The Hall at Live Casino

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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  • No Bets Barred: Best bets for UFC Mexico City and PFL vs. Bellator
    by Jed Meshew on February 22, 2024 at 1:00 am

    Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval face off | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC Wow! UFC 298 is in the books and with it an impressive new champion in the featherweight division as Ilia Topuria slept Alexander Volkanovski to claim the crown. But the greatest sport in the world never sleeps and even coming off the best event of the year thus far, there’s still more to come as this weekend features a double header with the two premier promotions in MMA: UFC Mexico and PFL vs. Bellator. And of course the No Bets Barred boys are back with a full breakdown of this double-stuffed weekend. Conner Burks and Jed Meshew kick things off with a recap of UFC 298 and Jed’s calamitous weekend, before diving straight into the UFC’s return to Mexico. Can Brandon Moreno beat Brandon Royval a second time to keep his lead in the Battle of the Brandons? How will the rest of the Mexican fighters do in front of their countrymen? And how many flyweight fights is too many fights on one card? Then it’s over to PFL vs. Bellator where Conner and Jed discuss the chances of a Bellator clean sweep in the marquee matchups, some massive underdogs that maybe shouldn’t be so big, and even a little Wolfpack Wager for good measure. All this and more are discussed on this week’s episode. Tune in for episode 79 of No Bets Barred. New episodes of the No Bets Barred podcast drop every Wednesday and are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever else you find your favorite podcasts. The latest episode can be heard below.

  • Michael Chandler explains WWE promo against Conor McGregor: ‘I was thrown into the fire’
    by Shaun Al-Shatti on February 21, 2024 at 11:00 pm

    WWE Please excuse Michael Chandler if his voice is a little hoarse today. “I have to tell everybody, ‘Hey, I’m not sick. I literally injured my voice on Monday Night Raw,’” Chandler said with a laugh on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “Before I went on, one of the producers was like, ‘Hey, this microphone is gated,’ and I’m like, ‘Hey, what’s gated mean?’ He’s like, ‘Gated means you have to speak up.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t think that’ll be a problem.’ But the moment took over and a star was born.” Chandler, 37, surprised the combat sports world this week when he made an impromptu appearance on WWE’s flagship program, snatched the microphone, then cut a furious promo calling out Conor McGregor for their still unbooked fight. Chandler’s eventful night quickly went viral within the dual worlds of MMA and professional wrestling. And according to the former three-time Bellator champion, it was all off the cuff. “Two minutes before, they said, ‘Hey, they’re going to put the camera on you.’ I said, ‘Why don’t you give me that microphone?’” Chandler recalled. “And they said, ‘Hold on, let me run it up the flagpole real quick.’ And then about a minute later, they said, ‘Hey, you’re going on in a minute and you’re going to get the microphone if you want the microphone,’ and then magic happened. ... Less than five minutes [of notice]. There was nothing prepared. Nothing. I was thrown into the fire. Smacked myself a couple of times and then we went. “There’s no video footage of me taking my shirt off, but Pat McAfee said I took my shirt off [after], so got the crowd into it, I was flexing on everybody. It was fun, man. It was a lot of fun, and man, I’m tired of waiting on Conor, so get his candy ass back to the octagon.” Chandler said his proactivity was well received by the WWE brass. He said he met with WWE chief content officer and head of creative Paul Michael Levesque — who’s better known by the ring moniker Triple H — after his television spot and was told that WWE “liked what they saw.” While he dispelled rumors that the promo had anything to do with plans for a crossover appearance at Wrestlemania, he did express interest in further kicking down the door for future corporate synergy between UFC and WWE now that the two brands are operating under the same TKO Group Holdings umbrella. Chandler also implied that his appearance wouldn’t be “the last you’re going to see of me in the WWE, possibly.” “We will see,” Chandler said. “Obviously there’s a crossover there. Ton of respect for the wrestlers, the brass there. They have a ton of respect for the UFC. It was really cool being there, watching other athletes and entertainers and performers, and [them] being huge fans of mixed martial arts, and me of them. So it was really cool. There’s a lot of synergy there and the sky’s the limit when it comes to TKO Group and what we can do in the crossover, and yeah, man, it’s probably just the very beginning.” Chandler has been tentatively linked to a UFC return bout against McGregor since coaching against the Irishman on The Ultimate Fighter 31 in early 2023. After a long, drawn-out saga, McGregor announced his comeback fight against Chandler on New Year’s Eve for June 29 at the UFC’s annual International Fight Week pay-per-view. UFC CEO Dana White has since denied McGregor’s claims, however, and maintained that there is no fight on the books for the former two-division champion. White reiterated that sentiment this past weekend after UFC 298, stating that he still does not know when — or if — McGregor will return. McGregor, 35, has not competed since suffering a broken leg in his July 2021 loss to Dustin Poirier, but has repeatedly voiced his displeasure about not being booked by the UFC. Unfortunately, despite the buzz Chandler’s WWE appearance ignited, the former Bellator lightweight champ said there have been no developments on the McGregor front. “There’s a lot of complicated stuff happening behind the scenes,” Chandler said. “Nobody has had to feel like they’ve waited longer than me, right? I’ve been ready to fight since right after The Ultimate Fighter. But I also understand the time off has been good, the time with my family has been good, business has been booming outside of me fighting in the cage for a paycheck. But ultimately, Conor’s got his stuff going on. He’s now promoting Road House, that’s coming out in March. Obviously there was the USADA stuff and then now the new drug-testing stuff. There was just all these different layers. Plus what Dana has said, man — money complicates things. There’s a lot of money involved in this fight. “Everybody, whether you love him or hate him, you’ve got to respect what [McGregor] has built, right? So it has complicated things. But either way, the Chandler train is continuing to move forward, and we’re not getting off this train. This is the fight that is happening. I can’t tell you a date, I can’t tell you a weight, but I can tell you the fight is happening. And I have way too many assurances that this fight is happening to think otherwise. So there’s some dates that make sense — obviously UFC 300 made a lot of sense, it really did. “I’ve got to be honest with you, I thought that was what it was going to be. It makes a lot of sense. Why wouldn’t you want to headline the biggest card that UFC has ever put on? But ultimately, it’s not and we stay patient, we stay training, we stay ready.”

  • Watch The MMA Hour with Pereira in studio, Chandler, Royval, Eblen, Hernandez, and Taylor & Catterall, now
    by Ariel Helwani on February 21, 2024 at 10:59 pm

    The Mixed Martial Arts Hour is back in your life! Below is a rundown of Wednesday’s show, which begins at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. UK time. 1 p.m. ET: Intro 1:05 p.m.: Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall join the show with a virtual face-to-face to preview their April 27 rematch. 1:30 p.m.: All your questions answered in the latest edition of On The Nose. 2 p.m.: UFC Mexico City headliner Brandon Royval previews his rematch with Brandon Moreno. 2:20 p.m.: Bellator middleweight champ Johnny Eblen breaks down his PFL vs. Bellator fight against Impa Kasanganay. 2:40 p.m.: UFC middleweight Anthony Hernandez reflects on his UFC 298 win over Roman Kopylov. 3 p.m.: More On The Nose. 3:30 p.m.: UFC star Michael Chandler joins us to talk about his recent WWE appearance and the latest in his saga with Conor McGregor. 4 p.m.: UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira joins us in studio to talk about his UFC 300 main event against Jamahal Hill. 5 p.m.: Parlay Boys talk best bets for UFC Mexico City and more. For the latest episodes of The MMA Hour, subscribe on Spotify or iTunes.

  • Johnny Eblen explains ‘shenanigans’ involving $85K shopping spree with OnlyFans model, near-disastrous prank
    by Alexander K. Lee on February 21, 2024 at 10:00 pm

    Photo By Tyler Miller/Sportsfile via Getty Images Johnny Eblen is living it up outside of the cage. The Bellator middleweight champion made headlines twice over the past couple weeks for reasons unrelated to his upcoming bout with PFL light heavyweight champion Impa Kasanganay, who he faces at the PFL vs. Bellator event this Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In one instance, Eblen raised eyebrows when it was reported that he spent $85,000 on a shopping spree with OnlyFans model Jessenia Rebecca. Then, this past weekend, Eblen was caught on camera nearly getting physical with a prankster after being set up by manager Brian Butler. Eblen was asked about the two stories during an appearance on The MMA Hour on Wednesday and he did his best to play coy. “I’ve just been balling a little bit lately,” Eblen said when asked about his shopping habits. “I can’t talk too much about it, it’s fight week, I’ve got to focus on the fight. I’m a man, I’m a professional, I’ve got to focus on the fight.” Pressed on the $85,000 figure, Eblen didn’t confirm nor deny, saying, “That’s what they said.” Eblen’s love life generated further gossip when Bellator later released a clip of the champion frolicking with a different woman. The sudden attention on his choice of companions has Eblen chuckling in response. “There’s a few girls fighting for my attention,” Eblen said. “They’re battling for it. It’s great to be the king and I’m going to continue to be the king, but we’ve got to focus on the fight. I’ve got to win, that’s the thing. You’ve got to stay the champ, you’ve got to keep winning, or they’re all going to just leave. Got to keep winning.” “Just shenanigans,” Eblen continued. “It’s the shenanigans I get into. You get me out there, out in the free world, I’m bound to do something.” Those shenanigans don’t just involve Eblen flaunting his bank account either. Eblen almost had to show off the skills that have made him an undefeated fighter when he was recently confronted by a stranger at a Home Depot. Fortunately, Eblen quickly came to the realization that it was his manager Butler playing a prank on him, but the fighter says that the situation could have gone down a lot differently. “[Butler] got me so good,” Eblen said. “I had no clue, I was just shopping, trying to get this hose. My dog uses a shower, we like to shower outside. We were at the Home Depot and I was looking around and all of a sudden this guy is just standing in front of me talking and he had a mask on, I’m like, ‘What is this mask?’ it’s like the Apple Vision Pro or something like that? And then I saw a camera behind him, I was like, ‘This guy’s probably trying to film funny content, he’s probably trying to do something.’ But I didn’t know him, I had no clue who he was. I just happened to be a part of it somehow. “So I was like, alright, he was kind of talking s***, whatever, he kept egging me on, kept egging me on, and I was leaving and then he said something smart about my girl. Then I was like, ‘Bro,’ that’s when I flipped the switch and started walking him down. He was like, ‘Brian sent me.’ I was like, ‘Brian who? Brian who?’ He’s like, ‘Sucker Punch [Entertainment].’ I was about to give him a three-piece and f****** knock him out in the middle of Home Depot. Yeah, Brian, he f****** got me good.” As Eblen recalls, it was the woman who was with him that not only set up the prank alongside Butler, but also made sure there were plenty of cameras to record it. He admitted that he was so heated from the confrontation that he was actually “sweating” after, and though he could laugh it off, he was 100 percent ready to throw hands. Just how close was Eblen to punching the prankster? “Very close,” Eblen said. “The fact that I walked away and he told me to come back after he continued to disrespect me and my girl, I was like walking him down like, ‘OK, I’m going to throw punches.’ That’s when he said, ‘Brian sent me,’ and I was like, ‘Brian who?’ My brain wasn’t, like, ‘Why are you telling me Brian?’ Then he said ‘Sucker Punch,’ and I was like, ‘Oh s***, yeah, I can’t punch this fool, he’s pulling a prank for my friend.”

  • Corey Anderson: Vadim Nemkov moving to heavyweight because he’s ‘scared’ of trilogy fight
    by Jed Meshew on February 21, 2024 at 9:00 pm

    Corey Anderson | Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images Corey Anderson did not see this coming. In 2022, Anderson had a pair of significant bouts bouts with Vadim Nemkov for the Bellator light heavyweight title. In the first, he dominated the bout before an inadvertent head butt stopped the bout and led to a no-contest. In a rematch seven months later, Nemkov out-pointed Anderson to retain the title. But when Anderson took a split decision win over Phil Davis last June, “Overtime” thought he’d punched his ticket to a trilogy bout. Instead, Nemkov officially vacated the Bellator light heavyweight title to move up to heavyweight, and Anderson was completely caught off guard. “Yes, 100 percent,” Anderson told The MMA Hour when asked if he was surprised by Nemkov’s decision. “Especially with the way the first fight ended. He beat me the second time, but if anybody can be honest with yourself, you saw that first fight. It was a slippery slope. If I didn’t finish you before I told the ref I head-butted you – I was probably going to take you down and finish you in the next round. He was pretty much a fish out of water on the ground at that point. “So I thought for sure a third fight, and why wouldn’t you? You make championship money, and now you’ve got to go back and just be a contender. I know how the contracts work, and I’m sure his works the same: if you don’t have a title, you don’t make nearly as much. So I keep telling people, why is he avoiding the fight? Scared money don’t make money. He doesn’t want to take the opportunity to risk getting beat the third time, so he just gave up his belt and [went] to fight somebody else.” Nemkov will now fight former PFL heavyweight champion Bruno Cappelozza in a non-title main card bout at the PFL vs. Bellator: CHAMPS card, which takes place on Feb. 24 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. To Anderson, that choice just proves Nemkov is scared to run it back. “I think so. I think so,” Anderson said when asked if he really thinks Nemkov is scared. “He did an interview after the fight, and when they asked him, ‘What did you think about the fight between Corey and Phil [Davis]?’ His translator said he was hoping Phil won, or something like that, so he could fight Phil a third time. But then when he did an interview, he said he didn’t want to fight at 205 anymore. ‘Well, I feel it’s time for me to go to another weight because I’ve already beaten these guys. I don’t want to fight the same guys anymore. There’s nothing left I can prove at 205.’ “Well, when I beat Phil, you said you wished Phil won so you could fight him a third time. But now, a couple months later — at the time, Bellator had already talked to both of us and said we were fighting Nov. 18 in Chicago. They were about to announce it. “They told us they were going to announce it on Thursday — this was Monday — [and] Tuesday night he did an interview saying he was no longer fighting at 205 and going to heavyweight. Come on, bro! We’ve been discussing this. They’ve been talking about the date and where to go for how long now? Now, all of a sudden, the week they were going to announce it, you decide you’re not going to fight anymore? They didn’t even know. I talked to everybody, and they had no clue.” Fortunately for Anderson, he still gets a shot at the light heavyweight title, facing Karl Moore for the vacant belt at the first Bellator show under the PFL umbrella. When he beats Moore to finally capture that elusive title, the fact that it won’t come against Nemkov won’t make it any less sweet. “I already believe I’m the best light heavyweight in the world,” Anderson said. “People are going to say what they’re going to say. I believe it every day, that’s the only way I can get up and keep doing this thing. I believe so hard that I’m the best. I lost my opportunity to prove it against Nemkov, but it is what it is.” Bellator’s return takes place on March 22 in Belfast, Ireland.


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