Garrett Holeve - hero

by Kirik Jenness |

ESPN’s Sportscenter recently profiled 23-year-old, ATT fighter Garrett “G-Money” Holeve as he prepared for his first amateur fight.

Holeve, 5', 135 lbs., is a dedicated student, with a positive demeanor, by all accounts a great man to have in the gym. Given the dozens of top pros that fight out of ATT, his preparations would not be remarkable on a national scale, except that Holeve has Down syndrom.

Approximately one in 700 babies born in the US each year has Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosome abnormality in humans. Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate impairments in physical growth, and mild to mild to moderate intellectual impairment.

Everyone who steps into the cage has to overcome a lot - fear and doubt, the rigors of training, and more. In Garret's case, a lot more.

Garrett's fight is not without controversy.

“I’ve had family members that just said to me that I’m crazy," said his father. "They’ve lost respect for me as a parent from the fact that I’m allowing this to happen. You're putting your son in jeopary, how can you do that?"

But Garret is a hero.

Stephan Bonnar explains how he got there.

"He didn't like being the kid with Down Syndrome, the kid people felt sorry for," says Bonnar. "Through martial arts he found himself. He found a passion and a purpose in his life."

A Garrett says, "fighting changed me." Among the changes was Garrett accepting that he did in fact have Down Syndrome, something he resisted so much that as a child, he didn't want to be known as Garrett, "because Garrett has Down Syndrome."

At the end, the piece shows Garrett paying it forward, teaching a student who himself has Down Syndrome.

“Them look up to me as a hero, or as a super man,” said Garrett. “Because them need a super hero.”

We all need heros, and Garrett is one of them.

Garrett and friends;

To find out more about Garrett, please check out

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tags: video   regulation   Florida   Garrett Holeve   

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Recent Comments »

Bootsy Collins site profile image  

3/27/13 10:51 AM by Bootsy Collins

Jesus my comment wasn't even disrespectful. Four vote downs? Some sensitive pricks on here

devilishstoner site profile image  

3/27/13 9:11 AM by devilishstoner

Really wanted to be a hard-ass about this, but damn if I didn't choke up throughout the whole thing. That was amazing. Good for him.

uniquetechnique site profile image  

3/26/13 5:33 PM by uniquetechnique


I_Bungalo_Baboo_Babies site profile image  

3/26/13 4:59 PM by I_Bungalo_Baboo_Babies

Place holder

Winston Wolf site profile image  

3/26/13 4:56 PM by Winston Wolf

also think ( know ) the kid knew the consequnces,risk and for damn sure knew what a knockout was or submission.The kid knew he could be KOed and was IMO very familiar with what an MMA fight is.Kids an insperation

Winston Wolf site profile image  

3/26/13 4:54 PM by Winston Wolf

they said his reading skills were that of an 8 year old never said anything about his cognative which IMO was much higher than an 8 year old.Kid reacted well ,fought his ass off Nobody got hurt.All winners IMO.PS I have a special needs kid too ( not downs but PDD ) and I think what they did for the kid was super

aarondramp site profile image  

3/26/13 4:51 PM by aarondramp

*someone - not somewhat

aarondramp site profile image  

3/26/13 4:50 PM by aarondramp

Posting here to save some space with all of the long quotes. My argument was only that if you say that it should be up to any parent what their kids can and cannot do then we end up with some bad situations. There are some laws (or in this instance, athletic commissions) to assist in serious situations. Let me say I'm pretty much a libertarian, so I think that the government involvement should be kept to a minimum.In answer to your question, no, I obviously have never seen a dad put a special needs kid in a fight.I looked up a little more on the opponent, and it looks like he is a pretty legit fighter that could have destroyed him if he wanted to. His highlight video shows some solid wrestling experience and some decent amateur MMA skills. So, like I said, if he's taking it easy on him while still letting the guy know what a fight is like, then I think it's awesome. The moment he told his coach "I did it" was amazing.My only concern was somewhat with limited reaction time and the cognitive abilities of a 3rd grader fighting a real fighter that was trying to knock him out or submit him only because he doesn't truly understand the consequences.

Winston Wolf site profile image  

3/26/13 4:39 PM by Winston Wolf

the opponent was obviously taking it easy on him IMO.But at the same time did hit the kid in the face a few times.Ive never seen a dad put a special needs kid in a street fight have you ?

Winston Wolf site profile image  

3/26/13 4:36 PM by Winston Wolf

i accidently voted down I meant to click quote.Just voted u up to make up for it.Ill vote u up again tomorow