There were already enough activities taking place in Baltimore on Saturday, April 8, between a Baltimore Orioles home game and a tattoo convention, among other events. But Maryland’s own Shogun Fights still managed to draw a raucous and enthusiastic crowd to Royal Farms Arena. Fans witnessed four title fights, three of which resulted in new champions being crowned.
The first title fight at Shogun Fights 16 was a rematch for the featherweight title, between champion Francisco Isata and Binky Jones. Isata first won the belt after defeating Jones at Shogun Fights 13 in 2015 in a hard-fought battle, and the rematch was no different. The first round saw Isata take Jones to the mat and keep him there, controlling Jones from the top position and effectively smothering “Father Time” to begin the bout.
However, Jones rebounded at the start of round two, attempting a guillotine choke before Isata reversed position and took Jones’ back to attempt a rear-naked choke. But the round ended with Jones back on top and Isata in the guard position. Unfortunately for Jones, Isata resumed his dominant top position in the third round, securing a unanimous decision victory and retaining his title.
The next two title fights crowned the inaugural Shogun Fights flyweight and bantamweight champions. In the flyweight title fight, Greg Fischer effectively controlled Martin Davila from beginning to end by using a dominant ground game – including some devastating ground-and-pound. The third round saw the fight remain standing, but Fischer outstruck Davila and kept him at bay with his reach for a resounding unanimous decision victory to become the flyweight champion.
The bantamweight title fight was the first bout in nearly three years for Mike Easton, who made his first appearance for Shogun Fights after a stint in the UFC, which included a bout against former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. Easton faced Jesse Stirn for the opportunity to be named the first Shogun Fights bantamweight champion, and both guys gave it their all. Easton had the advantage in the first round, as he took Stirn down and almost secured a kimura. Easton and Stirn continued to battle it out on the ground in rounds two and three, with Stirn eking out a close split decision victory to become the first bantamweight titleholder.
The final title fight was the evening’s main event for the welterweight title. Micah Terrill aimed to become a two-time Shogun Fights welterweight champion, and he accomplished that goal rather quickly. Terrill and champion Chauncey Foxworth wasted no time deciding to stand in the cage and throw hands at each other, and it only took two minutes and 55 seconds for Terrill to land multiple blows that rocked Foxworth. Terrill flurried, knocking Foxworth down repeatedly, which forced the referee to stop the fight and award Terrill the welterweight title for a second time.