Down Syndrome Not Stopping Florida MMA Fighter

The state’s Boxing Commission called off his first sanctioned match, saying it wasn't really authorized. An advocacy group is now suing on his behalf.

Garrett Holeve
Garrett Holeve

Cooper City’s Garrett Holeve is making a name for himself in mixed martial arts circles.

At just 24, he’s already trained hard for years and has faced off against some tough competition. But, he's now facing his toughest competition yet - the state of Florida, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Just before what would have been his first sanctioned match last August, the Florida Boxing Commission stepped in and stopped the fight, saying it was not sanctioned. A lawsuit has since been filed on Holeve’s behalf, alleging the hold was placed on the fight because of his disability.

As it turns out, Holeve has Down syndrome, a fact that’s never stopped him before, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Eric Morel, Holeve’s striking coach, says Holeve trains hard and holds his own.

"If you work hard and have that much passion, who are we to limit you from showing your abilities or from following your dreams,” the Sentinel quoted Morel as saying.

While the lawsuit is still pending, Holeve continues to train with an eye on what might be his first sanctioned match, a bought against a 29-year-old with cerebral palsy who goes by the nickname the “Cerebral Assassin.”

Regardless of the outcome, Holeve says, “I will never stop fighting.”

There's even a petition drive that's been started to support Holeve's dream to fight. Find out more by visiting the site dedicated to his plight.

Read the full story on The Sun Sentinel.

What are your thoughts on this? Should the state let him fight? Tell us by commenting below!


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