-Stian Roenning photography // Garrett Holeve, 24, loves Mixed Martial Arts fighting. “It makes me feel pumped,” Holeve said. (from

“A 24-year-old Mixed Martial Arts fighter with Down syndrome, Garrett Holeve says he’s ready for a fight, but to him, his fiercest opponents aren’t in the ring: They’re the people stopping him from climbing into it.

“I can (do it). Don’t mess with me,” Holeve told “I’m a blue belt.”

Holeve is backing up his fighting words with actions. Armed with a lawyer and the support of family members and fans, he’s taking on the Florida State Boxing Commission and other organizations he views as standing in his way. Last August, minutes before the opening bell, the boxing commission ordered the cancellation of a bout between Holeve and David Steffan, a Special Olympian with cerebral palsy.”

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