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Shogun Fights

October 7, 2023

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

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  • Loopy Godinez forgot she was in Las Vegas during raucous Noche UFC card: ‘I thought I was in Mexico’
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on September 25, 2023 at 12:00 am

    Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Noche UFC may go down as one of the best ideas to come from the MMA powerhouse in many years. The card, held on Mexican Independence Day, featured a slew of fighters from Mexico, including UFC flyweight champion Alexa Grasso, who defended her belt against Valentina Shevchenko in the main event. The reception for the event was incredible, with UFC CEO Dana White reporting that Noche UFC was the most-watched fight night card ever on ESPN+. The fighters also felt the impact. UFC strawweight Loopy Godinez admitted she was blown away by the reception she received from a raucous and loud crowd at the T-Mobile Arena. “It was crazy,” Godinez said this past week on The MMA Hour. “Honestly, I was having a blast the whole fight week. It was amazing. I honestly was getting confused sometimes because I thought I was in Mexico. That week and that day, we were in Mexico pretty much. “The energy through the week and the weigh-ins and with the mariachi band, it was insane. The day of the fight, we were in the back and you could feel and hear all the screams. That energy cannot [be] matched. It was just unreal.” The success of Noche UFC already made White tout plans to hold events on Mexican Independence Day ever year moving forward, even if the date may clash with a potentially huge boxing event. For her part, Godinez sounds ready to volunteer her services to compete on all future Noche UFC events, especially after the experience she had at the inaugural show. In a perfect world, Godinez would love to see a Noche UFC card take place in Mexico, but after what unfolded in Las Vegas, she’s not complaining about fighting there again either. “Of course, if it’s in Mexico, it would be even better, but Vegas worked out,” Godinez said. “I know the UFC, every year will become even better. Sign me up, I want to fight every [Mexican Independence Day].” Godinez thrived under the bright lights at Noche UFC, scoring a second-round submission win over Elise Reed that also earned her a Performance of the Night bonus. Before she wrapped up a rear-naked choke for the finish, Godinez had Reed locked in a nasty armbar that could’ve easily ended in a tap. Somehow, Reed resisted the submission despite her arm bending completely the wrong way as Godinez torqued on the hold. “I was like, ‘What the hell?’” Godinez said of Reed’s submission defense. “‘My back is going to blow before her arm goes!’ I was like fully arched. “But, you know, we’re working patience. I have a hard time with patience because I want everything right away. I learned the patience so if that doesn’t work, I know multiple other submissions that I show. I have multiple attempts for submission. I’m blown away by that because Diego Lopes is an amazing jiu-jitsu coach and we drilled that specifically. Everything that I did, we drilled it, and I feel like, ‘Wow, it was a crazy night.’” The Noche UFC finish put Godinez on a three-fight win streak — her longest since joining the promotion back in 2021 — and she hopes to continue that climb up the ranks. The fight also served as the first for Godinez under her new team at Lobo MMA, where she trains alongside Grasso on a daily basis. “I just knew I had to make a big change for me to grow as a fighter and as a human and as an athlete,” Godinez said of her move. “We did it and we’re doing it, and honestly I’m so glad I made the change. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done in my career.” With a new team behind her, Godinez feels confident that the sky is truly the limit now, and she definitely sees UFC gold in her future. “I know [the UFC title] will come and I know it’s not far,” Godinez said. “All I have to do is focus and keep training and just keep getting better. I know it’s coming. I don’t know when but I can feel it. This works with energy and I feel that energy.”

  • Report: Israel Adesanya pleads guilty to drunk driving charge in New Zealand
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on September 24, 2023 at 11:31 pm

    Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Israel Adesanya reportedly pled guilty to a drunk driving charge in New Zealand on Sunday stemming from an incident that occurred three weeks before his latest UFC bout. The New Zealand Herald on Sunday reported that the former UFC middleweight champion pled guilty to a “drink driving” charge of operating a vehicle in Auckland on Aug. 19 with 87 milligrams of alcohol in his system per 100 milliliters of blood, above the New Zealand legal limit of 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood. “I want to apologise to the community, my family and my team for the decision I made to get behind the wheel after drinking at dinner,” Adesanya reportedly said in a statement to The New Zealand Herald. “I was pulled over and gave an evidentiary blood test — the reading was 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.” “I am disappointed with my decision to drive. It was wrong,” he added. “I know that people might follow me and I want them to know I do not think this behaviour is acceptable.” According to the report, the maximum penalty for Adesanya’s charge is three months in jail or a fine of $4,500, which is roughly $2,680 USD. Adesanya’s sentencing hearing is expected for Jan. 10, 2024. Adesanya, 34, suffered a stunning defeat on Sept. 10 when Sean Strickland dominated him over 25 minutes to steal away the UFC middleweight title in a one-sided bout at UFC 293. A two-time UFC middleweight champion, Adesanya has now lost two of his past three contests and is just 4-3 over his past seven octagon appearances.

  • Video: Heavyweight faceplants opponent with brutal knockout in Cage Titans 
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on September 24, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Heavyweights just hit harder, and Hassan Graham proved that in a massive way at a Cage Titans card on Saturday. The one-time PFL fighter delivered an absolutely jaw-dropping finish after he unleashed a volley of punches on opponent Max Lombardo in an exchange against the cage. Graham landed a barrage of shots that knocked out Lombardo cold on the feet. Hassan Graham opens the @CageTitans main card with a bang! #CT61— Spectation Sports (@SpectationNet) September 24, 2023— Spectation Sports (@SpectationNet) September 24, 2023 As Graham continued throwing bombs, Lombardo toppled over, falling face-first down to the canvas as the fight came to an end. Graham then turned and walked away to enjoy the fruits of his labor. It was definitely one of the more jaw-dropping knockouts in recent history. The win moved Graham to 2-1 in his career, while he technically picks up a second win over Lombardo after they previously clashed in his amateur fighting debut back in 2021.

  • Sean Brady vs. Kelvin Gastelum targeted for Dec. 2 UFC event
    by Shaun Al-Shatti on September 24, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC Kelvin Gastelum is expected to make his return to the welterweight division on Dec. 2 when he meets top-15 ranked contender Sean Brady at a UFC Fight Night event. MMA Fighting confirmed the matchup on Sunday following reports by Twitter user MagicM_MMABets. The bout has been verbally agreed to however contracts have yet to be signed. Gastelum (17–8, 1 NC) returns to the welterweight division following an eight-year run at 185 pounds, which saw him vie for the interim UFC middleweight title in 2019. The 31-year-old fighter competed at welterweight several times early in his octagon career but ultimately moved up to middleweight in 2016 due to repeated issues making weight at 170 pounds. Gastelum is just 2-5 over seven contests in the past five years, but rediscovered some momentum in April with a Fight of the Night victory over Chris Curtis. Gastelum was previously scheduled to face Shavkat Rakhmonov on Sept. 16 in his welterweight return but was forced to withdraw in July due to injury. Brady (15-1) has been sidelined since suffering the first loss of his professional career in Oct. 2022 at the hands of Belal Muhammad via second-round knockout. Prior to that setback, Brady started his UFC career with five consecutive wins against the likes of Michael Chiesa, Jake Matthews, and Court McGee. The 30-year-old Philadelphia native is currently MMA Fighting’s No. 9 ranked welterweight in the world. The UFC’s event on Dec. 2 does not currently have an official location or venue. Other confirmed bouts for the card include Jared Cannonier vs. Roman Dolidze, Rob Font vs. Deiveson Figueiredo, Miesha Tate vs. Julia Avila, and Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Azamat Murzakanov. Mike Heck and Damon Martin contributed to this report.

  • Video: 43-year-old Sergei Kharitonov scores thunderous early knockout in Russia
    by Shaun Al-Shatti on September 24, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    Twitter Sergei Kharitonov is still representing for MMA’s old guard at age 43. A 23-year MMA veteran whose career began more than four years before UFC prospect Raul Rosas Jr. was born, Kharitonov showed he still has some fight left in him on Saturday, demolishing 33-year-old Tiago Cardoso with a first-round knockout in the heavyweight main event of MMA Series 72 at the International Boxing Center in Moscow, Russia. With visible grey in his beard, Kharitonov blasted his younger foe with punches before sealing the deal with a flurry of ground-and-pound at the 3:07 mark of Round 1. Check out video of Kharitonov’s handiwork below. Sergei Kharitonov, veterano dos pesados do MMA, aos 43 anos, nocauteou Tiago Cardoso ainda no primeiro round pela luta principal do MMA Series 72, neste sábado, na Rússia.— MMA Melotto (@MMAmelotto) September 24, 2023 Kharitonov (34-9) is one of the longest tenured MMA fighters still active in the world today. Nicknamed “The Paratrooper” for his military roots, Kharitonov was a mainstay of the Pride FC heavyweight division in the promotion’s heyday, competing 11 times for the famed Japanese organization from 2003-07. Kharitonov also had pit stops in many of the biggest combat sport promotions of his eras, inking deals with Strikeforce, K-1, DREAM, Glory, and Bellator, among others. In that time, he’s competed against many of the most celebrated heavyweights of all-time, facing the likes of Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Semmy Schilt, Pedro Rizzo, Rico Verhoeven, Jerome LeBanner, plus many more. And at age 43, he’s still adding knockouts to his résumé.


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