Zion Clark, an American wrestler born without legs, has revealed the high hopes he has for a career in professional MMA following a debut win last month.
For most, the idea of functioning with day-to-day life without legs is unimaginable. In the same vein, finding success in a sport like wrestling with such a condition is hard to envision. Even further, a victory inside a cage as a mixed martial artist would seem impossible.
But for Clark, the word ‘impossible’ doesn’t exist.
The 25-year-old was born without legs due to a rare disorder called caudal regression syndrome, which leads to the abnormal development of the spine. The defect occurs at a rate of around one for every 60,000 live births.
Despite his condition, Clark hasn’t let anything get in the way of his combat sports dream. That even included during a tough stint in his freshman and sophomore years that saw him collect zero wrestling wins.
Incredibly, though, the Ohio native went on to amass a 33-15 record during his senior season at Massillon Washington High School. For Clark, though, the push for unlikely success didn’t halt.
In December 2022, the 25-year-old made his professional mixed martial arts debut, defeating Eugene Murray via unanimous decision — although it’s worth noting that MMA tracking website Tapology has attached a warning next to the result due to the Gladiator Challenge promotion’s history of “record-Padding/mismatches.”
Having gotten off the mark in MMA, Clark isn’t looking to stop there. For him, the ceiling is significantly higher than one triumph.
Clark Boasts High Hopes For MMA Career
During a recent interview with BroBible, Clark reflected on his first experience competing as a mixed martial artist and discussed what comes next in his combat sports career.
Likening his new path to that of his initial venture into wrestling, Clark insisted that the goal remains advancement and progress. With that, his target is the highest possible — MMA’s big leagues.
“I’m a certified pro now. So with that being said, that’s just the next step. And then the next step after this is the big leagues,” Clark said. “So just how I went pro in track and field, how I hit the highest levels of wrestling, there’s no difference. The work ethic stays the same. I still have a good 10 years of me to make my stamp in the MMA world, make my stamp in the martial arts world, which I’ve already been doing.
“Now we’re taking it to new heights, taking it as far as I can go. And this next door I’m about to cross through is going to be the limit of what you can do in the sport. So, I definitely see a long career out of this” Clark continued. “Me, personally, just being a wrestler, I turned 26 this year. I started when I was six, so that’s been in there a long time, and I see a long career out of this, too.”
Now, Clark is simply awaiting his next destination.
“Personally, whoever offers me the best contract, that’s where I’m going.”
As well as his success in wrestling and ongoing exploits in mixed martial arts, Clark boasts a number of other notable achievements, including a trio of Guinness World Records for the quickest 20 meters walking on hands, the highest box jump with the hands, and the most diamond pushups in three minutes.
What do you make of Zion Clark’s journey so far and his MMA aspirations?