The only opponent who could persuade former UFC fighter Nate Quarry out of a five-year retirement turned out to be a high school senior from Newport, Oregon.
Quarry, 43, agreed to an exhibition match on Saturday against Jake "The Snake" Beckmann, a longtime MMA practitioner with Down syndrome. The bout took place at an event dubbed "Rumble in the Roseland" in Portland, Oregon.
The 19-year-old Beckmann had asked his coach, Greg Walker, to book him an official cage fight. When Walker turned to a Facebook post to gauge interest in fulfilling the request, Quarry responded.
Beckman submitted Quarry in highlight-reel fashion in the second round, via leglock. He was awarded a heavyweight championship belt for the performance.
"Throughout my life, over and over again, I've been given an opportunity to live my dreams," Quarry told a local Fox affiliate after the match. "If I can make the slightest effort to help a young man not only live his dream but also show his mother what it could be like to have him follow in his dreams.
"And actually, if I can affect an entire community and let everyone know that special needs people or people that are a little different are just that -- a little different ... They have dreams and goals just like the rest of us. Why should we tell them how to live their lives?"
According to KPTV 12 in Portland, the event raised $1,000 for Create the Connection, an outreach organization for people with differences that is co-founded by Beckmann.