Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We don't need no stinkin' judges

Shogun Fights VI was held this past Saturday and if you like your fights to have a finish instead of being left to the judges, then you need to check out this event and check it out soon.

Only one fight on the card went the distance, as every other fight was finished by either a KO, TKO or submission. This has been the norm at previous Shogun events I've attended, with fighters who compete at the event either succumbing to nerves or chomping at the bit to make sure their fight isn't left to a judge's scorecard. Or both.

I covered the event for U.S. Combat Sports, but I was hardly the only media representative providing coverage of the sixth installment of Shogun. Recaps of the event can also be found here and here.

A lot of the same players were on this card as previous cards, including multiple fighters from Team Ground Control in Baltimore and Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg. Both gyms also saw their fighters perform a clean sweep of their bouts, with each of them coming out on top.

The crowd at Shogun Fights VI appeared to be on par with previous crowds, with the number in the few thousands I'd say. I'd like to think the attendance hasn't become stagnant, but hopefully as more cards are held and more people learn about Shogun Fights, I'm confident future crowds will continue to grow.

The knockout of the night far and away belonged to Brent Hess, a Virginia featherweight who landed a devastating blow to his opponent Steven Baker. Baker hit the mat immediately and was knocked unconscious, unfortunately requiring a stretcher in order to be taken from the cage.

Submissions were popular at Shogun Fights as well, with local favorite and Ground Control fighter Dan Root clinching yet another submission victory with an arm triangle choke early in Round 1, which I considered the most impressive of the night. Root has won his last three four bouts at Shogun Fights and should be only a matter of time before he's given a closer look from someone at a bigger organization, whether it be Bellator Fighting Championships or the UFC.

All in all I yet again I enjoyed my time covering Shogun Fights. Seeing fights end with a decisive finish instead of a judge's decision is always a welcome sight. Well it's good to see local mixed martial arts represented at these events through teams like Ground Control and Evolve, hopefully we can start seeing more fighters from other states find their way onto the Shogun card, which would be a great way to chart the growth of MMA in Maryland.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Enter the Shogun

I'm finally back with a new post after what seems like ages, and I couldn't have picked a better time to write something. I guess you could say I took my own version of Spring Break since mixed martial arts as a whole seemed to, but this weekend is the de facto kickoff for a busy remainder of spring in MMA.

Tomorrow night is the sixth installment of Shogun Fights at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore. We will once see again see some of the finest fighters the region has to offer, as well as some familiar faces from previous Shogun Fights cards and some fresh faces looking to make an impact. The full fight card can be found here.

Two fights on tomorrow's card that I'm looking forward to the most are Dan Root vs. Jeremy Boardwine and Cole Pressley vs. Vaja Iormaghvili. Both Root and Pressley train with Team Ground Control in Baltimore and while I'm not familiar with Boardwine, who hails from southern Virginia, Iormaghvili had a second-round submission victory at last year's Shogun Fights V.

Both Root and Pressley are fixtures at Shogun Fights, with Root winning his last two fights at the event. And as usual, Maryland gyms will be well-represented tomorrow, with the usual suspects Team Ground Control, Evolve Academy and Clinch Academy being joined by other Maryland gyms such as Shaddock MMA in Sykesville and Conquest BJJ in Crofton.

I will also be covering Shogun Fights for U.S. Combat Sports and will post a recap here as well sometime over the weekend. So come out and enjoy a night of entertaining live fights.