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One-Legged Fighter Matt Betzold Successful in MMA Debut

One-legged fighter Matt Betzold won his MMA debut late Saturday night, defeating Robert Mendoza via first-round arm bar in a Rage in the Cage show.


The fight took place at the Celebrity Threatre in Phoenix.

As the video below explains, Betzold's left leg was amputated below the knee when he was six years old to save his life after he unknowingly ate poisoned candy. According to Betzold, a former family friend put mushroom spores in his candy as a way to get revenge against his father. Betzold was in a coma for six weeks before pulling through.

The 25-year-old Betzold began training martial arts after being picked on by classmates in elementary school, and is a decorated grappler.

He'd been attempting to get licensed to fight an MMA bout since 2004, but was finally sanctioned in August after submitting in writing all his grappling accomplishments, which include an .810 winning percentage in over 120 matches. During the UFC Expo on UFC 100 weekend in Las Vegas, he won the Grapplers Quest bantamweight title in the advanced division.

Betzold weighed in at 138 for the fight, giving up three pounds to Mendoza. The win took just 2:15 and earned Betzold a standing ovation from the crowd.

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