Athletes & Celebrities

The Alternative Sports Hero

Inspirational athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Garrett Holeve won't let Downs Syndrome get in the way of his UFC dreams.


Lofty Goals

Garrett’s individual dream is to compete on the biggest stage of all—the UFC. It’s a dream that right now, is a long way from happening and one sure to throw up a whole lot of challenges on the way. But how much opposition does Garrett face on a day-to-day basis regarding his choice to be a fighter? “I would say almost everyone I meet in the martial arts community has supported me,” says Garrett. “There have been a few occasions that people didn’t get it or where they were standoffish toward me. Most of the opposition comes from outside the MMA community. Even some of my grandparents, aunts and uncles still don’t support my efforts. It’s those doubters that drive me to achieve.”

“Garrett’s Fight was created to allow special needs athletes to compete on the level that they are capable of. This means to have jiu-jitsu, wrestling and possibly stand up included in the Special Olympics. It’s also our goal for those athletes that have the ability to compete with non-special needs athletes to do so. We want a level playing field where special needs athletes can compete at the level they are suited to.”

The UFC has expanded dramatically since its early days, in regards to rules, regulations and the addition of further weight classes. The next big thing would appear to be the inclusion of women. Who’s to say what will come after that? Why not special needs athletes? If MMA coaches, referees and other relevant parties are thoroughly educated in the necessary requirements, there’s no reason that special needs athletes shouldn’t and couldn’t be involved in the business of professional martial arts. It will, undoubtedly, be a hard fight, but if there’s one thing that Garrett Holeve does well, it’s fighting. 

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