The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its fourth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the fourth dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites on December 4, 2015.
On December 4th, Mark Shopp will be inducted as Pioneer Fighter.
Mark Shopp came from a long line of fighters in his family, his grandfather and father were both pro boxers.
At 12 years old, Mark began boxing at the Middletown boxing club under Bill Ballback, Vinny, Mr. Davies and a pro boxer by the name of Freddy Boyton. By 1978 Mark had won his first fight in an exhibition against Sean Brown of Trenton, the end of that year he went on to win his first Junior Olympics and two more wins in 1979 and 1981. In 1983 Mark also won the New Jersey State Gold Golden Gloves. In 1983 Mark left for the military serving in the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division, serving with the elite and training for over 7 years. Leaving the military Mark started Mixed Martial Arts training, which at time was called NHB (No Holds Barred).
On February 26, 2000 he fought in the first commissioned MMA event on the East Coast- Ring of Combat at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City under a promoter by the name of Lou Neglia.
Mark has trained with some of the best fighters in the world including; Bas Rutten, Coban, Gokor, Gene LaBell, and Renzo Gracie. While also attending seminars with Pete Williams, Guy Metzger, Oleg Taktra, Burt Valle, and Tito Ortiz. With teammates like "Big" Dan Miragliotta, Dan Fisher, Eddie Cruz, and leg lock Dave Lopez.
In his 34 years of experience, expertise and knowledge he is still training new and upcoming fighters everyday with schools located in NJ, FL , NC, and TX under his Pitts Pen Submissions Team, and is constantly looking for new fighters.
Here is the complete list of award winners:
Felix Martinez - MMA Promoter
Dave Mastrogiovanni - MMA Promoter
Carl Mascarenhas - Amateur MMA Promoter
Mark Shopp - Pioneer Fighter
Dave Sholler - Public Relations
Larry Cureton - Kickboxing
Paul Querido - Trainer / Cutman
Brett Hlavacek - Muay Thai Fighter
Dave Weinberg - Media
Sam Marji - Amateur MMA Trainer
Tom DeBlass - Grappling
Gary Gudzak - Inspector
Brian Blue - Conditioning
Steve Rivera - Wrestling Coach
Derek Riddick - Kickboxing Promoter
Mike Massenzio - MMA Fighter
Rico Rodriguez - Pioneer MMA Fighter
Frank Savahna - Boxing
Lyman Good - MMA Fighter
Kevin Thompson - Kickboxing