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Shogun Fights

March 30, 2024

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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  • Retired UFC veteran Mark O. Madsen launches his own MMA promotion, first card planned for Denmark in September
    by Damon Martin on June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am

    Retired UFC veteran and Olympic silver medalist Mark O. Madsen is getting into the promotion game. The 39-year-old wrestler and fighter announced on Monday that he’s launching his own MMA organization called Dominance Fighting Championships with the first card already confirmed for Sept. 21 at the K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark. While launching the promotion definitely serves as a chance to bring more MMA to Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Sweden, Madsen envisions further expansion into Europe in the future as well. “We want to bring world class entertainment to the heart of Copenhagen and create shows worthy of Las Vegas,” Madsen said during a press conference on Monday. “We believe there’s a market, and that we, in Europe, deserve this entertainment as well.” Dominance FC serves as Madsen’s first solo owned organization but he’s previously worked with Cage Warriors when he helped promote a past event that was held in Denmark back in 2019. Madsen, who called it a career back in January, hopes to attract a lot of local talent but he also plans on bringing in fighters from all over the world to fill the roster for the various shows he expects to promote across Europe. He’s also working closely with his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who he says will help him along the way as he gets his feet wet with the new promotion. In addition to the first show planned in September, Madsen also announced the first fighter signing with fellow Greco-Roman wrestler Rajbek Bisultanov, who is a European Championships gold medalist, and he’ll be making his professional debut at the first Dominance FC card in September. In addition to his wrestling pedigree, Bisultanov routinely counts UFC star Khamzat Chimaev as one of his main training partners. Madsen plans to announce more fights for the debut DFC card including Bisultanov’s first opponent in the coming weeks.

  • Raul Rosas Jr. believes ‘it’s inevitable that I will have to move up to 145’
    by MMA Fighting Staff on June 18, 2024 at 11:00 pm

    Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Raul Rosas Jr. became the youngest fighter in UFC history when he made his debut at age 18, and now that he’s months away from climbing out of his teen years, he’s realizing the gains his body has made. The 19-year-old bantamweight phenom submitted Ricky Turcios in the featured bout of UFC Louisville earlier this month to improve to 3-1 inside the octagon. One thing that was noticeable about Rosas was his body frame getting bigger, and more muscular. Rosas has noticed that change himself, and he understands that the time will eventually come for a move up to featherweight. “I’ve gotten bigger and I’ve noticed it because of my weight going up and up and up, and the weight cut getting a little more rough,” Rosas said on The MMA Hour. “I’ve just been working out, but I think it’s mainly that my body is growing. My age, I’m getting older and I’m growing, so I think it’s just going to keep happening. “The question is, is how long can I stay at [135]? I want to stay at ‘35 until I get the belt, but we’ll see what happens. ... It’s inevitable that I will have to move up to 145, the question is how long can I stay at 135 for.” The bout with Turcios was one of the most heated on the Fight Night slate, which was clear during their final faceoff following weigh-ins, as well as the opening seconds of the fight. When the referee got them going, Rosas went for a glove touch, but Turcios threw a kick at his opponent instead — leading to the crowd really turning on Turcios, and cheering much louder for Rosas. “I think he was just emotional,” Rosas said. “When you fight me., there’s a lot of pressure with people watching and stuff, and I think that was making him act a little weird. “In the faceoffs, I could just feel [the] pressure [on him]. He was tensed up and was a little more different than usual because of the pressure and everything.”

  • Patchy Mix wants Bellator to pursue Jose Aldo as his next opponent: ‘My mouth waters thinking about that sh*t’
    by Damon Martin on June 18, 2024 at 9:00 pm

    Patchy Mix didn’t have a lot to gain in his rematch against Magomed Magomedov considering he choked out the Russian bantamweight less than two years ago. Still, Mix didn’t blink when that’s the matchup Bellator offered to him but he had to gut out a hard-fought split decision to retain his title in their second encounter in May. Looking back on the fight, the reigning 135-pound champion admits that he probably approached Magomedov with the wrong strategy while his opponent made exactly the changes necessary to ensure he didn’t suffer another submission loss. That resulted in the perfect storm for Mix to endure a battle through 25 consecutive minutes but in the end, he still got the job done. “I feel like he studied me pretty decently and came up with a good game plan and I don’t think I fought him necessarily in the correct way,” Mix explained when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I was just trying to walk him down, using standup the entire time. I felt like I should have been going for takedowns more at the beginning of the fight. But I felt like I outstruck him last time so well that I didn’t need to change my game plan. “So it was good adjustments on his part but I’m glad I could adjust on the fly myself. I’m a submission specialist, just like the first fight I almost choked him out like three times before I strangled him unconscious. He just stayed away from where I’m great at. I’m just going to make some adjustments. I’m not going to let nobody get off the hook no more and just stand with them the whole time. I’m going to mix it up more, force the grappling exchanges. It doesn’t matter who I fight.” With two wins over Magomedov now, Mix has dispatched one of his biggest remaining challengers on the Bellator roster and it’s possible he’s looking at even more rematches in the future. While he mentioned veteran Leandro Higo as a potential next opponent after his latest win, Mix knows another top contender is likely Raufeon Stots, who he dispatched with a brutal knockout in just 80 seconds when they clashed back in August 2023. Mix insists he’ll never turn down a fight if Bellator comes calling and that goes for old foes or new opposition but ideally, he would love to face an entirely different kind of challenge for his next. The kind of challenge a UFC Hall of Famer would represent. “Jose Aldo is a free agent,” Mix said. “I saw that he recently finished his deal over there in the UFC. So if he’s going to sign with anyone, I’d love for PFL or Bellator to snatch him up. He just fought a guy at [135 pounds] in Jonathan Martinez and I think I’m a whole different animal than that kid. “To the legend, much respect, but I think I match up well with him. I don’t think he’s ever been submitted except for maybe his first ever fight. That kind of excites me, something like that.” At 37, Aldo returned from a brief retirement and dismantled Martinez at UFC 301 in April with that fight serving as the final bout on his current contract with the promotion. Aldo made it clear afterward that he wants to keep fighting but he wasn’t sure exactly what he would do next, especially after dabbling in boxing over the past couple of years. With the UFC bantamweight title picture rather filled up right now as champion Sean O’Malley prepares to battle Merab Dvalishvili later this year and Cory Sandhagen clashing with Umar Nurmagomedov in a No. 1 contender’s fight in August, Aldo could be at least a year or more from sniffing another shot at gold. But if he decided to join the roster at Bellator, Aldo could potentially slide right into a title fight against Mix and the reigning champion welcomes that opportunity. “My mouth waters thinking about that shit,” Mix said. “They need a big fight for that guy. There’s other ones for him but he’s at [135] and outside of his promotion, in the world I am the top ranked bantamweight. Outside of his promotion and inside of his promotion, I believe, but I know for a fact outside of it. I’m the most highly touted guy. So if he’s going to stick to doing MMA and he’s going to go anywhere, I would love to be the guy that welcomes him to the show. It fits. He’s a legend and I respect him. “This guy paved the road. I remember being in high school watching him fight some of the craziest fights.” Prior to the split decision against Magomedov in their rematch, Mix had looked unstoppable while rattling off six straight wins including five finishes by knockout or submission. Because his most recent fight was a little too close for comfort, Mix really wants to return to form when he competes again and he couldn’t think of a better person to bring that out of him than Aldo. “I’m sure he’s chasing big challenges,” Mix said. “He just fought Martinez, who was also on a seven fight win streak himself. He rocked the shit out of Martinez, he did really well. He had a dope ass takedown in the third round, hit the double leg on him. It was a rebrand a coming of age, kind of like reminiscent of the old Jose Aldo at that Rio card. It was cool to watch. “But I would want to finish that guy. I have such a sour taste in my mouth that I just went to a decision. In that third round, I should have never let go of that guillotine and I should have strangled him unconscious. I’m beating my head in for it.”

  • Johnny Eblen vs. Fabian Edwards 2 headlines Bellator London in September
    by Mike Heck on June 18, 2024 at 7:00 pm

    Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images Johnny Eblen and Fabian Edwards are going to run it back in September for Bellator middleweight gold. The promotion announced on Wednesday that Eblen is set to defend his 185-pound title against Edwards in a rematch to headline Bellator London, which takes place Sept. 14 at OVO Wembley. In their first meeting at Bellator 299 this past September, Eblen stopped Edwards via third-round TKO in a competitive contest. Eblen, 32, puts his championship on the line for the third time. “Pressure” captured the title with a dominant decision win over Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 282 in June 2022. Since then, Eblen successfully defended his belt against Edwards and Anatoly Tokov. In his most recent outing, the No. 6 ranked middleweight in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings defeated 2023 PFL light heavyweight champ Impa Kasanganay at February’s PFL vs. Bellator card in Saudi Arabia and improved to 15-0 with a hard fought split decision win. The 31-year-old Edwards, the brother of current UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, earned his way back to a title shot following a unanimous decision win against Aaron Jeffery at Bellator Belfast in March. Edwards is 4-1 in his past five outings, including wins over Mousasi, as well as former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

  • Melsik Baghdasaryan out of UFC Saudi Arabia due to injury, Felipe Lima steps in to fight Muhammad Naimov
    by Alexander K. Lee on June 18, 2024 at 6:38 pm

    Melsik Baghdasaryan | Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Melsik Baghdasaryan won’t be fighting this weekend. The featherweight competitor announced on his social media that he has been forced to withdraw from his fight against Muhammad Naimov, which was set to take place on the main card of UFC Saudi Arabia this Saturday in Riyadh. According to Baghdasaryan, he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Watch his Instagram Stories announcement below (archived by Eurosport). Melsik Baghdasaryan confirms he is out of his scheduled fight in Saudi Arabia against Muhammad Naimov. #UFCSaudiArabia Baghdasaryan IG Stories— Marcel Dorff (@BigMarcel24) June 17, 2024 The news of Baghdasaryan’s withdrawal was first reported by MMA reporter Robert Tellez. Baghdasaryan hasn’t had much luck making it to fight night in 2024. He has now missed out on three bookings this year, with fights against Hyder Amil and William Gomis also falling through. He has won three of his first four UFC fights, most recently defeating Tucker Lutz by unanimous decision in July 2023. On Tuesday, the UFC announced that Baghdasaryan will be replaced by newcomer Felipe Lima (12-1). Eurosport was first to report the new matchup. Lima most recently fought at an Oktagon MMA show in July 2023. He scored a unanimous decision over Jonas Magard to earn a bantamweight title and win his 12th straight fight since losing his pro debut. Oktagon MMA issued a statement on social media stating that they released Lima from his contract, per existing terms, and wished him the best in his UFC debut. As per the terms of his long term contract alongside the good relations we have with him, today we released bantamweight champion, Felipe Lima, to fight at the upcoming UFC event in Abu Dhabi. We wish him good luck.We will keep you informed about the future of the OKTAGON MMA…— OKTAGON MMA (@OktagonOfficial) June 17, 2024 Saturday’s UFC Saudi Arabia card has already seen one major shakeup. The main event was to feature former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker taking on the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev, but Chimaev was forced to withdraw due to illness and has been replaced by Ikram Aliskerov.


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