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Steve Cofield

Legless, armless MMA fighter? Who’s going to stop him?

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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Kyle Maynard's story is one of the incredible athletic achievements in American history. The 23-year-old overcame amazing challenges and got national recognition for wrestling in high school in spite of the fact that he has no legs and his arms stop above the elbow. Maynard is a congenital amputee. His father pushed him to play sports as a young child and try wrestling once he got to junior high school. He was 0-35 his first season and wanted to quit but his family refused to allow him to do so. Maynard found a workout routine to build the strength in his torso. In his senior year, he went 35-16 and wasn't pinned one time the entire season.

He received an ESPY, speaks publicly, wrote a book and has a documentary on the way. It seems like there's nothing this amazing kid can't achieve. Well, that's not entirely true.

Maynard now wants to fight mixed martial arts and after being denied a license by several states, he's been cleared for an amateur fight in Alabama on April 25th. If it's just an exhibition limited to grappling during this MMA fight, fine. Maynard has some sponsors and it's a nice way to get his story out to more people. But if this is a real MMA fight with kicking, punching, knees, elbows and submissions in play, what exactly is Alabama thinking?

Who is the poor guy who has to fight Maynard in this no-win situation? Would you want to witness Maynard, who can't possibly defend himself from strikes, get kicked in the face 20 times before the fight has to be stopped? How would you feel watching Maynard get choked out? Frankly, without being able to kick and punch, is it really a mixed martial arts fight? No one wants deny opportunity to anyone who is challenged but this can't possibly be good for the sport and it certainly isn't safe for Maynard.

UPDATE: Regular MMA rules are skewed from the get-go if this fight comes off. In the United States, you can't kick a downed opponent. Since Maynard sits on his rear-end, he's technically a downed opponent but that doesn't mean knees to the body, punches and elbows would be out of the mix.

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