Shogun Fight preview: Ten fights, twenty fighters promise an exciting night of mixed martial arts

Not be missed on Saturday night is the sixth installment of the Shogun fights in Baltimore. Photo: First Mariner Arena

FREDERICK, Md., April 13, 2012 — Saturday, April 14, the First Mariner Arena in Baltimore will host the sixth installment of Shogun Fights. Promoted by UFC veteran John Rallo, Shogun Fights has enjoyed a quick rise in popularity and prestige as the leading professional mixed martial arts promotion for DC, Maryland, and Virginia fighters.

A major catalyst for Shogun’s growth has been the utilization of local rising stars in mixed martial arts. Fighters like Binky Jones, Dustin Pague, and Zach Davis have gone from competing on Shogun Fights to competing in the bigger promotions such as Bellator, Strikeforce, and then the  Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Due to Shogun’s high level of talent, every fight card has been competitive as well as exciting. This card will be no different. From top to bottom the Shogun Fights VI fight card is stacked with bouts that will leave fans at the edge of their seats, featuring stars who could very soon be moving on to fighting on pay-per-view.

Fight 1: Josh Pearson (0-1-0) vs Keyon Wilkin (0-2-0)

Getting the show started is a bout between two sluggers, who also have a penchant for dynamic slams and throws. Josh Pearson of Ground Control in Baltimore, Md. has great hands and is a very good wrestler. Keyon “Hands of Stone” Wilkins, fighting out of Hitman MMA in Hagerstown, Md. is also a hybrid fighter, who integrates his knockout power punches with explosive judo. 

Both fighters are dangerous on their feet as well as on the ground. However, it is unlikely that these two are going to be spending much time looking for submissions. The winner is whoever hits the hardest.

J. Carper will be in Fight #2

Fight 2: Jeremy Carper (5-4-0) vs J.C. Cuffee (2-1-0)

The second fight of the night is a classic “striker vs grappler” match. Jeremy Carper, a Muay Thai specialist, is one of the most technical and brutal Muay Thai practitioners in the area. However, he will have his hands full with J.C. Cuffee, who is sure to utilize his Division-1 wrestling talent. This fight will be an interesting battle of styles as Carper enjoys a serious height and reach advantage. Whichever fighter controls the distance and pace will come out on top.

Fight 3: Nate Grebb (6-4-0) vs Billy Miller (1-1-0)

Fight three on the card features two fighters that have made a habit of wearing their opponents down into victory. Nate Grebb, fighting out Conquest BJJ in Crofton, Md., is a BJJ specialist, who utilizes suffocating pressure to overwhelm his opponents. Billy Miller, fighting out of Shaddock MMA in Sykesville, Md., is a survivalist capable of fighting anywhere; to beat him you will have to finish him and that has only happened once. This fight has a high probability to go the distance as both fighters are very patient. The winner will probably be the fighter who lasts the longest.

J.C. Cuffee will be in Fight #2

Fight 4: Brent Hess (2-0-0) vs Steven Baker (3-7-0)

The fourth fight of the night features another battle of styles. Brent Hess, representing Mikido MMA in Bailey’s Crossroads, Va., has made a name for himself by integrating his traditional martial arts background with modern techniques. Brent likes to push a fast pace in his fights including high level striking and submissions.  Steven Baker, representing Delaware Combat Sports is also very well rounded, but favors his submission game. Neither fighter has a reputation for letting fights go the distance. It is doubtful that this fight makes it out of the first round.

Fight 5: Dan Root (4-2-0) vs Jeremy Boardwine (0-0-0)

Fight five pits two fighters who like grinding their opponents into defeat. Dan Root from Ground Control in Baltimore, Md. and Jeremy Boardwine of Ferguson X-treme Martial Arts in Martinsville, Va. are two grappling based fighters that thrive on control. Whichever fighter controls pace and positioning will succeed in this fight. Experience might play the biggest role in this fight. Dan Root is a Shogun fights veteran. This will be Jeremy Carpers first appearance on the show.

Fight 6: Umaer Haq (0-0-0) vs Marshall Thompson (2-0-0)

In what is guaranteed to be a fight of the night candidate, Umaer Haq of Mikido MMA and Marshall Thompson of Evolve Academy are set to face each other for the sixth fight of the night. These two fighters are known for being dangerous at all ranges combat. They both have spent a great deal of time in their mixed martial arts careers fighting, honing their skills, and developing their talents. Expect an exciting fight. Expect to be impressed by the level talent of both fighters.  Expect a finish. No matter who wins this fight, you will be treated an excellent display of high level mixed martial arts action. 

Fight 7: Ryan Mackin (3-1-0) vs David Perez (2-1-0)

In the seventh fight of the night, Ryan Mack of Ground Control and David Perez representing FIT NHB Fight Team are set to collide. Mackin is the more experienced Shogun competitor and has the home cage advantage. However, David Perez is not a newcomer to big shows by any means. Perez competed in several King of the Cage events and one Shogun show. Speaking from experience, there is nothing like being booed by an arena filled with volatile Baltimore natives.

C. Presley will be in Fight #8

Both fighters are very well rounded and tend to favor a methodical approach to success. Expect a war of attrition. How Perez handles the pressure of fighting the hometown favorite will play a large role in determining the winner of this bout. 

Fight 8: Cole Pressley (3-2-0) vs Vaja Iormaghvilli

Fight 8 features Cole Pressley of Clinch Academy in Frederick, Md. and Vaja Iormaghvili of Rockville, Md. As far as this writer is concerned, this fight has all the components to be the most disturbing fight of the night. I have been the unfortunate recipient of punches, kicks, slams, and chokes from both fighters. Cole has the more versatile striking game. Vaja has the more diverse grappling game. Like all the other fights this Saturday, this one has a high probability to be exciting. However, this might be the one fight I might not be able to sit through as it might stir up old memories of violence I wish I could forget.

V. loramaghvili will be in Fight #8

Fight 9: Phil Johns (0-1-0)  vs Gustavo Keisler (0-0-0)

The second to last fight of the night pits Phil Johns of team Raww Dawgin Dundalk, Md. against Gustavo Keisler, another Evolve Academy standout. Both fighters will be looking to make a name for themselves as this will be their first appearance in Shogun Fights. These fights are the most interesting. Despite their prior experience levels, fighters at Shogun Fights find it is totally different from any other promotion. Both fighters are highly reputed. However, the most crucial factor in the equation will be the psychological impact of fighting for Shogun Fights for the first time will have on these two competitors. Whoever adapts to the new environment the best will probably come out victorious.

Fight 10: Micah Terrill (3-3-0) vs Bryan Lane (1-1-0)

The final fight of the night will be an interesting and entertaining battery of styles between Michal Terrill of Crofton BJJ in Crofton, Md. and Bryan Lane of Fairfax BJJ in Fairfax, Md. Both of these fighters are very experienced and well rounded. Both fighters are accustomed to fighting in big shows and comfortable fighting at whatever range. The way they manage pace and momentum will determine the fights victor. Michal enjoys a fast, if not chaotic pace, with strikes and submissions coming from a number of different angles. Bryan sports a more calculating approach, which favors establishing positional dominance before anything else. 

No matter the outcomes of the fights Saturday night, as long as all the fighters show up, this card should prove to be one of the most exciting Shogun Fight cards yet. 

Jason has ten years of fight experience in all aspects of the fight game, working as a professional fighter, coach, and promoter. You can follow Jason Morris at or on twitter at #Jmommablackhat

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Jason Morris

Jason Morris has spent most of his life involved in the Mixed Marital Arts community in some capacity. In the early 90s,  Jason became interested in the sport after watching the Ultimate Fighting Championships. In 2003, his interests led him to begin his training in Mixed Martial Arts. Today, Jason works a full-time in the sport while fulfilling a number of different roles. He is a director and head trainer at Evolve Academy of Mixed Martial Arts where he teaches Mixed Martial Arts for sport and self-defense. He fights professionally and coaches both amateur and professional fighters. On occasion, he even works as a fight promoter for local events in the DMV.



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