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2013 A SUCCESS FOR JOSH CALVO

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By Kolby Chang

Calvo with fellow Chamorro BJJ black belt Jason Palacios. (courtesy photo)

Calvo with fellow Chamorro BJJ black belt Jason Palacios. (courtesy photo)

2013 proved to be a fruitful year for former Guam resident and professional mixed martial artist Josh Calvo. The 24-year old nicknamed “Killa” had a strong homecoming as he went undefeated this year fighting for Pacific X-treme Combat.

First, Calvo locked up a submission win via rear-naked choke over Hawaii-based fighter Johnavan Vistante at PXC 36 in March. He then followed it up with a unanimous decision victory against ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ contestant Anthony Torres at PXC 38 in August.

In addition to his improving his MMA record to 8-3, Calvo joined a growing number of Guam based Brazilian jiu-jitsu players and was awarded his black belt this September from Giva Santana of Lotus Club and James Foster of Foster BJJ.

“It was a huge accomplishment in my jiu jitsu journey and it’s only begun,” Calvo said via email from Federal Way, Wash.

A lingering hand injury prevented “Killa” from taking a fight against Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran DaMarques Johnson last month but it could not keep Calvo from entering his first jiu-jitsu tournament as a black belt. He captured a silver medal at the Revolution XXIII on Nov. 9 in Bonney Lake, Wash. and still has his sights set on competing more even as the year draws to a close.

Calvo's second place finish at the Revolution XXIII on Nov. 10 in Bonney Lake, Wash. (courtesy photo)

Calvo’s second place finish at the Revolution XXIII on Nov. 10 in Bonney Lake, Wash. (courtesy photo)

“I am looking forward to training for [the] Pan Ams and competing as a black belt. Unless a big opportunity in MMA arises,” Calvo said.

Calvo began his foray into MMA and BJJ in 2006 after visiting the island for a summer vacation. Training alongside his cousin and former PXC competitor Justin Guzman, Calvo discovered he had a passion for the sport. “I trained once and I was hooked,” he said.

Upon returning to Washington, Calvo continued his education in martial arts at Foster BJJ and Combat Sports and Fitness under the tutelage of UFC veteran Jeff Hougland. Calvo said when he first stepped on the mat he understood that this would be a lifetime commitment.

“I knew that it would be something that I’d be doing for a long time and at this point it’s something I’ll do for the rest of my life,” Calvo said.

Now seven years deep in the game, Calvo has seen his fair share of ups and downs but it’s something he knows will only make him better. He draws inspiration from some of the first BJJ players to make it big on the international scene like Renzo Gracie, Ralph Gracie, Rickson Gracie and Santana.

“I look up to them because I dig the hard-nose old school style training,’ Calvo said. ‘A strong basic game, fight to finish and get it done!”

Calvo appreciates the support he has received over the years from his girlfriend Nerissa, his coaches, his family and his friends.

Calvo posing with Lotus Club and Foster BJJ black belts after being awarded his black belt by instructers Giva Santana and Jeff Foster. (courtesy photo)

Calvo posing with Lotus Club and Foster BJJ black belts after being awarded his black belt by instructers Giva Santana and Jeff Foster. (courtesy photo)

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