10/27: Weekly Ground At The Pound with El Beagle Loco

The Raw Bone: This past Saturday night featured the first-ever live MMA event to be held in the state of Maryland. The live event, hosted at the First Mariner Arena and named "The Shogun Fights", was made possible by the efforts of Baltimore's own John Rallo and his Ground Control academy. The fight-card featured 11 tense match-ups, the majority of which were fought at Lightweight and Featherweight. And, almost all of which featured at least one prominent Marylander as the local-boy. Having been to the event, here are a couple key takeaways:

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MMA Photo Gallery: Shogun Fights

Check out some of the event photos from Baltimore sports news publication, Press Box, here.

10/26: 'Unbelievable' Crowd Helps Make First MMA Event in Maryland a Success

More than 5,000 boisterous fans attended Shogun Fights, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts event at Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena on Saturday night.

"This crowd is unbelievable. I would dream to be on a card like this. I wish that I had this sort of crowd for my first fight," said MMA legend Renzo Gracie, who was joined in the crowd by Rickey Henderson, Lenny Moore and others. "This is the best crowd and event I've ever seen."

Check out the results and recaps here.

10/25: MMA's debut in Maryland is a hit

A crowd of more than 5,000 at 1st Mariner Arena attends first show in state

The first ever mixed martial arts bout in Maryland began Saturday night with a roar from the crowd and a flying kick to the chest.

The kick was delivered by Steven Baker, a 145-pound fighter from Wilmington, Del., and it was witnessed by more than 5,000 people at 1st Mariner Arena. They snarled with appreciation, many of them having waited hours, and in some respects years, for this moment.

And while Baker ultimately wasn't successful - he tapped out just 1 minute, 45 seconds into the bout when his opponent, Jim Hettes from Scranton, Pa., got him in a choke hold - the first MMA event in Maryland did seem like a success.

Read the full feature article from The Baltimore Sun here.

10/24: Rallo Did MMA His Way

He helped bring sport to Md., is promoting hometown event

If John Rallo looks like the kind of guy you would expect to see working as a bodyguard at a heavy metal rock concert, it's because that's what he used to do for a living. Tattoos cover his huge arms like a long-sleeve shirt, and his shoulders and upper torso look like they could belong to a grizzly bear.

But Rallo, who has worked as bodyguard for Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and Sylvester Stallone, wants people to understand that he's a businessman, too, and he has never approached his work in the manner that his tough-guy appearance might suggest. He's organized, diligent, meticulous and ambitious.

Read the full feature article from The Baltimore Sun here.

10/23: John Rallo: From Celebrity Bodyguard to MMA Pioneer for Maryland

John Rallo pursued MMA's sanctioning in Maryland until he got a submission. That came in May of 2008, when governor, Martin O'Malley, made the state the country's 35th to legalize MMA.

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10/21: Mixed martial arts arrives in Maryland

Once all but banned from TV, sport readies for local debut

Mixed martial artist James "Binky" Jones has, in the words of his coach, "represented Baltimore all over the world."

He's fought in large promotions such as Elite Xtreme Combat and Ring of Combat events in New Jersey, and in a series known as Bodog -- including one event in Moscow.

But Saturday, Oct. 24, Jones, 39, gets to do something a little different: He gets to fight at home.

Read the full feature article from The Towson Times here.

10/20: John Rallo From Shogun Fights Appearing Today on Sirius Fight Club

Sirius Satellite Radio's Sirius Fight Club will be speaking with Shogun Fights promoter John Rallo today. Click here to learn more.

9/17: National Sports Review Sits Down with Md MMA Legend John Rallo

When it comes to MMA, there is no bigger name in the state of Maryland than John Rallo. He is the legendary MMA star who has a Black Belt under one of the Greatest MMA fighters to ever live...Renzo Gracie. John has also served as a bodyguard for Motley Crue's very own Tommy Lee. And John is the man responsible for bringing MMA to Maryland. We recently had the chance to interview John Rallo, and here is what he had to say...

Read the full interview here.

9/1: Maryland's First Ever Mixed Martial Arts Event Makes Its Debut in Baltimore

With the help of MOS Creative, Shogun Fights will premiere MMA to Marylanders this fall.

Baltimore, MD-After years of fighting the laws in the state of Maryland, Shogun Fights organizer and former MMA competitor, John Rallo, is bringing the excitement of MMA and all of its loyal fans to the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore on October 24, 2009 at 7:00pm.

In May of 2008, Governor Martin O'Malley signed a bill legalizing MMA in Maryland with the full support of the Maryland State Athletic Commission. MMA is the fastest growing sport in the country. It involves competitors using various interdisciplinary fighting styles; including jiu-jitsu, muay thai, wrestling, judo, boxing, kickboxing and karate in a highly controlled fight with the winner decided by KO, submission, judges decision or referee stoppage.

"I have been involved in MMA since 1998. It is a great sport, with great athletes," says Rallo. "Our fighters have trained hard to compete for MMA titles in front of their friends, family and thousands of fans in the ring at the 1st Mariner Arena. Finally Marylanders are able to enjoy what Shogun Fights has been working so hard to provide. It is entertainment in the purest form."

To read the full press release click here.

8/28: Md. debut for mixed martial arts

Sport bows next month at 1st Mariner Arena

Flying knees, heavy punches and elaborate limb twisting have made mixed martial arts one of the nation's fastest-growing sports attractions, but Maryland has steered clear of the spectacle - until now.

The state's first sanctioned mixed martial arts card, made up mostly of local fighters, is scheduled for Oct. 24 at 1st Mariner Arena, according to Patrick Pannella, executive director of the Maryland State Athletic Commission. The event will be the culmination of a long battle by local trainers and fans to gain acceptance.

The sport's sometimes bloody bouts have raised controversy because of their violent nature. But the spectacular knockouts and exotic fighting techniques have also led to explosive popularity. Ultimate Fighting Championship, the popular face of the sport, has drawn sellouts at arenas across the country, and more than 1.7 million households paid $55 a pop to view its July 11 show.

"Everybody wants to be involved. Everybody is excited," said John Rallo, the Canton gym owner who spearheaded the sanctioning effort and will promote the first event. "To be able to bring an event to 1st Mariner, I mean, Bruce Springsteen is about to play there. So to put on an event in the same place, that's pretty exciting. When I'm able to reach out and actually touch it, that will be something."

Read the full feature article from The Baltimore Sun here.