Although I can’t pinpoint the exact date, at some point last week I found myself in a position that a blogger/writer for any niche site oft finds themselves in: tapping their fingers and waiting for some news to break that anyone would give half a shit about. “You know what you should do,” one of my roommates informed me, “is write an article about disabled athletes in MMA. It would tie in with the Paralympics and be quite topical.” It was a pretty good idea, so I immediately (well, after I set down the bong, I suppose) started drafting up some ideas and angles to approach such a story with. I started thinking about guys like Nick Newell and Matt Hamill, who, despite their disabilities, were still able to break open a can of whoop ass when the occasion called for it.
I also began to think of Kyle Maynard, who, despite being an incredible talent and inspiration, was simply not cut out for the sport of MMA. To put it politely, his amateur debut against Brian Fry was bizarre bordering on embarrassing. This was not due to Maynard’s physical limitations or desire to give the sport a try, but simply because someone out there thought that the fight should be both publicized and videotaped without first considering how it would be received by the general public.
But be that as it may, I began to draft up an article discussing the positives and negatives associated with disabilities in professional sports. I planned to discuss Oscar Pistorius, Im Dong Hyun, and Peter Gray. I planned to ask you, our esteemed readers, whether or not the decision for a disabled athlete to compete in a sport as dangerous as MMA should rest on the shoulders of the athletes themselves or of the commissions that are supposed to be protecting them.
That was, until I came across this article on Fighters Only this morning to find that a promotion in the UK was apparently moving forward with, and I cannot place enough emphasis on the quotes here, “a series of bouts with fighters in wheelchairs and also amputees under MMA rules.”