Wheelchair MMA: Newest controversial blood sport to hit UK
South Yorkshire–, London, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – There is nothing new with athletes with physical disabilities competing in MMA, but the planned unveiling of bouts in the United Kingdom between disabled fighters in wheelchairs could reignite controversy on the full contact combat sport.
A UK promotion is set to stage the first wheelchair MMA fights in the world.
The announced partnership between the U.K.’s Ultimate Cage Fighting Championships and a group called Wheeled Warriors will make wheelchair combat a reality in an event to be held in South Yorkshire, England, later this year.
The series of bouts will feature fighters who will utilize specially-made wheelchairs similar to those used in wheelchair basketball or football.
American mixed martial artist Nick Newell is the most notable MMA fighter with a physical disability.
The 26-year-old Newell competes at lightweight with only one fully functional arm. His left arm ends just after the elbow, meaning Newell has no left hand and does not have most of his left forearm.
Despite his disability, the 5-foot-10, 155-pound Newell has made waves in the XFC. He currently has an unblemished 8-0 record, with 8 of those wins coming by knockout, while 2 by submission.
Congenital amputee Kyle Maynard also made a name in mixed martial arts, as battled his way to realize his dream of fighting in an MMA bout
Maynard, who was making his mixed martial arts debut, went on to drop a unanimous decision (30-27) to Bryan Fry in an unsanctioned bantamweight contest held in Auburn, Alabama, in April 2009.
Maynard was denied a license to fight by the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission in 2007. The said commission held that Maynard would be unable to properly defend himself.