Congenital amputee Kyle Maynard made his mixed martial arts debut on Saturday, April 25 at 'Auburn Fight Night' from the Auburn Covered Arena, dropping a unanimous decision (30-27) to Bryan Fry in an unsanctioned MMA bout held in Auburn, Alabama.
The bantamweight contest marked the end of Maynard's nearly three year quest to compete in mixed martial arts. In 2007, the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission denied Maynard a license to fight in the belief that he would be unable to properly defend himself.
Maynard never gave up his dream and found his opportunity against Bryan Fry in the State of Alabama -- specifically chosen for its lack of a sanctioning body that could have potentially denied him the chance to compete.
But fight he did, and in an unfortunate and ironic twist, Maynard was prohibited from striking because his gloves were unable to be secured prior to the bout, presumably from the heat and humidity.
It didn't stop a game -- but somewhat restrained Fry from lightly peppering Maynard en route to the decision victory. Fry, who improves to 1-2 with the win, was careful not to engage Maynard on the ground where the former 35-16 Varsity wrestler had a distinct advantage.
The pro-Maynard crowd repeatedly rained down boos for Fry's play-it-safe routine, but the end result was probably the best case scenario. Maynard was able to achieve his goal of competing in mixed martial arts, and the sport avoids an unthinkable and perhaps catastrophic scenario.
Whether or not Maynard continues to pursue a career in mixed martial arts remains to be seen. Whether or not he should? Well, that's up to the commissions to decide. As for now, I think it's pretty clear where they stand.