This past Saturday marked the fifth Shogun Fights event in Baltimore. I covered the event for U.S. Combat Sports, who I've written for before, and you can find my recap here.
But I wanted to point out some things that didn't make it to the final cut of my review:
- I actually do mention it in my recap, but the crowd appeared smaller than previous crowds I remember seeing at Shogun Fights. Don't get me wrong; there was still a large crowd. But unless First Mariner Arena blocked some sections, there just didn't seem to be as many people there. But in a way it made the event seem more intimate - or at least as intimate as a mixed martial arts event can be.
- Ground Control Baltimore wasn't as well represented at this event. Mainstays like Dave Daniecki and Ryan McGowan competed on the card, but at past events the gym is usually represented by multiple fighters. Binky Jones, a Ground Control fighter and an extremely popular local fighter, didn't compete Saturday night but was in attendance. I learned from my contemporary of all things MMA in Maryland, Kevin Richardson at The Baltimore Sun, that Binky recently competed on a Bellator Fighting Championship card.
- Only one of the 10 fights Saturday night went to a decision (I'll let you read my recap to find out which one). That made the night easier for me personally, since the card seemed to go by a little quicker with only one fight going the whole 15 minutes. The event offered seating for media members as well, which was a welcome sight and spared my feet.
- Despite the smaller crowd, the enthusiasm was every bit as prevalent as previous Shogun Fights events. There is definitely no lack of enthusiasm for MMA in Maryland. Joe Rogan, the color commentator for UFC, gave a radio interview a couple weeks before Shogun Fights and was asked specifically about Shogun Fights and John Rallo (the founder of Shogun Fights and co-owner of Ground Control Baltimore). Rogan mentioned how shows like Shogun Fights can serve as a great feeder system for UFC. Hopefully in the future when I watch UFC I will see some guys who got their start at Shogun Fights. And hopefully Dana White himself can make it to Baltimore one of these days and see some hopeful future stars.