Senior earns lightweight title at event
Dominance was the key word on Nov. 10 as Eastern Michigan University’s Mixed Martial Arts squad left their mark in Jackson, Mich. The EMU team dominated the Mad Men MMA Promotions event Downtown Beatdown. The team went 5-1. Senior Greg Calvert captured the lightweight title, and EMU’s first ever female competitor Lauren Foley successfully defended her Flyweight Championship.
“I had a lot of pressure on me, being the first fight of the night and being the one to set the tone for the rest of the team,” Calvert said.
Calvert’s fight didn’t last long as he certainly set the tone for the rest of his team, locking in a practiced signature inverted upside-down triangle choke. Bringing home a first round submission victory, along with what would become the submission of the night.
Calvert, who is also one of the captains of the EMU MMA team, knew the added pressure of being the only captain fighting during the night.
“I know that if I were to go out there and lose that it would be a huge confidence killer for the rest of the guys, so I had to do my job and win,” Calvert said.
After Calvert’s victory, the remainder of the club followed with three of the next four victories coming by a first round TKO, including a 15 second victory for Foley, who admits she never remembers much about the actual fight.
“The fight was kind of a whirlwind,” Foley said. “You never really remember much.”
This was Foley’s first successful title defense, with her next title defense to come in January. Foley admits she’s enjoying the spoils of her victory.
“It’s only a feeling that someone who has entered the cage can understand,” Foley said. “It’s indescribable. I just know you have an extreme amount of adrenaline. I went out there, attacked at the start of the first round, got her on the ground and proceeded to ground and pound my way to a victory.”
Foley also described what she does after her events.
“I carry the belt around for a day or two once I’ve won. People always want to see it or are curious if it’s ‘real.’ Some people think it’s a joke sometimes and then I bring the belt to class and they always say, ‘That girl is for real,’” she said.
Although Foley’s victory was later in the evening, the team chemistry was on display throughout the entire night, as one victory motivated the following victory, no matter who their opponent was.
This was more evident with the victories of Angel Cabrera, Nick White and Patrick Simpson. They all faced fighters with more experience and took their opponents down with what appeared to be relative ease.
Cabrera, whose only MMA victory came several weeks prior, was looking to improve his record to 2-0 against an opponent who entered the octagon with over 15 MMA bouts under his belt.
Nothing could stop the EMU freshman from victory. Cabrera dominated his Flyweight match, eventually leading to the crowd coming together to chant Cabrera’s name during the second round.
After dominating the first two rounds Cabrera would go on to swarm his opponent early in the third round to capture another victory for EMU.
While Cabrera’s opponent had over 10 fights more than him, White was more than happy to take on an opponent who had a three fight advantage over him.
None of that mattered once the cage locked for the two heavyweights. White cruised to a victory, leveling his opponent with a right hand before using his knees to end the fight. He finished the fight faster than it began.
White (4-0) admitted he enjoyed the entire experience but felt his training could have paid off more.
“I realized this fight was too short,” White said. “I trained for two months, put countless hours in and ended up with a 30 second bout. I wanted to do more; it’s really fun and I feel like my fun was cut short.”
Although White felt his fun was cut short, another EMU MMA team member, Simpson in the flyweight (125 pounds), felt his night ended just right as he continued the trend of the night. Finishing his opponent in under a minute with a TKO and gaining his first official MMA victory.
Although Simpson’s fight lasted all of 52 seconds, he went into the bout believing he would win. Dedicating his victory to the persistence of training for months before the fight took place.
“I knew we had all trained hard and I was as ready as I could have been for this fight,” Simpson said. “It felt good to see all that standup training I did before the fight pay off.”
While the team is now 10-1 along with two belts, they each gave thanks to the support provided by the EMU community.
Calvert, who took home the lightweight belt, was vocal of the support provided by the EMU students.
“The morning of the fight my phone was blown up by my classmates,” Calvert said. “People I haven’t talked to in years wishing me good luck. It’s kind of nice to know that people care about my well being and want me to stay safe.”
EMU MMA wrapped up their dominating night of fights by taking home “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night,” which are honors that will provide training equipment for the team.
As the team moves from Downtown Beatdown back to training, EMU MMA is looking to perform once again next year. The team is looking for an early January return for both champions: Foley and Calvert.