Considering our name is Show Your Soft Side and everything we do is geared toward promoting kindness, it may seem a bit of a disconnect that we’d spend an evening sitting ringside and cheering while guys beat the crap out of each other. Then again, if you knew John Rallo, former MMA fighter, founder of Shogun Fights and one of our first-ever Big Softies, you’d understand why the two go hand-in-hand.
MMA is not a sport we claim to understand, it requires years of training, months of existing on a Draconian diet and multiple injuries along the way – all of it geared toward three five-minute rounds of punishing blows, kicks, chokes and punches. Yet John and the majority of fighters that come out of his Ground Control Academy are Big Softies in the truest sense of the word and credit that to a code of honor that comes with mastering the sport. It’s why virtually every bout of the evening at Shogun is punctuated with a TV ad promoting the homeless and abused animals at BARCS, attendance at Pawject Runway and/or the virtues of being a Big Softie. In other words, not one of the three thousand plus people who attend Shogun Fights has any question about what these hard men find precious. And what’s most surprising is that many of them are card carrying “Cat Guys.”
In fact, John Rallo himself is “Dad” to three rescue kitties – Shadow, Dexter and Caesar, but when you’re six foot three and 285 pounds of intimidating muscle, nobody’s dumb enough to snicker about your passion for all things that purr. And he’s happy to use every ounce of that muscle to advocate, lobby and, sometimes browbeat, on behalf of defenseless animals.
He’s changed minds in Annapolis, spoken on Capitol Hill and been there every time we’ve needed a heavy weight on our side. So yes, on April 16, as heads were knocked and faces were bloodied – we were right there, front and center, supporting John and cheering on fighters like, fellow Cat Guy Softie, Dan Root. In a world where strength is often used to exert control over the weak, we’re honored to know these big, bad pussycats who use it for good.
Photography compliments of Zhenia Bulawaka. And, by the way, if you’d like to stay on John’s good side, we strongly suggest you purchase your tickets to Pawject Runway by visiting http://bit.ly/pawjectrunway. today.