Acquiring skills to help one overcome the physical advantages that an opponent may possess is the very essence of martial arts, but what happens when one is at such a disadvantage that they’d be considered disabled?
Having only one full arm and fist, 2-0 English MMA fighter Dave ‘Nemo’ Llewellyn knows all too well what it means to defy the odds. He was born with meromelia of the right arm, but that hasn’t slowed him down one bit.
At Raged UK 2, Llewellyn overcame both his disability and his opponent when he stopped Lee Curry with a vicious left hook during the very first round of their contest— proving that with hard work and dedication, the seemingly impossible can be achieved.
As a professional MMA fighter, Llewellyn is always looking for the big win, but in his eyes, winning simply cannot compare to influencing someone’s life in a meaningful way: “Hearing that I have inspired and helped people’s lives is better than a win. I have had a lot of people say that I have inspired them and helped them to see things in a different way. Nobody should allow a disability to stop them from doing what they want to do.”
What Is The UnderGround?
Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez begins his greatest work with a description of beginning.
“At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point.”
The UnderGround was founded when mixed martial arts was so recent that many things lacked names, including the sport itself. Kirik Jenness had written the first book on MMA, the 600-page “Fighter’s Notebook.” But there was no known market for it, so the Internet seemed the only possible source.
They grabbed some urls for $200 each (there was no GoDaddy yet) and the best sounding one was SubmissionFighting.com. They partnered with an early, early news site called FightingTalk, and the founder of that site suggested calling it “The UnderGround.”
That was in 1998.
Eventually, too many people showed up looking for weird things, so they switched to another url they had acquired – mixedmartialarts.com. Then the UFC switched to UFC.tv, so they switched to MMA.tv. Then when the name mixed martial arts became official, they eventually moved their site for the hardcore fanbase back to mixedmartialarts.com.