clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Florida stops MMA bout between fighters with Down's syndrome and cerebral palsy

New, 149 comments

Aspiring MMA fighters Garrett Holeve, who has Down's syndrome, and David Steffin, who's got cerebral palsy, were set to fight Friday on an Indian Casino but the state of Florida stepped in and stopped the bout.

We've posted before about Garrett Holeve, the 23-year-old with Down's syndrome who wants to become a professional mixed martial artist. He was set to fight 28-year-old David Steffin, who has cerebral palsy this past weekend but it looks like his career has had another set back.

Florida's WINK News reports:

It was a fight that was supposed to be a first of its kind. One both Garrett Holeve, 23, and David Steffin, 28, had been dreaming of, but five minutes before the first punch, the state presented the promoter with a cease and desist letter.

"He cried. It genuinely upset him," says Mitch Holeve, Garrett's father. "He's worked eight weeks in a training camp, training four and a half hours a day for eight weeks getting mentally and physically prepared to do this."

Garrett has downs syndrome and his opponent David has cerebral palsy. The fight was supposed to happen because the match was being held on tribal land, but a letter from the DBPR says the scheduled bout between the two amateur fighters is unsanctioned and against Florida Law.

"He's upset because he knows he's being told he can't fight because he has down syndrome and that hurts his feelings and that angers him" says Holeve.

What do you think? Should Holeve and Steffin have been allowed to fight?

More from Bloody Elbow: