By: Julie Laugel/GCU Staff
A peaceful second season. Until they hit the spring.
It was a productive fall in terms of roster numbers for the GCU Club Mixed Martial Arts program in 2019-20. Then the semester break hit, and the reality of a spring semester of intense course work sent half of the team scrambling for study sessions instead of workout sessions.
That setback, though, showed the resiliency of the club itself.
“The team was able to turn this unexpected experience into a positive,” said GCU Club MMA Student Head Coach Sammy Sieckmann. “Our team bond became closer, and we were able to increase productivity by learning new skills.”
The Lopes put these skills to the test when they attended their first intercollegiate competition in Orlando, Florida. Not only was it GCU’s first intercollegiate competition, but the competition was governed by NUCA MMA, the first intercollegiate-based Mixed Martial Arts organization in the United States. The Lopes were flown out to Orlando and provided fully-equipped gear from RDX.
Sieckmann and GCU Club MMA member Seth Baxter competed at NUCA MMA. Baxter suffered a TKO from an upper weight opponent, and Sieckmann’s fight resulted in a “no contest” decision after an illegal eye move from the opponent.
In order to increase their performance for the next competition, the Lopes stayed committed to their training.
“The team made great progress in terms of dedication this year,” said Sieckmann. “Although I had to miss a few practices, the team took the initiative upon my absence to still show up to practice and roll up the mats to review.”
Among the dedicated team members was GCU freshman Cody Firth – a former baseball player with no previous mixed martial arts experience.
“Cody has shown substantial athletic abilities which he has incorporated into a solid mixed martial art game,” said Sieckmann. “He shows an excitement and dedication towards mixed martial art, and has made a commitment to attend MMA Lab gym outside of the club to increase his skills.”
Interested in Club Sports? GCU has over 30 Club Sports teams to choose from. Visit our website for more information on how you can join!