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WIU senior Brock Daley and four other students will participate in a Florida MMA Showcase later this month.
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WIU MMA Club Headed to Florida Showcase and to Host Open Workout

February 10, 2020


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MACOMB, IL – For the first time since it was created, five members of Western Illinois University's Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Club will travel to the University of Central Florida later this month to participate in the National University and College Association of Mixed Martial Arts (NUCA MMA) Showcase 2020.

Club president Brock Daley, a senior broadcasting major, of Chicago, IL, said he is proud to lead the club as they head to Florida to show what WIU's MMA organization is capable of. Members of the MMA Club have put in many hours of work to lead up to the showcase.

The MMA Club at WIU is an athletic student organization housed in the Donald. S. Spencer Student Recreation Center. It was created in 2009, and allows for male and female students of all experience levels to come together to train for competitions, self defense or to enjoy a full body workout. MMA has multiple areas in which students can participate, making it inclusive but also beneficial to students who wish to pursue a future in MMA.

In addition to Daley, Brody Johnson, a junior management major of Burlington, IA; Jaiden Speer, a freshman law enforcement and justice administration (LEJA) major of Montgomery, IL; Anthony Gomez, a senior LEJA of Chicago, IL; and Ivan Rodriquez, a freshman LEJA major of Chicago, IL, will be attending the showcase in Florida.

"This sport is beautiful," said Daley, "You get out what you put in. You have to put in about six months of preparation for two minutes of action."

Daley, who will be on the main card for this event, will be going in undefeated and with a great deal of cage experience.

"Ever since my first practice, I fell in love with it," said Daley, who has been involved with MMA clubs long before he began attending WIU.

Daley practiced on his high school's wrestling team, while also competing as a member of the Academy of Self Defense, an MMA and Jiu Jitsu gym, training under Jeff Waldron and Ty Davis back in his hometown of Chicago. When he came to WIU in Fall 2016, finding out WIU had an MMA club only made him more satisfied with his decision to attend Western and he has been a member ever since.

Since NUCA MMA was founded in 2017, the organization has grown to help develop amateur MMA fighters and student athletes to potentially move forward in professional careers in MMA, like with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). WIU has been a member of NUCA MMA since Fall 2018, and will be going up against schools from all over the country at the Feb. 28 showcase. Some of the other schools that will be in attendance are Michigan State University, Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, the University of Albany and Ohio University, all who are sending their own MMA clubs or organizations to compete.

The showcase has no prize to win but is used to show the skills of the fighters attending and allowing them exposure to the MMA community. Through this showcase, WIU's MMA Club is able to experience the legitimacy of legal and risk management issues associated with MMA fights, such as being insured when they compete and getting to spar with other amateur fighters from all over the country in a controlled and regulated setting.

The club will also host an open workout from 1-3p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. in the Student Recreation Center. The event will be an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and the public to come out and see what the MMA Club is all about and watch athletes from the club engage in their specific skill set. Following their display, each member will be asked interview questions about the upcoming showcase.

"This is exciting for the students and for WIU as we think outside the box to market Campus Recreation to students," said Nick Knowles, MMA Club advisor and director of Campus Recreation. "When Brock graduates he will be leaving a big void. We will be watching him on TV someday."

For additional information on the MMA Club, visit wiu.edu/student_services/campus_recreation.



Posted By: Hayley Porter (hp-porter@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations