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Tag: Garrett Holeve

Florida Blocks MMA Bout Between Fighters With Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy


(Photo via Facebook.com/Garret.Holeve)

Back in March, we passed along the inspirational/controversial story of Garrett Holeve, a young man with Down syndrome who trains and competes in mixed martial arts. Last month, Holeve was booked to fight David Steffan, a former Special Olympian in golf who suffers from mild cerebral palsy, and who has also worked hard to¬†transition into combat sports. The “full speed” MMA fight was supposed to go down at a King of the Casino event at the Seminole Casino in Immokalee, Florida, on Saturday. Unfortunately, it was stopped at virtually the last minute. As WINK News reports (via BloodyElbow):

It was a fight that was supposed to be a first of its kind. One both Garrett Holeve, 23, and David Steffan, 28, had been dreaming of, but five minutes before the first punch, the state presented the promoter with a cease and desist letter.

“He cried. It genuinely upset him,” says Mitch Holeve, Garrett’s father. “He’s worked eight weeks in a training camp, training four and a half hours a day for eight weeks getting mentally and physically prepared to do this.”

Garrett has Downs syndrome and his opponent David has cerebral palsy. The fight was supposed to happen because the match was being held on tribal land, but a letter from the DBPR says the scheduled bout between the two amateur fighters is unsanctioned and against Florida Law.

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