'I have a disability. I'm not disabled.' MMA fighter, amputee Matt Betzold proves everyone wrong

Posted at 11:37 AM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 14:37:47-04

On Saturday night, Wild Horse Pass & Casino in Chandler hosted several rising stars in the world of mixed martial arts, including one rising star who was told multiple times he'd never become a professional fighter. 

Well, Arizona's own Matt Betzold has made a career out of proving people wrong.

Over a dozen medals. Eight wins. Six losses. All on one leg. The 33-year-old amputee may have more wins if there were more people willing to fight him.

"I still have a lot of people that dodge me," Betzold said. "The fact of the matter is nobody wants to get beat up by a guy with one leg."

The fight began when he was six years old. A man temporarily living with his parents poisoned Matt in an effort of revenge against his father.

Matt fell into a coma, developed a blood clot, and when he awoke six weeks later, the lower half of his leg had been amputated.

But rather than harbor resentment toward that man, Matt chooses to be grateful.

"I forgave him because he made me who I am. I mean, I would thank him," he said.

What many see as a limitation, Matt sees as an advantage.

"I have a disability. I'm not disabled. That's how I look at it," he said. "There's things I can do that other people can't. So, in my mind, I think they're the disabled ones."

It's that mentality that has helped Matt quickly become one of the most popular fighters in the Arizona-based World Fighting Federation.

And while he fell short of the flyweight title Saturday night, Matt Betzold knows he's a champion just for stepping in the ring.

"If you never make your goal, at least try. At least you can say you tried at the end, because you only get one life and you don't want to live life with regrets," he said.