In what will seriously take some doing to top as the most bizarre news of the year, the folks at sherdog.com recently reported on the first Mixed Martial Arts fight of twenty-three year old Kyle Maynard. Nothing special about that right? MMA has blown up huge and is now the biggest pay per view draw around. Yeah, well, Kyle Maynard happens to be a congenital amputee. He has no arms or legs.
Reducing a burgeoning sport that grows in global legitimacy every week to a carnival, right?
Yeah, maybe. But let's hang on a sec.
As a fight fan, I'm kinda appalled by the idea of this guy getting into a cage and getting repeatedly pummelled in the face, but at the same time, I'm amazed at the size of the guy's fucking BALLS. I'm an able-bodied, thirty-something guy who scrapes in at just over six feet. I'm reasonably fit, I do a wee bit of yoga and am developing my flexibility. There is no way you would get me in a cage to fight some amped up Pantera-fan who wants to punch my button nose off my face. No way. Not even with training. I don't wanna train. I watch THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER, training hurts like a motherfucker.
I spent some time in London, Ontario living with my girlfriend directly above a total MMA meathead, who I had to confront about his noise levels at three in the morning. The guy was a total thug who, you guessed it, had cage fought. Fabulous, I thought, as he threatened to drag my skinny ass out into the snow and beat the shit out of me. Thankfully, his friends calmed him down, as I was not pussy enough to back off, but there was no way I was going out into the snow with this guy (he ended up finally getting evicted, so the good guys won and no blood was shed...my blood, that is). Now, all I can think about is how Kyle Maynard would've beaten the front door open with his head and screamed "Come on, you cross-eyed fuck! I'll bite your balls off!"
Incredibly, it seems Maynard actually has skills. I have not seen him fight, as I still find it a bit...off (hypocritical, I know, as I celebrate him here) but a friend of mine has and says that somehow Maynard CHOKED A GUY OUT. How you choke-hold a guy with no arms or legs boggles the mind, really, doesn't it? So let's all hold our knee-jerk reactions (probably shouldn't have written that) to his desire to fight and take it somewhat seriously.
Post-fight, Maynard had this to say:
“I didn’t win tonight...I have to get back on the horse and perfect things. This has given me a taste. I want to get back in there and do it again. I’m only 23 years old. I’ve got a lot of time left athletically.”
Who knows? He may actually do it. Yeah, ok, probably not, but let's at least respect the guy's dream.
Before I go, I should mention that you can read the full article here and you should - it's a cracker. Props to journo Brian Knapp, who's objective reportage also has a nice noir-ish ring to it. The description of the venue leaves me wondering if Charles Willeford is still alive and pumping out fight articles:
"The setting was far from ideal. Partially enclosed by a steel skeleton, the “arena” came complete with a dirt floor peppered with straw, a wooden press box and bleachers, a hot dog stand, a row of portable toilets and a live band. Sexual enhancement fliers were passed out to the crowd before the first fist flew, and cigarette smoke choked the air, as Maynard and Fry -- the ninth and final bout on the card -- competed in a square cage of black chain-link."
Fight fans: not all meatheads.
Congenital amputees: Balls. Of. Steel.