Isaac “The Shermanator” Marquez, who has Down syndrome, had always dreamed of fighting in the Octagon, but no commission was ever willing to sanction a fight.
He feared it would never happen, until he finally took on a challenge against UFC fighter Diego Sanchez over the weekend, as SBNation reported. The exhibition was organized by the Jackson Wink MMA Academy and took place outside an athletic commission.
“I just wanted everyone to know that Isaac had a dream and he went after it, and he earned it, and he got it,” Sanchez said after the fight. “So anybody out there: If you have a dream, believe in yourself and go for it.”
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) December 4, 2017
Throughout the fight, the audience was shouting Marquez’s name, cheering him on in what was certainly the opportunity of a lifetime. Marquez was declared the winner of the first round “by way of tap out” from Sanchez.
At the end of the short dual, Sanchez hoisted Marquez on his shoulders and marched him around the cage.
Watch the inspiring fight below.