A while back we told you that Kyle Maynard, the congenital amputee who wrestled at the University of Georgia, was planning to make his pro MMA debut at a small show in Alabama. Well, that’s happening this weekend, and not everyone is happy about it. Columnist Brad Zimanek for the Montgomery Advertiser refers to Maynard’s impending debut as “a freak show,” insisting that MMA fights are “basically no-holds barred combat” and the only people buying tickets to this thing are those who want to see “how badly Maynard gets beat up.”
Clearly, anyone who thinks Maynard’s fight is a freak show needs to watch Bob Sapp fight cartoon characters and learn what a real freak show looks like. Maynard may get beat up on Saturday night. That’s a possibility, given that this is a fight he’s going into. But isn’t that his choice to make? There probably weren’t a lot of people who thought he could wrestle at the college level, but that didn’t mean college wrestling became a freak show the moment Maynard got on the mat.
The thing that’s so annoying about the people who think Maynard shouldn’t even get a chance to try MMA is that they seem to assume that he’s never trained in it before. They can’t understand how he’ll possibly deal with getting punched in the face, so they assume he hasn’t even considered that problem. Something tells me he has. The guy trains at a real MMA gym, and he knows what he’s getting himself into. Check what he told MMA Fanhouse about his striking game for Saturday night:
“You know, without going into too much of my game plan, I am never going to be an Ernesto Hoost-level kickboxer; I assure you of that. But one of the biggest misnomers I have seen is that people think I can’t strike. I got arms that end right above my elbow and I have had an over 400-pound butterfly press. I assure you can strike (and) I can defend myself.”
But beyond that, does this writer really think so little of humanity as to believe that the people attending that event will be there because they want to see Maynard take a beating? The dude is an incredibly inspirational story. I’m pretty sure that everyone in attendance except his opponent’s friends and family will be hoping he pulls out a victory. And without knowing anything about who his opponent is (it’s a secret until the weigh-ins, apparently), you have to think that anyone who has done what Maynard has always has a chance at winning.