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Immediately after amputation, one-legged Shea Taylor began prep for pro MMA debut

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FastKnockout

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In just a five-month span, Shea Taylor underwent 12 surgeries and invasive procedures on his drastically injured lower left leg.

Ultimately, he opted to have the leg amputated, and now just nine months later, he's preparing for his pro MMA debut at the upcoming Wild Bill's Fight Night 40 event.

While Taylor will be the first state-sanctioned MMA competitor allowed to wear a prosthesis in a fight, he didn't continue his MMA career to break any barriers. As Taylor told MMAjunkie.com's Kyle Nagel, he simply wanted to feel like his normal self again.


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Post #1   8/25/11 2:24:02PM   

Sir_Karl

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People are going to boo and hiss at me but I don't think he should be allowed to compete in "normal" MMA competition. He obviously has some serious disadvantages but he also has some advantages too. Since he only has one leg his opponents can only attack one of his legs. His missing leg is immune to leg locks, heel hooks, low leg kicks and foot stomps...or any other leg attack. Weight is also an issue. He looks pretty stocky for a 6ft1 160lber. Does he step on the scale without the fake leg? If so, then he will be far bigger than his opponents. A leg has got to weigh a good amount. Do they advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages? I have no idea. Is that even a factor in allowing him to fight? I feel people that are "handicapped" or "disabled" in any way should be able to compete in sports but I am not sure this is the proper circumstance or avenue for him to compete. Go ahead....boo and hiss. I give the guy props though!!!!

Post #2   8/25/11 3:06:00PM   

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Posted by Sir_Karl

People are going to boo and hiss at me but I don't think he should be allowed to compete in "normal" MMA competition. He obviously has some serious disadvantages but he also has some advantages too. Since he only has one leg his opponents can only attack one of his legs. His missing leg is immune to leg locks, heel hooks, low leg kicks and foot stomps...or any other leg attack. Weight is also an issue. He looks pretty stocky for a 6ft1 160lber. Does he step on the scale without the fake leg? If so, then he will be far bigger than his opponents. A leg has got to weigh a good amount. Do they advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages? I have no idea. Is that even a factor in allowing him to fight? I feel people that are "handicapped" or "disabled" in any way should be able to compete in sports but I am not sure this is the proper circumstance or avenue for him to compete. Go ahead....boo and hiss. I give the guy props though!!!!



You're forgetting one thing.

His opponent had to agree to the fight.

I do get what you're saying, though. I just think that as long as he's cool with the advantages/disadvantages, and his opponent is cool with those same advantages/disadvantages...everything's fine.

Last edited 8/25/11 3:12PM server time by emfleek
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Post #3   8/25/11 3:10:51PM   

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It's a clear disadvantage, but as long as he has the ability to defend himself, go for it. Missing both arms would be a different story, but I don't see anything here that's any worse than a disadvantage. But hey, we all come in different shapes and sizes...look at Sherk's little T-Rex arms.

Besides, with the first one-legged NCAA champ happening earlier this year, I'd like to see how he handles himself.

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Post #4   8/25/11 3:26:46PM   

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Since he only has one leg his opponents can only attack one of his legs. His missing leg is immune to leg locks, heel hooks, low leg kicks and foot stomps...or any other leg attack.

While this is true, his opponents will have advantages over his leg, too. Like he said in the article, leg kicks won't be an issue, because the fake leg is padded and actually softer than a real shin bone. While his opponent wouldn't be able to lock in certain submissions, he also wouldn't worry to worry about the offense from that leg.

Post #5   8/25/11 3:52:55PM   

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I think its an incredible and inspiring story... but I also have some questions about how the fight would actually play out.

Like was mentioned above, he's immune to leg attacks.... toe hold, straight ankle lock, ect... (although I think a heel hook would still work, as long as the leg is tight, because that actually rotates the knee).

He's also got some serious disadvantages. He can't push of with his foot (standing and on the ground this is HUGE). His balance is going to be majorly compromised. He's have trouble making hooks on the ground.

Also, what happens if the leg comes off in a fight? If he gets kicked and it comes lose?

I am very proud that this is a sport so committed to equal opportunity. But would professional football, basket ball, or any other major sport allow this sort of thing? I think in a time where MMA is still working towards mainstream acceptance, that's an important question to ask.

Post #6   8/25/11 4:08:26PM   

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Posted by Sir_Karl

People are going to boo and hiss at me but I don't think he should be allowed to compete in "normal" MMA competition. He obviously has some serious disadvantages but he also has some advantages too. Since he only has one leg his opponents can only attack one of his legs. His missing leg is immune to leg locks, heel hooks, low leg kicks and foot stomps...or any other leg attack. Weight is also an issue. He looks pretty stocky for a 6ft1 160lber. Does he step on the scale without the fake leg? If so, then he will be far bigger than his opponents. A leg has got to weigh a good amount. Do they advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages? I have no idea. Is that even a factor in allowing him to fight? I feel people that are "handicapped" or "disabled" in any way should be able to compete in sports but I am not sure this is the proper circumstance or avenue for him to compete. Go ahead....boo and hiss. I give the guy props though!!!!

I won't boo I think it's great to have that kind of determination but the fact remains that he just does not have the same tools as the other guy and it will never be a fair fight.

Post #7   8/25/11 4:33:33PM   

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I agree with most everyone. You can't compare the two fighters; it's like saying that a woman can fight in a male division, there are just too many variables that don't stack up.

Post #8   8/25/11 6:04:19PM   

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Posted by Sir_Karl

People are going to boo and hiss at me but I don't think he should be allowed to compete in "normal" MMA competition. He obviously has some serious disadvantages but he also has some advantages too. Since he only has one leg his opponents can only attack one of his legs. His missing leg is immune to leg locks, heel hooks, low leg kicks and foot stomps...or any other leg attack. Weight is also an issue. He looks pretty stocky for a 6ft1 160lber. Does he step on the scale without the fake leg? If so, then he will be far bigger than his opponents. A leg has got to weigh a good amount. Do they advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages? I have no idea. Is that even a factor in allowing him to fight? I feel people that are "handicapped" or "disabled" in any way should be able to compete in sports but I am not sure this is the proper circumstance or avenue for him to compete. Go ahead....boo and hiss. I give the guy props though!!!!



I happen to agree with you completely on this. I am all about equal rights and opportunities but I do not like the idea of disabled people competing with the average population. I saw one fight on youtube in which a guy with no legs fought an average fighter. I was so disgusted with what I saw. I was disgusted with the promotion who let this happen and even more disgusted with the fighter who agreed to fight him.

We have to face the fact we are built differently and many careers are just simply not suited for everyone. I admire the fact this person wants to compete despite the disadvantages but I strongly feel we need to draw the line somewhere.



digusting or admirable fight- your pick

Post #9   8/25/11 6:06:21PM   

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Posted by KungFuMaster

We have to face the fact we are built differently and many careers are just simply not suited for everyone. I admire the fact this person wants to compete despite the disadvantages but I strongly feel we need to draw the line somewhere.



That's actually why Maynard fought where he did...Alabama, I believe. No state with sanctioning would ever approve him fighting in a million years. That was actually a big debate on when it happened. I have no problem with a fighter being cleared to fight as long as he has the ability to defend himself, which I believe the one legged guy does...and of coarse, comparable competition is also a factor that the AC takes into account as well.

Letting Jason Reinhardt fight a UFC caliber opponent is 10 times worse than letting this guy fight some other low level fighter IMHO.

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Post #10   8/25/11 6:37:31PM   

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What happens if someone kicks his leg off? Do they hault time and slap it back on? or will he do the whole "Zach Gowen" thing? Lots of questions here...

Post #11   8/25/11 6:45:59PM   

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Posted by grappler0000


Posted by KungFuMaster

We have to face the fact we are built differently and many careers are just simply not suited for everyone. I admire the fact this person wants to compete despite the disadvantages but I strongly feel we need to draw the line somewhere.



That's actually why Maynard fought where he did...Alabama, I believe. No state with sanctioning would ever approve him fighting in a million years. That was actually a big debate on when it happened. I have no problem with a fighter being cleared to fight as long as he has the ability to defend himself, which I believe the one legged guy does...and of coarse, comparable competition is also a factor that the AC takes into account as well.

Letting Jason Reinhardt fight a UFC caliber opponent is 10 times worse than letting this guy fight some other low level fighter IMHO.



I do not condone the idea. If you let one guy with a prosthetic limb fight, others will sure to follow and the question is where do you draw the line? What level or severity of disability prohibits you from mma competition?

Of course these are all questions only the promoter can answer but if I was part of an Athletic's Commission, I would not allow it despite how brave and admirable the disabled fighter may be...

I can see officials like McCain campaigning against it.

Post #12   8/25/11 11:48:27PM   

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Well, that's kind of a slippery slope argument. The AC has to look at each case individually to see if the fighter meets all of the requirements.

Otherwise, really, as you said, where does one draw the line? Should any disability keep you from competition? Should Matt Hamill have have fought? What about a little person? What if someone had a growth issue and one arm and is much shorter than the other? What if someone is missing a finger? 2 fingers? All of their fingers, but still have the hand? What if they're missing the whole hand? A missing arm?

So, my question to you is...where do 'you' draw the line? Is any disability too much to compete? It's a gray area, much like everything else in life. I don't think you can pigeonhole people with disabilities as not being fit to fight?

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Post #13   8/26/11 9:45:45AM   

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Posted by grappler0000

Letting Jason Reinhardt fight a UFC caliber opponent is 10 times worse than letting this guy fight some other low level fighter IMHO.



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Post #14   8/26/11 9:47:30AM   

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Posted by grappler0000

Well, that's kind of a slippery slope argument. The AC has to look at each case individually to see if the fighter meets all of the requirements.

Otherwise, really, as you said, where does one draw the line? Should any disability keep you from competition? Should Matt Hamill have have fought? What about a little person? What if someone had a growth issue and one arm and is much shorter than the other? What if someone is missing a finger? 2 fingers? All of their fingers, but still have the hand? What if they're missing the whole hand? A missing arm?

So, my question to you is...where do 'you' draw the line? Is any disability too much to compete? It's a gray area, much like everything else in life. I don't think you can pigeonhole people with disabilities as not being fit to fight?



That is a very good question. With the sudden wave of disabled people wanting to do mma, it is my hunch a pre-screening will be adopted by the AC. All fighters who have had any history of serious mental illness and or physical impairments may be subjected to screening prior to being licensed by the state.

Here are some things which I may make as a criteria.
Vision - vision must meet the same standards for a driver's license with or without eye-wear.
No more than one dysfunctional limb
Must pass a basic physical test
Must pass a basic (very elementary) IQ and written test - (We need to weed out the insane)

These are just random things off of my head. To come up with a working set of guidelines would take time and brain storming.

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Post #15   8/26/11 12:12:17PM   
 
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