Mixed Martial Arts fighter opens doors for other athletes

3 years 5 months 1 week ago Monday, October 12 2015 Oct 12, 2015 Monday, October 12, 2015 3:04:00 PM CDT October 12, 2015 in News
By: Caileigh Peterson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing sports and with that new popularity brings new fighters.

Nate West, a senior at the University of Missouri comes from a small town, Gower, Mo. Gower is a town with a population of only 1,500 people.

West got into MMA a year and a half ago after his friend took him into the gym for the first time. He instantly fell in love with the sport he originally thought would just provide him with a fun way to exercise.

Now 3-0 in his MMA fighting career, West said he hopes to go professional because he only has so long to make it as a professional fighter.

West isn't your typical fighter in the physical sport that requires constant use of your arms to strike on the offensive and protect on the defensive. He's limb different- born without an elbow and forearm on his left side.

West uses his differences to his advantage, and he finds his motivation and will to succeed overpower any obstacle he has to overcome in the ring.

"I have to be bigger, faster, stronger because I might not have the grip that someone else has. I think I have to prove myself a little bit more. I know, I get the looks when I first walk in." 

His roommate and training partner, William Starks, has been by his side since they started working out together.

"I've been in his corner for every fight which means I'm in the ring helping him with strategy and he's got this confidence and opportunity to open doors for other limb different athletes," Starks said.

West said because he grew up in such a close-knit, small community he never faced any kind of discrimination other than a junior high coach who wouldn't give him equal opportunities to shine.

"If anyone would have made fun of me, my dad would have just called their dad and been like ‘stop making fun of my kid', and it would have been handled."

NubAbility, a camp offered annually in Illinois, gives limb different children the opportunity to learn how to play sports.

West has been involved in the camp for two years and said his life will forever be changed from the people and experiences he's had as a coach.

"These kids are so ready to learn, and they're going to change the world. They inspire me to keep fighting in the ring."

The camp, he said, isn't just about sports.

"We're there not to just be coaches, but to be mentors both physically, but also mentally.  I want to show them that they can do anything that any able-bodied athlete can do."

West believes the sky is the limit as far as his future goes, no matter what obstacles come in his way.

"The big key is just the people that believe in me."

More News

Grid
List
HALLSVILLE - Lorenzo Moreno was partners with Vincent Valentino at the successful Sarsapilla Speakeasy, until his disappearance two weeks ago.... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:43:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug designed to specifically treat postpartum depression. The... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:21:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools is being recognized for its work in improving the mental health of its students and... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:15:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities have rescued several people stranded by flooding in northwest Missouri as the swollen Missouri River... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:08:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Thursday in response to widespread flooding along the Missouri... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:05:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - While the controversial Grain Belt Express moved one step forward this week, critics and supporters say tough battles... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 2:18:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS – A search has begun for a new chancellor at University of Missouri-St. Louis. Current chancellor Tom... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 2:12:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A judge set a $100,000 cash-only bond for Quatavia Givens, the woman at the center of the... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake in the summer... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Environmental activists plan to make their voices heard at a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) public... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, March 21 2019 Mar 21, 2019 Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:26:00 AM CDT March 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Brian Treece and Chris Kelly answered public questions regarding a variety of issues facing the Columbia community. When... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:23:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Three armed men broke into a home on Spiros Drive claiming to be with the Boone County Sheriff's... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – People who live near coal ash ponds share stories about health problems and contaminated water Thursday at... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday her government is immediately banning assault rifles,... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 9:56:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft could have their own parking areas in downtown Columbia. The... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 8:29:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission granted approval Wednesday to the Grain Belt Express, an electric transmission line... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 7:15:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Missouri state troopers had to carefully watch a closure of Highway 94 near Portland earlier this week... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 7:01:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s mayoral race has moved to television as the municipal election on April 2 moves closer. Mayor... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, March 20 2019 Mar 20, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT March 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
7pm 48°
8pm 46°
9pm 44°
10pm 43°