I think it's no secret among the mixed martial arts community here in Maryland that when you talk about the sport within this state, one name immediately comes to mind: John Rallo.
John is the creator of the first MMA organization in Maryland, Shogun Fights. John's organization has already held two events at First Mariner Arena here in Baltimore with the third one scheduled for this Saturday. John is becoming an increasingly present figure in the world of MMA in Maryland and was recently profiled in Baltimore Magazine.
I read the article and it was really interesting to learn about John's background. While I have spoken to him myself, I haven't really had the chance to get to know the man behind the tattoos, the intimidating presence (to me anyway, others may feel different) and the intensity and the passion he has for the sport of MMA. Before I go any further I should point out that John is a supremely nice guy.
I think it's awesome that he once worked as a security specialist for Motley Crue (one of the former 80s hair bands I'm not-as-ashamed to say I enjoy listening to) and that he has a background in business. I'm sure most people who see John just think he's a tattooed brawler, but the article really does a good job proving the notion that "appearances can be deceiving". John is an intelligent, well-spoken, passionate individual who just happens to have a burning passion for a sport some misguidedly believe is barbaric and disturbingly violent.