities is a way to support himself on his way back. “I literally have no money in my bank account, so I have to figure out how I’m going to work, and I can’t work in Canada because I’m not a citizen,” he said. “But this is where I train, so it’s going to be interesting.”

  • RIZIN cards finalized for next two shows, including Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Tomo Maesawa
    by Alexander K. Lee on August 3, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Ayaka Hamasaki (pictured) fights Tomo Maesawa in a strawweight bout at RIZIN 22 in Yokohama, Japan, this Sunday | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting RIZIN is loading up for its comeback show this Sunday. The Japanese promotion made more bouts official for RIZIN 22, its first show since February, a break that was necessitated by the outbreak of the coronavirus in March. The Aug. 9 event takes place at Pia Arena MM in Yokohama, Japan, and will feature a crowd at 50 percent capacity. Recently announced fights for RIZIN 22 include a strawweight bout between Ayaka Hamasaki and Tomo Maesawa, Tetsuya Saeki stepping in for an injured Yojiro Uchimura to face Kouya Kanda in a featherweight bout, and Rui Ebata meeting Seiki Ueyama in a flyweight kickboxing bout. Hamasaki (19-3) is coming off of a split decision loss in a super atomweight title defense against Seo Hee Ham at RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve show in December. Maesawa, an atomweight veteran of 23 fights, holds a 13-10 record and most recently fought at a JEWELS event in October, where she beat Emi Tomimatsu by unanimous decision. RIZIN is holding back-to-back events this upcoming weekend, with RIZIN 23 taking place on Aug. 10, also at Pia Arena MM. North American broadcast information is still to be announced. See the updated cards for both shows below: RIZIN 22 Yusuke Yachi vs. Roberto Satoshi Souza Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Tomo Maesawa Kanna Asakura vs. Mizuki Furuse Naoki Inoue vs. Shooto Watanabe Rui Ebata vs. Seiki Ueyama — kickboxing Nadaka Yoshinari vs. Yuushin — kickboxing Tetsuya Saeki vs. Kouya Kanda Rikuto Shirakawa vs. Kyohei Hagiwara Erson Yamamoto vs. Kenji Kato RIZIN 23 Kai Asakura vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo Yuki Motoya vs. Mamoru Uoi Yutaka Saito vs. Kazumasa Majima Kento Haraguchi vs. Taiga — kickboxing Kotetsu Boku vs. Jin Aoi Seiichiro Ito vs. Makoto Shinryu Kaito vs. Daryl Lokoku — kickboxing Yusaka Nakamura vs. Tatsuki Saomoto Shintaro Matsukara vs. Koji Mori — kickboxing

  • Kevin Holland draws newcomer Joaquin Buckley in late addition to UFC Vegas 6
    by Damon Martin on August 3, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Kevin Holland will get his wish to fight this weekend at UFC Vegas 6 with newcomer Joaquin Buckley being tapped as his opponent. Multiple sources close to the middleweight contest confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Monday. UFC Vegas 6 takes place Saturday at UFC APEX in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN+. Holland initially was scheduled to compete this past weekend at UFC Vegas 5, but his opponent, Trevin Giles, fainted just before the fighters were scheduled to walk to the octagon. The Nevada Athletic Commission immediately cancelled the contest with Giles later being taken to a local hospital for treatment. While an attempt was briefly made to secure Holland a fight with light heavyweight Ed Herman, whose fight was canceled when Gerald Meerschaert tested positive COVID-19, Holland ultimately wasn’t able to fight. As for Buckley, he will make his UFC debut on less than one week’s notice, but just a few days after he picked up a win in LFA. The 26-year-old prospect, who previously fought in Bellator MMA as well, has notched a pair of knockout wins in his past two fights in LFA. His latest came in a second round finish this past Friday night, and now Buckley will make the quick turnaround to fight in the UFC.

  • Dana White to visit Mike Tyson camp, ‘100 percent supportive’ of Roy Jones Jr. fight
    by Steven Marrocco on August 3, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mike Tyson will get a special visitor to his training camp next week when UFC President Dana White checks out the boxing legend’s routine for an eight-round exhibition against fellow ex-champ Roy Jones Jr. “I’m flying out probably next week to watch him train,” White told reporters on Friday. White added he’s “100 percent supportive” of the fight, which takes place Sept. 12 in Carson, Calif., and airs on pay-per-view and the social media platform Triller. “I’m excited for [Tyson],” the UFC exec said. “He says he’s got that fire, he wants to fight, he wants this, Jones wants it, they’re grown men – I’m 100 percent supportive.” Tyson and Jones Jr. have hyped up the fight by promising to go full force in the ring. Privately, however, they’ve been given a clear set of expectations on the fight from the California State Athletic Commission, which will regulate the event. “We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight,” CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster told “They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal. “It’s an exhibition. They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other. They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout.” That understanding could inform White’s opinion of the aging legends’ rendezvous. He’s never shied away from recommending retirement for fighters who won’t have the drive or ability to compete. Frequently, White’s opinion on the “r” word has been offered amid disputes over pay. And as the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped the promotion’s priorities, he’s framed the dispute as a simple choice for the fighter: fight, or stay retired (and still under contract). “These guys are retired,” White recently said in response to a call from former two-division champ Henry Cejudo, who called for several fights after announcing he’d only come out of retirement for the right number. “I’m not even thinking about any of those guys. They’re retired. There are so many kids right now that are here, that want to fight. Those are the people that I’m focused on.” White has also cited health and safety concerns when expressing opposition to the return of longtime allies. He called Foster’s decision to sanction a third fight between UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz “disgusting” after Liddell was knocked out in the first round. Initially, he said he wished the fight wasn’t happening and hoped Liddell earned a lucrative payday. With a $49.99 price tag, Tyson, 54, and Jones Jr., 51, could make a healthy chunk of change if the public is enticed to watch aging legends tamely spar. With a UFC fight night planned for Sept. 12, and a yet-unknown set of safety protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19, White said he “probably” won’t be there to see what happens. As for who will come out ahead, he said, “I have no clue.” “Ask me that question next week after I go to camp and watch him train,” White said. “I’ll give you an honest answer.”


Countdown to Shogun Fights XXIV









Fight night returns to Baltimore on 04/11/20 with Shogun Fights XXIV.
You DON’T want to miss this night of EXTREME GROUND & POUND ACTION!
Shogun Fights showcases MMA fighters from the Mid-Atlantic region

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Happy 4th of July everyone! Thanks to all who have served and to those still serving. I hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday. #happy4thofjuly #thankyouforyourservice #shogunfights ...

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