MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (WLNS) – One mid-Michigan veteran is gearing up along with mixed martial-arts athletes to bring mental health services to fighters and vets.
MMA athletes around Michigan are running though drills again and again. It’s all ahead of the return of a new, re-vamped league that will introduce a different kind of fight, outside of the ring. This fight is focused on getting fighters and vets connected to mental health resources.
“It’s more than just for athletes, for veterans. This is an initiative for the entire nation that we’re hoping people will support and get behind,” said James Greene, president of Total Warrior Combat.
Greene served in the US Navy for four years. He left the military in 2016 with a passion for fitness and training others. He began working with Michigan MMA fighters, some were a part of the Lansing based Total Warrior Combat league. Earlier this year, Greene said he bought the league with hopes of bringing new opportunities for participants. Greene is moving the venue up north to Mt. Pleasant and wants to offer group counseling for those involved.
Holly Nelson, his girlfriend and business partner is spearheading a program to connect veterans with resources focused on their unique backgrounds.
“TruthMap Vets is our non profit and the whole goal is to pair professional athletes with veterans. Essentially, we’ll put them through an emotional health and wellness program together because they have had similar experiences,’ said Nelson, TWC co-owner and the CEO of TruthMap.
Adrian Hadribeaj, one of league’s fighters, said he’s glad the league is headed in a direction to help people in and outside of the ring.
“We are few of those people that we can be very low on the ground and we still know how to get up, fight back and win and achieve. So you know, that’s the same thing with veterans, those heroes you know? They have been fighting for this country for a long time,” Hadribeaj said.
The gloves come on Saturday, June 4 at Mt. Pleasant’s Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.