The Eastern Michigan University Mixed Martial Arts team is preparing for its toughest challenge of the year Nov. 10 when they’ll have seven members of their club fighting.
Their first-ever female competitor, Lauren Foley, is set to defend her women’s Flyweight Championship title and senior Greg Calvert is set to fight for the Lightweight Championship.
“It’s kind of a big deal, it’s exciting and a lot of hard work has gone into winning the title,” Foley said.
Foley, who began training with Calvert over the previous summer, won the title in Sept. and looks to keep her winning ways going with her first title defense.
“I’m hoping that my strength will overcome hers, we have a lot of strong people on the team so I know I’ll have a strength advantage,” Foley said.
Foley spoke on the difficulties of being one of the only women practicing with MMA and knows it will become an advantage for her during her fight.
“I know there will always be someone bigger and better than me, so why not practice with Greg who is bigger and better than me,” Foley said. “I like being one of the only women; I just wish there were more women. It’s great going against the strength that men provide, but women fight completely different.”
Calvert said he’s more than ready to bring the championship back to EMU. After suffering a defeat against his upcoming opponent earlier this year, Calvert will have the chance to avenge that loss. With this fight being for a championship, Calvert is looking for gold as well as revenge.
“This is probably one of the biggest matches of my life,” Calvert said. “This time I’m looking for the knockout, I’m not even attempting a ground fight.”
With the fights taking place under MadMen MMA promotions, the members of EMU’s Mixed Martial Arts team are all looking to keep their team’s undefeated record this year. The team received an unexpected, but necessary, moral boost Oct. 20 when member Angel Cabrera took a fight within a day’s notice and defeated his opponent after only 28 seconds in the first round.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Cabrera said. “I was out of my weight class during that fight, but I did what I had to do.”
Without the luxury of knowing who he’s fighting Nov. 10, Cabrera seemed more than prepared to fight in a heavier weight class once more, no matter who that opponent may be.
“Boxing is one of my favorites and wrestling is one of my strengths,” Cabrera said. “I prefer to not know anything about my opponent, no record, no strengths or faces. This way I can make it my fight and never their fight.”
Cabrera is not the only one who trains for unknown opponents, as four of the seven participating fighters know little to nothing about their upcoming opponents.
Dexter Hobdy, one of seven MMA fighters participating, acknowledged how fighting unnamed opponents helps them stay on top of their game in preparation for fights.
“Make sure all the essentials are completed, that’s always necessary,” Hobdy said. “Since I don’t know the guy or his style we have to prepare for any and everything.”
Hobdy, who is 2-0 heading into this bout, acknowledged the intensity of training along with the tension within the team in having a large amount of members participating.
“We have to make sure that we’re all going. If someone lags, we bring them up,” Hobdy said. “We have to keep each other ready because we have to stay on top of our game.”
The fighters spoke on the progress leading up to the fight, mentioning several times that their greatest motivation is their teammates, Calvert spoke on the team’s progress leading to the fight.
“We have a lot of solid wrestlers and a group of tough guys who’s only getting better,” Calvert said. “We have a lot of new guys this year, but what they lack in skill they’ve more than made up for it in heart and work ethic.”
Every fighter in MMA made the same statement while discussing their fights, which was “gain the victory.”
The fights will take place in Jackson, Mich. Nov. 10 under MadMen MMA promotions. For more information on tickets, contact Greg Calvert at firstname.lastname@example.org.