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Maynard to fight in MMA

Kyle Maynard has conquered numerous obstacles in his life and now he's going to tackle the sport of mixed martial arts.

Maynard, a 2004 Collins Hill grad, met with the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission on Monday and heard comforting words about allowing him to compete in MMA.

"We went to the Georgia Athletic Commission, and they asked him a few questions and the result seemed positive," said Undisputed Productions fight promoter David Oblas.

"All he has to do now is decide if he wants to fight amateur or pro and turn in his application and $20 fee."

Maynard was born with a rare disorder called congenital amputation, which means he has no limbs from just above his elbows and just above his knees. His first fight is scheduled for Sept. 14 at Wild Bill's Fight Night 11.

"Without a doubt I'm going to do this," Maynard said. "It's a sport that's a huge part of my life. I know what I'm getting into."

Maynard said he weighs 125 pounds but could move up to 135 if it would help him find an opponent.

"I think that's going to be the toughest part," Oblas said. "Some people see it as a lose-lose situation. If you lose to Kyle, then you lose to him. But if you beat him, then you beat someone with no arms or legs."

He now must decide if he wants to go amateur or pro.

"I'm still deciding what I'm going to do and will talk it over with my trainers," Maynard said. "Either way, I'm not going to have any special rules for me."

Maynard has been training in Brazilian jujitsu, one of the many disciplines in MMA, for two years. MMA also consists of judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling.

He has an extensive background in wrestling while at Collins Hill where he was 35-16 his senior year and was one match away from placing at the state tournament.

In 2004, Maynard was the recipient of ESPN's Espy Award for the Best Athlete with a Disability and has been featured on TV shows such as HBO's "Real Sports" and "Oprah."

"I've followed Kyle's story, and this might be one of the biggest things he's done in his life," Oblas said.

"He's had two exhibition grappling matches for me. One in Athens and one at Wild Bill's and did very well in both of them."

For the past year, Maynard has been a motivational speaker at major corporations and schools. He recently bought a house with former Collins Hill teammate Cody Black near the Mall of Georgia, which makes his commute to Knuckle Up Fitness in Duluth rather short.

Word of Maynard's MMA fight has already been on several message boards and fans have had mixed reviews.

"People have already started asking should he be allowed to do this, is it good for the sport and what happens if he gets injured," Oblas said.

"Considering what he's done in the past, I don't think anyone can tell him no."

Which is why Maynard is going into his first MMA fight the way he's gone about everything else in his life - all out.

"There's already been a split down the middle and people are concerned if I should even be doing this," Maynard said. "I've faced opposition all my life and in football and wrestling. I plan on winning. I'm going into this 110 percent, and at the very least I, promise to put on a good show no matter how long the fight lasts."