UFC’s Devin Clark determined to get biggest career win on heels of family tragedy

UFC light heavyweight Devin Clark‘s training camp ahead of the biggest fight of his career hasn’t been easy.

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Clark fights former title challenger Anthony Smith in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 18 on Saturday night in Las Vegas. This is the fist time Clark (12-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) will fight in the co-main event of a UFC card during his four-year career with the company.

And ahead of such a big moment, Clark has also had to mourn the death of his mother-in-law, who was in hospice care before she passed away last week.

“To finish camp was super tough,” Clark told reporters Wednesday during UFC on ESPN 18 virtual media day. “To not just pack up my bags, go home, and hug my wife and my daughter and console them is one of the toughest things I’ve had to do as a husband, as a father, as a man.

“It’s a super difficult time, but with that being said, my whole family, we’re all in for this fight, including my mother-in-law. Before she passed, she gave me her blessing to pretty much go out there and beat up Anthony in the first round and finish him right away. She wanted me to stay and fight, and that’s what I’m doing. I also had my wife’s blessing, and my wife has been so tough through this whole thing and just handling it all on her own. It’s super incredible, and I’m super proud of her. We’re in this together.”

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The future of higher education will be determined on Election Day

Virtually everything that matters seems to be on the ballot this year, from the economy to democracy to “the soul of the nation.” And there’s a real choice, since the two major-party candidates for president have presented two starkly divergent visions for all of those things. But voters are also casting their ballots for another important issue that could shape the country for generations to come: the future of higher education.

“We’re about to see the beginning of a transformation of higher education in America,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, a research professor and director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. “COVID is just the kickoff.” Indeed, the current economic and public health crises have caused a great deal of financial strain on many colleges and universities across the country. Some institutions will not survive; others will have to deal with issues that have been brewing below the surface for a while: costs and funding, student loan debt, transparency, and more.

For the many crises colleges and universities are facing, a Biden presidency — and a Democrat-controlled Senate would be a step in the right direction. The most immediate challenge for institutions of higher learning is making it to the other side of the pandemic. And as colleges face budget cuts from their state governments, Republicans are stalling on a second coronavirus relief package that would send crucial federal aid to states for these institutions. The GOP’s unwillingness to act, and President Trump’s inability to reach a deal, is putting colleges and universities at risk of shutting down.

As for students, if all its elements are passed, Joe Biden’s plan to make colleges more affordable, for example, would increase access to higher learning, ease student loan debt, and help stimulate the economy in the long run by creating a more highly educated workforce. Trump’s plan, on the other hand, would repeal regulations around for-profit colleges, many of which take advantage of poor and vulnerable populations, and make it harder for low-income students to pursue higher education. This editorial board has already endorsed Joe Biden for president; the issue of higher education underscores why.

Trump did sign a bill that cemented funding for historically Black colleges and universities. But while that funding helped alleviate some financial woes for HBCUs, it simply isn’t enough in the long term. (It should also be noted that while Trump often touts his record on HBCUs as evidence that he’s “done more for the Black community than any other president,” annual federal funding for HBCUs actually peaked under the Obama administration.) In contrast, Biden has proposed tuition-free access to HBCUs for families making under $125,000 a year, and forgiving student loan debt to graduates of these institutions.

Biden could push through some of his agenda, even with a Republican-controlled Congress; there is some bipartisan interest in higher-education reform. But it’s clear that he could get far more done if Democrats hold the House in the coming election and win the Senate. Senate

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