There's no mistaking Nevada for a state in the deep south like Alabama. In the case of fighting, thank god Nevada doesn't have southern values. Alabama has become the home of potentially embarrassing exhibitions in the cage and the ring. It starts this weekend with Kyle Maynard, the congenital amputee, who is taking a shot at mixed martial arts. That's right, the sport that incorporates wrestling and jiu-jitsu with knees, kicks, elbows and punches. Maynard, a former high school wrestling star, is an amazing athlete but he has no arms and legs. But for some reason, the state of Alabama licensed him to fight this weekend at an amateur event in Auburn.
It feels like most people are afraid to speak out against what could be a disaster if his opponent chooses to make it one. Brad Zimanek from the Montgomery Advertiser has thrown caution to wind putting pragmatism ahead of poltical correctness:
This is just a freak show. Mixed martial arts events are basically no-holds barred combat. This is different than wrestling. They are selling tickets for people who want to see how badly Maynard gets beat up.
Zimanek says this is a perverted act all in the name of dollars and no sense:
This shows how far sports can go to make a buck. It's one of those things where you hope for the best but are expecting the worst. I just can't see anything good coming out of it.
Maynard's story is amazing and no one wants to tell a 23-year-old that he can't live out his dream but when safety is at issue, someone needs to step up. Maynard claims that he can strike and is fully capable of defending himself. How will he do so against body kicks? How will he escape a choke hold? How exactly will Maynard put on the standard four ounces gloves used in MMA fights? And isn't it interesting that the opponent for this 135-pound fight on Saturday is being kept a secret? What kind of legitimate commission would allow this many odd circumstances?
Nevada nearly denied 45-year-old Olympian and national championship wrestler Mark Coleman a license to fight at UFC 100 fearing for his safety but Maynard was cleared in Alabama.