Sometimes we just can’t with this whole combat sports things, you guys.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a mentally disabled man who “according to his family, has the intellectual capacity of a young grade-schooler” was not only allowed to compete in an *unsanctioned* kickboxing match recently, but was violently knocked out just 47 seconds into it. The news comes just a few weeks after the Sentinel published a feature-length investigation into the death of debuting kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.
And here we thought Mickey Rourke beating up a mentally unstable homeless man would be the worst combat sports-related news item we’d write about in a month’s span. Ignorant sluts, the lot of us.
The man’s name is Jesse Roach, a 31-year-old who has been “receiving federal disability payments” for years and “has great difficulty reading because of dyslexia.” In addition to telling the Sentinel he didn’t know what a waiver was prior to accepting the fight, Roach also revealed that he was expecting to be in a wrestling match that night, but “didn’t find out he was kickboxing until hours earlier.”
Oh, did I mention that this unsanctioned bout took place in a Harley Davidson dealership? Or that this was Roach’s first kickboxing match ever? Or that he was paired against Jesse Rowell, a ten plus-year combat trainer and fighter with four wrestling championships to his credit? Or that Rowell happened to be the promoter of the event in question? Because yeah, all of that, but also this:
State officials were in the building that night — to regulate the boxing portion of the $ 80-per-premium-ticket event. But they left the room during the kickboxing, since state law doesn’t allow for oversight of the increasingly popular sport.
The state does not sanction kickboxing, even though it oversees boxing and mixed martial arts, an amalgamation of disciplines including kickboxing.
Oh, and let’s not forget this:
Roach said Rowell promised to pay him $ 50 and give him a medal for participating in the fight. He is still is hoping to get his medal.
You hear that, guys? He didn’t even get the f*cking medal he was promised.
It should probably also be mentioned that this is the *second* time Roach has fought/been knocked out by Rowell. The two met in a mixed martial arts match years ago, and even though Rowell had spoken to Roach several times before their most recent fight and even given him a ride to the event, he apparently had no clue of Roach’s disabilities.
“You gotta remember, people are punch-drunk all the time, so I thought he was just that,” said Rowell, who organized all of the evening’s kickboxing matches and has owned the Team Knockout gym for five years. “I didn’t sit down and talk to him.”
Probably unrelated: The only available image of Rowell online is his mugshot.
Our words fall short, but we’d highly recommend you check out the Sentinel’s full write-up, which contains interviews with state officials and local gym owners. It is absolutely reprehensible. For now, we’ll leave you with this:
In another bout, a man with a history of 17 concussions fought over the objections of his doctor. Under the fight rules, his opponent agreed not to deliver blows to his head.
You know what? Go f*ck yourself, Jesse Rowell, and f*ck you too, Milwaukee.