For years we’ve been hearing that mixed martial arts is poised to overtake boxing, and that the only thing stopping it is the mainstream’s image of MMA as a sideshow. Cartoony fighters, fluky outcomes and a general level of unprofessionalism are perceptions MMA is trying hard to shake. So why are they letting a quadruple amputee fight?
Kyle Maynard, 22, was born with congenital amputation, which means his arms end at his elbows and his legs end at his knees. He’s been a successful high school wrestler, but this is different. In this, you’re allowed to punch. And Maynard, I’m guessing, may not be so good at blocking. So why would MMA allow something that makes it look even more like a circus?
Video of Maynard in action, after the jump.
Two years ago, Maynard was denied a license by the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission. So he turned to the land that law forgot, and last month received his license in Alabama. He’ll be fighting on April 25 as part of “Auburn Fight Night”. To give you a sense of how professional Auburn Fight Night is, their official website is a MySpace page that lists a phone number to call if you want to fight.
I don’t want to put down Maynard here; far from it. He went 35-16 in high school, and could easily take me in a fight. But I hope he realizes that a two-bit promotion is using him to promote itself, and that he could be seriously injured. MMA isn’t wrestling. You don’t have to start in a hold. You’re allowed to kick and punch. What’s to stop Maynard’s opponent from simply hurling him across the mat? I have no urge to see this go down. But luckily for some scummy promoters, plenty of others do.