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Maynard stifled in debut, drops decision in Auburn Fight Night main event
Despite all the hype, all the questions, all the concerns of safety and regulations heading into the professional MMA debut of congenital amputee Kyle Maynard, the final product failed to answer many questions other than, "What happens if Maynard can't take his opponent down?"
The inspirational former high school wrestler and ESPY award winner for Best Athlete with a Disability may be forced to recognize his limitations in MMA following a unanimous-decision loss in the main event of Saturday's Auburn Fight Night in Auburn, Ala.
The card was held at the Auburn Covered Arena and was broadcast live on an internet pay-per-view broadcast.
Described by event commentators as having a "tin roof, barn next to us, a little hay and no poop on the floor," the venue had a dirt floor, a square cage and a hammer and a metal pipe serving as the official bell.
But when congenital amputee Kyle Maynard made his way to the cage, the focus went from the shortcomings of the facility to the challenges of the main event fighter.
Although not part of the original plan, Maynard did not wear gloves to the cage. Commentators blamed humidity as a potential culprit, citing a difficulty in securing the gloves to Maynard's appendages. As such, Maynard was ruled unable to throw strikes with his genetically shortened arms.
Maynard was carried in on the back of his cornerman to a loud ovation from the gathered crowd, but it was the last positive moment for the Georgia resident.
While the crowd in attendance was obviously disappointed at the course of action, Maynard's opponent, Bryan Fry, stuck to an effective gameplan. Refusing to go to the floor with Maynard, Fry played matador to his opponent's charging bull ***8211; backing away from Maynard's repeated takedown rushes while peppering his face with jabs.
Maynard's face showed obvious frustration at the end of the opening round, and Fry refused to back down from the strategy.
Maynard frantically picked up the pace in spots, but he simply could not close the distance on his opponent and work the fight to the mat. Maynard's inability to strike had little impact on the outcome, and the debuting fighter dropped a unanimous decision.
The two combatants hugged briefly following the announcement, and Fry ***8211; understandably competing in a no-win situation ***8211; offered a show of support before exiting the cage to a chorus of boos.
Maynard, who will certainly need to go back to the drawing board should he choose to continue an unsanctioned MMA career, held on to his trademark class when addressing the crowd following the contest.
"Thank you guys for coming out and supporting this," Maynard said. "This was one of my biggest dreams, and I fell short tonight."