Special needs MMA fighter shares inspirational story
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida man who faced some big challenges in life is overcoming them in the ring.
Garrett Holeve is your average 23-year-old living with his parents in Cooper City. He's responsible for all the regular household chores like taking out the trash and putting dishes away, and with his passion for Mixed Martial Arts, you would never know he has Down syndrome.
"There's no real way to change the fact that he has an extra chromosome, so that's never going to change," said father Mitch Holeve.
MMA might be one of the most controversial sports in the world, but at the suggestion of his father, a former boxer, this sport is giving Garrett the power to reinvent himself. "I've got to see him grow in front of my eyes, and that's just been the amazing thing. It's been awesome to see that," said Mitch.
Garrett is known to his opponents as "G-money." "I think, just like with anybody else that practices martial arts, you gain the self-confidence, you gain physical fitness," said the father.
Garrett's first fight against a non-disabled fighter was highlighted on ESPN. The fight lasted all three rounds with Garrett never giving up. "I'm coming for you. If you mess with me, this is going to be you ... a knock out," said Garrett.
Apart from fighting, this up-and-coming fighter has big ambitions. His organization, Garrett's Fight, is working to expand the sport to other special needs athletes.
Garrett is now personally training DJ, another 23-year-old who has Down syndrome. "I want to give something back," he said. "Like anybody else, when you find something you love, it's awesome when you can do that. You know, get up in the morning and do what you love everyday, that makes for a pretty good day."
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)