Shogun Fights MMA returned to the Baltimore area after a pandemic hiatus with a sold-out crowd Saturday night at the Hall at Live! Casino & Hotel in Hannover.
Many small mixed martial arts businesses like Shogun Fights, which rely solely on ticket sales and sponsorships, have had to cancel their events for several years due to COVID-19 restrictions in Maryland.
“Baltimore has really missed the MMA fights. The show sold out in three weeks and last month we ran out of tickets to sell,” said John Rallo, owner of Shogun Fights. “The event was great for the first time here [at The Hall]and the fighters were awesome.
The first fight of the night was a lightweight bout in which 40-year-old Kevin Fulmore of Baltimore made his professional debut after a stellar amateur career. His opponent, Joshua Francis of Sterling, Virginia, was fighting for only the second time in his career. Fulmore took his opponent down early and maintained control throughout the opening round. In round two, Francis came out more aggressively and put Fulmore against the cage, where he applied a guillotine choke for the win.
Two veteran Shogun Fights fighters met in the second fight of the night. Maik “The Freak” Ferrante, making his eighth appearance for Shogun Fights, took on AT McCowin of Wilmington, Delaware. The two middleweights traded punches, kicks and takedowns throughout the three-round bout. In the end, both fighters jumped to the top of the octagonal cage with their hands up, but it was McCowin who the judge ruled won by unanimous decision.
Shogun Fights fan favorite Rob Sullivan of Baltimore took on Ray Yanez of Marion, Ohio in the third fight of the night. Sullivan, who has lost his last three bouts by decision, just needed a win. He wasted no time, attacking Yanez from the opening bell to finish his opponent by TKO in 51 seconds.
In the fourth bout, former Archbishop Curley and NCAA Division I wrestler Tyshawn Williams took on Marcus Sims of Los Angeles. Williams, who comes from Baltimore but now fights in Miami, Florida, was excited to fight in front of his family and friends.
“I had only fought in Miami, so it was amazing to be able to fight in front of my family and my fans,” Williams said.
It didn’t take long for Williams to defeat his opponent by choke just over a minute into the first round.
Baltimore welterweight Pat Rivera topped Shawn Brooks of Sterling, Va. for all three rounds of the fifth fight. Rivera led the fight with a barrage of takedowns and consistent hard knocking and won via unanimous decision.
In the sixth fight, Ground Control fighter Jerome Featherstone hit Steve Moleski with a forehand late in the first round and saw the Pennsylvania fighter return to his corner. Featherstone came out in the second round and connected on several head and body shots and the referee stopped the fight, giving Featherstone a TKO win.
Undefeated MMA fighter Shawn “The Filipino Flash” Suser wasted no time putting away Crazy 88 fighter Jeff Glossner. Suser used his wrestling experience to take Glossner to the ground and lock in a guillotine choke for the victory at 1:37 of the first round.
In the co-main feature, 6-foot-9 heavyweight fighter Robert Coleman took on Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Max Gimenis. Coleman, whose background is in boxing, was no match for Gimenis, who won by arm-triangle 1:14 into the first round.
The featured fight of the night was for the Shogun Fights welterweight championship. Bryan McDowell of Spokane, Wash. took on Shogun Fights champion Micah Terrill of Crofton. Terrill was able to take control of the first part of the first round with his boxing. Both fighters went to the floor and tried to apply leg locks with Terrill taking top control to end the round. McDowell came out in the second round and connected on two left jabs and several knees. Terrill attempted a guillotine choke but failed to lock it in and the Spokane fighter took Terrill’s back and submitted via choke in the back of the neck 1:33 into the second round to become the new Shogun Fights welterweight champion.