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December 4, 2007
A mixed martial arts fighter has died in a hospice about six weeks after he was injured in a sanctioned bout, a rare fatality for a combat sport that is growing in popularity. Sam Vasquez, 35, of Houston, was injured at the Toyota Center on Oct. 20 and died Friday. The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Vasquez's death, but spokeswoman Stacey Mitchell said it could be several days before the official cause is determined. Vasquez was hospitalized after he was knocked out by Vince Libardi of San Antonio in the third round of a fight at the Renegades Extreme Fighting show.
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By Jennifer Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun Media Group | April 9, 2013
For an intense workout that requires strength, flexibility, technique and discipline, consider the Columbia Association's new mixed martial arts (MMA) classes. Classes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing began in February. Trainer Alvin Chan, who has a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is a former member of the World Kickboxing Association's U.S. Thai Boxing team, describes CA's foray into MMA as a “fun workout in a safe environment.” “It's the fastest growing sport in the world,” says Chan, a certified personal trainer who's worked for CA for 13 years and studied martial arts for 26 years.
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By CHILDS WALKER | March 22, 2008
The state Senate approved a bill yesterday that would allow the Maryland State Athletic Commission to oversee mixed martial arts. If the legislation also passes in the House of Delegates and is signed by the governor, it would clear the way for MMA events to be staged in Maryland. John Rallo, the Canton gym owner who prompted the legalization effort, was thrilled at the vote. "If we would have tried to get it legalized without supplying the stats and making the experts available to testify, I don't think it would have ever gotten passed," he said.
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March 4, 2013
Mixed Martial Arts has come to Bel Air. Ground Control – Bel Air, an MMA training and fitness center, is celebrating its official grand opening and open house on Saturday, March 9 from 1 to 5 p.m. The new facility is at 305 S. Atwood in Bel Air. The afternoon will feature professional fighter seminars and training sessions, autographs sessions, local celebrities, select vendors, music, food and many give-away items, including tickets to an...
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By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,Sun Reporter | February 27, 2008
Efforts to get mixed martial arts sanctioned in Maryland appear on track after a senate committee showed no signs of opposition yesterday to a bill that would give the state athletic commission regulatory power over the sport. The committee on education, health and environmental affairs likely will decide by Friday whether to forward the bill to a vote by the entire state senate, said sponsor Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat. But no one spoke against the legislation at yesterday's hearing in Annapolis.
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By Childs Walker and Kevin Van Valkenburg and Childs Walker and Kevin Van Valkenburg,childs.walker@baltsun.com | August 28, 2009
Flying knees, heavy punches and elaborate limb twisting have made mixed martial arts one of the nation's fastest-growing sports attractions, but Maryland has steered clear of the spectacle - until now. The state's first sanctioned mixed martial arts card, made up mostly of local fighters, is scheduled for Oct. 24 at 1st Mariner Arena, according to Patrick Pannella, executive director of the Maryland State Athletic Commission. The event will be the culmination of a long battle by local trainers and fans to gain acceptance.
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By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,Sun Reporter | March 28, 2007
The rising sport of mixed martial arts heard its biggest news ever yesterday when the owners of Ultimate Fighting Championship announced plans to buy Japanese rival Pride. The UFC is better known to American fans and has become a pay-per-view juggernaut. But purists have long considered Pride to be richer in talent. The organizations will remain separate for most shows but apparently will join for the occasional dream card. Here are some possible matchups that fans should salivate over: Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko: Couture, a brilliant wrestler and strategist, is UFC's golden boy after coming out of retirement to win the heavyweight title at 43. Pride's heavyweight champion Emelianenko is younger, stronger, a fiercer puncher and considered to be the greatest fighter in mixed martial arts history.
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By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN REPORTER | April 9, 2008
Mixed martial arts competition in Maryland is nearly a reality after the House of Delegates passed legislation Monday night that would allow the state's athletic commission to oversee the sport. The state Senate approved the bill in this year's legislative session, and it now awaits a signature from Gov. Martin O'Malley. "At the end of the day, a vast majority of legislators realized that this is a good thing for the state of Maryland, that the sport is safe and that it is in fact, a sport," said Del. Kirill Reznik, a Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the House bill.
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By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,Sun Reporter | January 27, 2008
John Rallo and the lawyers he works with are optimistic that mixed martial arts will be sanctioned in Maryland. They're just not sure the process will go as quickly as hoped. Many state athletic commissions have the power to allow the sport without legislative action. But that's not the case in Maryland. Here, the General Assembly would have to give the athletic commission authority to govern mixed martial arts. The athletic commission presides over boxing, kick boxing and wrestling.
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By Childs Walker | March 4, 2008
Efforts to get mixed martial arts sanctioned in Maryland took an important step forward yesterday when a Senate committee gave a favorable nod to a bill that would allow the state's athletic commission to oversee the sport. After receiving approval from the committee for education, health and environmental affairs, the bill will move to a vote by the Senate. A House version, sponsored by Del. Kirill Reznick, a Montgomery County Democrat, has a committee hearing tomorrow afternoon. "It's good to see all the hard work that we've put in paying off," said John Rallo, who co-owns the Ground Control martial arts gym in Canton and has spurred the sanctioning effort.
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By Yvonne Wenger and Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2012
Mixed martial arts fighter Darren Costa and his longtime friend Matthew Morrow were shot early Saturday at a house party in Pasadena as a wave of violence swept across the region. Morrow, 21, died from the wounds he suffered at the party in the 7000 block of Outing Ave.; Costa, 20, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Anne Arundel County Police did not name Costa as one of the victims, but his trainer Noel Smith, owner of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in Glen Burnie, confirmed Costa was injured at the party.
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By Kevin Van Valkenburg and Kevin Van Valkenburg,kevin.vanvalkenburg@baltsun.com | October 24, 2009
If John Rallo looks like the kind of guy you would expect to see working as a bodyguard at a heavy metal rock concert, it's because that's what he used to do for a living. Tattoos cover his huge arms like a long-sleeve shirt, and his shoulders and upper torso look like they could belong to a grizzly bear. But Rallo, who has worked as bodyguard for Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and Sylvester Stallone, wants people to understand that he's a businessman, too, and he has never approached his work in the manner that his tough-guy appearance might suggest.
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By Childs Walker and Kevin Van Valkenburg and Childs Walker and Kevin Van Valkenburg,childs.walker@baltsun.com | August 28, 2009
Flying knees, heavy punches and elaborate limb twisting have made mixed martial arts one of the nation's fastest-growing sports attractions, but Maryland has steered clear of the spectacle - until now. The state's first sanctioned mixed martial arts card, made up mostly of local fighters, is scheduled for Oct. 24 at 1st Mariner Arena, according to Patrick Pannella, executive director of the Maryland State Athletic Commission. The event will be the culmination of a long battle by local trainers and fans to gain acceptance.
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By BILL ORDINE | July 17, 2008
After the UFC light-heavyweight championship fight between defending titleholder Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and challenger Forrest Griffin on July 5, Griffin sent entreaties heavenward that the judges would see the fight his way. He had tried to keep Jackson, a slugger, off balance in their five-round mixed martial arts fight and dominated the second round, pounding Jackson relentlessly with fists and elbows while the two were on the mat. "Please, please,...
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By BILL ORDINE | June 3, 2008
I was one of the 4 million or so folks who watched the mixed martial arts prime-time coming-out party on CBS on Saturday night. From a purely ratings point of view, the telecast was a mixed bag for the network and perhaps for martial arts, in general. On the one hand, the MMA event, which featured Internet phenomenon Kimbo Slice in the last bout, produced a lower-than-usual rating for that time slot - Saturday, 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Programming that typically airs in that slot attracts 5.9 million viewers, and the fights produced by Elite XC drew 4.3 million, according to The New York Times.
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By BILL ORDINE | May 29, 2008
From YouTube to network television. That's how a star is born in the first decade of the 21st century. In this case, the star is an iron-fisted fury known as Kimbo Slice (real name Kevin Ferguson). A year ago, Slice was a virtual unknown in the world of professional athletics. On the most recent issue of ESPN the Magazine, he's on the cover. And on Saturday, Slice will be the star attraction in an event that some hail as the mainstream media legitimization of a sport that began as a brutal underground spectacle in garages and warehouses, where men with more sinew than sense pounded each other into bloody slabs of meat.
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By Lem Satterfield and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF | June 12, 2005
WASHINGTON - In the mixed martial arts, which incorporates wrestling, jiujitsu and boxing, Erin Toughhill rates among the world's best. Her Web site depicts her knocking out and even breaking the limbs of opponents. And at an earlier press conference, she told Laila Ali she would kick her "butt." But after nearly three rounds in the boxing ring with Ali at Washington's MCI Center last night, a bloody and badly beaten Toughill didn't look so tough. With her father, Muhammad Ali, looking on, Laila Ali scored a third-round knockout of Toughill (6-2-1)
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By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,Sun Reporter | January 27, 2008
From the skull on his shirt to his own gleaming noggin to the tattoo of a grinning demon on his enormous right biceps, John Rallo looks decidedly like someone you would never want to mess with. And that's part of the truth of his existence. He's bounced drunks from local pubs, knocked out other dangerous men inside steel cages and even guarded rock star Tommy Lee on tour. But listen to Rallo talk about the philosophy he imparts to his students at the Ground Control mixed martial arts gym in Canton, and you realize that there's more to his story.
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By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN REPORTER | April 9, 2008
Mixed martial arts competition in Maryland is nearly a reality after the House of Delegates passed legislation Monday night that would allow the state's athletic commission to oversee the sport. The state Senate approved the bill in this year's legislative session, and it now awaits a signature from Gov. Martin O'Malley. "At the end of the day, a vast majority of legislators realized that this is a good thing for the state of Maryland, that the sport is safe and that it is in fact, a sport," said Del. Kirill Reznik, a Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the House bill.
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By CHILDS WALKER | March 22, 2008
The state Senate approved a bill yesterday that would allow the Maryland State Athletic Commission to oversee mixed martial arts. If the legislation also passes in the House of Delegates and is signed by the governor, it would clear the way for MMA events to be staged in Maryland. John Rallo, the Canton gym owner who prompted the legalization effort, was thrilled at the vote. "If we would have tried to get it legalized without supplying the stats and making the experts available to testify, I don't think it would have ever gotten passed," he said.
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