(Wow. This actually makes UFC Iran look like a first-class promotion. Thumbnail images below courtesy of Sherdog.)
Well, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is, Kyle Maynard made it through his amateur MMA debut last night in Auburn, Alabama, with no injuries whatsoever. Unfortunately, he lost the match in a unanimous decision (30-27 x 3), after his bantamweight opponent Bryan Fry spent all three rounds avoiding takedowns and keeping Maynard at bay with punches. Maynard was disappointed with the loss but vowed to return to the cage. As he told Sherdog:
“I think it’s a tough gameplan to prepare for. I felt like I gave 100 percent. He didn’t want to go to the ground, and I wasn’t going to win a boxing match with him…I wanted to win so bad, but it was still one of the best moments of my life. A lot of people didn’t think I would last 30 seconds. If you want something bad enough, you’ve got to step in there and do it. I love the sport so much. It would have been so tough to love something so much and never get the chance to taste it….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.”
Hopefully Maynard’s next test will come at a more professional, well-produced event — because it’s hard to avoid the "freak show" label in an environment like this:
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…Maynard did not compete with gloves, as perspiration — temperatures hovered in the 80s for much of the night — caused them to come loose during a warm-up session.
As a result, Maynard was prohibited from striking during the match. Of course, the unsung hero last night was Bryan Fry, who employed a game plan that allowed him to win without putting Maynard in serious danger of injury. (Not that it stopped the crowd from booing him every time his name was mentioned.) Fry now improves to 1-2 as an amateur. When we find the video, we’ll post it…