A brief, touching movie produced by The Guardian shows Garrett Holeve’s struggle to overcome a state injunction and fight in a mixed martial arts competition despite having Down syndrome.

At the center of Holeve’s story is the question of the rights of the disabled. Florida authorities deemed Holeve’s planned fight in 2013 against a man with cerebral palsy a health risk. But with the support of his father, mother and friends, he eventually realized his dream of fighting publicly and winning a match.

“I think fighting injustice makes me stronger, more powerful,” Holeve (aka “G Money”) says in the film.

Critics see mixed martial arts, with its metal cages and aggressive posturing, as gratuitously violent. But mature practitioners understand it as a demanding challenge to outperform an opponent in which punching, for example, is not an end in itself but a tactical means to subduing the opponent and winning a round.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig