A former All-American wrestler who was born without legs is set to make his MMA debut later this year.
Zion Clark was born with a rare birth defect called caudal regression syndrome, a disorder that impairs the development of the lower half of the body. The condition occurs every one in 60,000 live births.
But despite being born with no legs, Clark hasn’t let that slow down his dreams. The Ohio native, who was put up for adoption as a child and moved around the foster care system, began wrestling in elementary school.
While he struggled at first, failing to win a single match for years, Clark later saw improvements. With the help of his high school wrestling coach, Clark overcame the impact of his disability, going 33-15 as a senior whilst competing against peers with four limbs.
Having gone on to continue his wrestling career at Kent State University, Clark is now eying a place on the 2024 United States Olympic team. Before that possibility, however, he’s looking to upset the odds again in another sport.
On December 17, Clark will compete in mixed martial arts for the first time. In an interview with TMZ Sports, the former All-American wrestler discussed his venture into the cage and promised to “knock out able-bodied people.”
“It’s the same as it was wrestling for me,” Clark said. “I just wrestle against able-bodied people, and I beat able-bodied people. Now I’m fighting able-bodied people, and I’m gonna knock out able-bodied people. It’s as simple as that. I’m a fighter.
“I’m trying to run this s**t up! It’s not just a rinky-dink fight. This s**t’s going on pay-per-view. This shit is a legit sanctioned fight… It’s gonna be big!” Clark added.
With an impressive win, perhaps Clark will capture the attention of the UFC’s bigwigs…
Clark Sets Two New World Records Ahead Of MMA Debut
As well as his success on the mats and upcoming debut in MMA, Clark has also achieved some other notable feats in spite of his disability.
Prior to last month, Clark was already known as the “fastest man on two hands” after he broke the Guinness world record for the quickest 20m walking on hands. He smashed the record in 2021 with a time of 4.78 seconds.
And in October, Clark added two more records to his résumé. At The Dogpound gym in Los Angeles, California, the former elite wrestler achieved the highest box jump with the hands and the most diamond pushups in three minutes.
Clark has the words “no excuses” tattooed on his back, and he certainly lives by that motto.
What do you make of Zion Clark’s inspirational journey and upcoming venture into mixed martial arts?