The life of an active Eastern Michigan University student can be a tough road to travel: dealing with the stress of time management, organizational issues, work and not to mention school itself. With so much going on, it’s easy to lose focus of the ultimate goal of graduating from school.
While some students may leave without creating much of a splash, senior Greg Calvert has left more than his imprint on the EMU community. This year marks his final run as captain of the Eastern Mixed Martial Arts club before graduating in April.
“It’s something that I really dedicated my life to over the past four years. And now it’s time to look ahead,” Calvert said.
Calvert, who’s recently been accepted to several graduate level economic programs, has led the MMA club alongside his three friends Qwamie Beck, Lewis Anderson and Kevyn Kendrick.
Calvert plans to leave the MMA club behind to further pursue his degree in economics, but understands the club will remain in good hands.
“They’ve been with me for the longest,” Calvert said. “I know they care about the team as much as I do and I know they will improve things while I’m gone.”
While the club is competitive by nature, Calvert has established a bond with the team, which he described as more of a brotherhood.
Allowing everyone to act as a family rather than a team, Calvert is recognized as more than a coach outside the club.
One member who attested to this was high school student Grant Cashman, who recognizes Calvert as a mentor rather than a friend.
“[The club] keep me on top of my grades, and offer tutoring whenever I need help,” he said.
Cashman views the MMA club as an improvement to his life.
“I was going downhill before I joined this team,” Cashman said. “My grades were bad and I kept getting into trouble, but things are turned completely around now.”
Cashman’s consistent turnaround is believed to have occurred due to the constant pressure from his coaches. One key component Calvert focused on was the use of progress reports to keep track of Cashman’s grades.
“I try to let him know that college is far more important, the UFC will always be there,” Calvert said. “Most of the people in the UFC went to college and I’m just trying to let him know college will have to come first before anything else.”
Calvert has kept a consistent focus on Cashman’s progress reports, while making sure he practices what he preaches. Always treating school as a top priority, Calvert views MMA as a backup plan if anything else.
“I’d like to think that after I leave EMU that MMA will stay with me,” Calvert said. “After leaving EMU I’d like to make a living with my brain and not my fists.”
Calvert, who’s held both the welterweight and lightweight title under MadMen MMA Promotions, currently has a 3.5 GPA and looks to capitalize on this with accepting one of several high-end graduate program offers.
His academic career after EMU could possibly continue at some top graduate schools such as the universities of Florida, Kentucky and Purdue. Calvert has already been accepted into several other schools and will begin making a decision after he graduates in April.
Inside the gym, the MMA club has thrived with Calvert and his friends running the program. MMA has accumulated over 40 victories alongside multiple titles with Calvert capturing two of the titles.
They’re looking to continue their winning ways as the team prepares to send current champion Lauren Foley to fight for her second championship title on Sunday.
Calvert had some final words to offer regarding the future of the team but remained sincere.
“I just hope that this program keeps going, I just hope that we continue to keep going strong.” Calvert said. “I dedicated my life to this and I just put everything I have into this team, I just
want things to continue to grow.”
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