GoFundMe Campaign Helps Autistic MMA Fighter Into World Championships

    Irish MMA Team has selected MMA fighter Jordan Scully to compete in the Adult Mixed Martial Arts World Championships in Abu Dhabi at the end of January.

    After taking home the silver medal last August at the IMMAF Youth World Championships in Bulgaria, the 18-year-old’s athletic career continues to soar.

    “I am an 18-year-old man and I have autism. I am so proud of myself for getting to this level, winning silver at the previous youth world championships and I hope to make it to the UFC,” Scully said on his GoFundMe campaign created on January 4 to raise €2500 to enter the Adult Mixed Martial Arts World Championships.

    Fast forward to today, Scully has the funds to compete in the amateur bout at the international tournament before entering the big leagues.

    His no-quit attitude is what got him this far. Since the age of 13, Jordan practiced MMA with SGB Tullamore and has shown tremendous effort in proving his dedication to the craft.

    “He is so dedicated. We literally have to kick him out of the gym every night. He’s here morning, noon, and night. He is brilliant,” said Jamie Houlihan of SGB Tullamore.

    And don’t be surprised to hear the autistic fighter’s name in professional MMA headlines in the future.

    “He has had his own challenges. He has focused himself on MMA and dedicated himself to it. He has created a life for himself and hopefully a future for his family. You can be guaranteed that Jordan will be in the UFC in the next three to four years,” Jamie continued.

    Autism & MMA

    Jordan Scully will not be the first autistic contender to compete as a fighter in professional MMA.

    There are strong examples of MMA fighters representing the autistic community.

    For instance, Serena “The Southpaw Outlaw” DeJesus is one of the first autistic MMA fighters and won her first professional bout back in April 2018.

    The Fusion Fight League mixed martial artist views herself as a positive role model.

    “It’s a big reason why I fight,” she said. “I want to show that there can be good role models in the autism community. Everybody looks up to fighters. I can be that strong example that you can do it; even if something is hard, just try, try again. It’s great. I have two siblings who are also autistic, and they’re doing it too. One of them wants to fight like me when they get to be of age, and the other one wants to be social and be healthy, so it’s nice,” DeJesus told Montana Sports prior to her winning debut.

    Welterweight John “Doomsday” Howard sets another example. Diagnosed with autism during his MMA career at age 33, the 38-year-old has seen success in many fight promotions, including the UFC and the PFL.

    John Howard and Ray Cooper III
    John “Doomsday” Howard and Ray Cooper III Photo Credit: Ryan Loco, PFL

    The veteran fighter does not keep his “gift” hidden from the world. In fact, Howard wants children with special needs to see that a person with autism can achieve greatness.

    “I want kids in special-needs classes, kids who get teased and bullied, to watch me fight or at least know about what I do,” he says. “I want them to know there’s someone out there who’s just like them and who’s doing great things,” said John Howard according to ESPN.

    Dejesus and Howard have broken the mold—and faces—and refuse to slow down.

    All fighters possess the motivation and drive to succeed. Having the courage to put yourself out there and crush your goals while facing adversity is a beyond outstanding achievement.

    If Jordan Scully is victorious on January 29, his professional career is sure to skyrocket from then on. His progress and story are encouraging to many, even those of us outside of the autistic community.

    How soon do you think we will see Jordan Scully in a professional bout?

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