The National Down Syndrome Society and Disability Rights Florida Say #LetGarrettFight
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Garrett Holeve, a 24-year-old man with Down syndrome, has been denied his right to an equal opportunity to compete in amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Together, the National Down Syndrome Society and Disability Rights Florida support Garrett Holeve’s right to compete in amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Mr. Holeve has been denied his right to an equal opportunity. Holeve has been training in the competitive sport of amateur MMA for four years. Many MMA trainees seek to fight in official bouts as a natural progression in the sport. Mr. Holeve is no different – he wants to progress in the sport and needs to take the next step and he has tried to take the next step. Despite being qualified to fight an opponent of equal experience and ability, the Florida Boxing Commission, through its amateur sanctioning organizations, has prevented Mr. Holeve from taking that next step.
"Anything I want to do is my decision, this is my life and my choice is to fight MMA," said Mr. Holeve. "I have trained hard for years and deserve a regular MMA fight."
Mr. Holeve has taken his fight to federal court and is seeking an injunction that will allow him a true competition in the sport he loves. Disability Rights Florida, the state protection and advocacy system, is representing him in that legal action.
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