What congenital amputee Kyle Maynard lacks in limbs he makes up for with pure testicular fortitude. Born without limbs below his elbows or knees, Maynard has been creating shockwaves through the mixed martial arts community when it was discovered that he had been cleared to take part in an amateur MMA bout in Alabama.
In a sport with countless gyms filled with thousands of fighters that love to talk about how they will one day make their long awaited mixed martial arts debut, Maynard has shown his true fighting spirit by throwing caution to the wind while he puts his money where his mouth, or should I say his heart is.
Maynard is set to face off with Brian Fry in a 135 pound amateur rules mixed martial arts bout that will headline this evening’s Auburn Fight Night card that will take place in Auburn, Alabama. Fry has put together an amateur record of 0-2 going into tonight’s bout with Maynard.
The inspiring athlete’s story is a well documented one. Maynard lost every single one of his wrestling matches in high school before stringing together an impressive record of 35-16 during his senior year on the varsity team.
Aside from his accolades on the wrestling mat, Maynard was awarded with the ESPY Award for the Best Athlete with a Disability in 2004 and set the world record for the modified bench press with a lift of 360 pounds at the Arnold Sports festival in Columbus, Ohio in 2005.
Maynard has been training in mixed martial arts for the last three years running. During that time he has earned his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Paul Creighton.
Now Kyle has fallen under an enormous amount of criticism since tonight’s bout was announced, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why. Without limbs extending past his elbows or knees, many find it extremely hard to imagine how he will end up defending strikes during the stand-up portion of the bout.
Being that Maynard has a strong backround in wrestling and submission grappling, it will certainly be in his best interest, and more than likely in his gameplan, to take Fry to the mat as soon as possible. But what if that doesn’t happen? What if Kyle can’t drag Fry to the canvas during the match? What if he is thoroughly brutalized with strikes before he ever has a chance to take the fight to the ground? What if he is dropped by a head kick in the opening moments of round one? These are just some of the questions surrounding Maynard’s mixed martial arts debut.
The fears of many sceptics are not without warrant. With the exposure that Maynard has already received since the news of his amateur fighting debut, how would a devastating knockout loss, or god forbid, a serious injury look to the many non-MMA fans who’s attention has been grabbed by this headline breaking story. Will this single amateur bout involving a congenital amputee be viewed upon as a negative blow to the still blossoming sport? Yet another question on the minds of many heading into tonight’s match-up.
For the 0-2 Fry, it truly is a no-win situation. If he wins, he beats a guy that was at a serious physical advantage, if he loses, well you do the math. Maynard has previously expressed his desire for his opponent to hold nothing back in the bout, and it will be interesting to see if Fry comes out like a man possessed or if he will just go with the flow of the fight. Either way, it’s a no-win situation for Fry, who will undoubtedly be long remembered as the guy that fought Kyle Maynard at the MMA event in Alabama.
I will say this, don’t count Maynard out in this amateur mixed martial arts match-up. If he can get the fight to the floor he will stand a good chance of winning. His natural frame is much more powerful than his 135 pound opponents because of the fact that that he has been forced to adapt to his disadvantage from birth. Maynard will certainly be the more powerful of the two in this bout.
In high school I had a very close friend by the name of Pablo who was born without legs. Much like Maynard, my friend Pablo didn’t care what others said he could or could not do, and he tried out for the school’s wrestling team. Not only did he make the varsity team, Pablo went on to compete at state for two years in a row. From my experience rolling around with Pablo during my high school days I can tell you with the utmost certainty that he was one of the strongest men I have ever encountered in my life.
With that being said, we all knew that Pablo wouldn’t stand a chance if he was to wind up in a boxing or kickboxing match. It just wasn’t even the type of thing we would seriously consider.
I applaud Maynard for his unparalleled courage and approach he has taken to life but I will say with absolute honesty that I hope that tonight will mark the debut and retirement of Kyle Maynard from mixed martial arts, win or lose.
The action from tonight’s card will be airing on KyleMaynardFight.com.