Former MMA Fighter and Downs Syndrome Boy’s Surprising Friendship

MMA fighters, one would expect, would come with a rather tough, almost callous mentality. After all, they live tough lives; they train like hell and essentially fight people for a living. However, for former MMA fighter-turned-coach, Sammy Callari, of Naples, Florida, his soft side shines through in this amazing little story.

When asked if he could help young Parker Seward, who has Downs syndrome, he was a little hesitant about doing so at first. For him, though, it was the best decision that he ever made. Despite lacking experience in working with someone with disabilities, he decided to try it out and see how things would go.

The Perfect Duo

“Everything just clicked from day one,” said Sammy.

They worked together on a regular basis, and Sammy instantly spotted someone with the dedication to improve and grow as a person. Indeed, Sammy even called Parker his “little bro” – how awesome is this!?

When they aren’t working out, they have a power of fun together and it ensures that both can go through the day feeling totally comfortable and happy with their workout experience. Sammy was also quite clear that this isn’t just a stunt; they genuinely get on, and share more in common than most would imagine.

A Real Friendship

“I have always had an underdog mentality of people counting me out and saying I couldn’t do something,” he said. “I almost look at him like he’s an underdog, and he can take a lot of the lessons we’ve learned from everyday life and in our gym sessions, and that will help him build a solid foundation as he becomes a young man.” Sammy explained.

A really funny kid with a great identity and a personality that just beams positivity, Sammy has found himself a great little workout companion and a friend for life.

“I want to grow up and be a policeman and pull Sammy over!” Parker explained, too!

What a kid! Sammy was also very open, though, that Parker could be a wonderful example to all.
“He can do the same things that any other little boy or girl can do,” Callari said, “I think just by showing that he can do it in the gym and in our daily life, that it can give (others) the motivation that, ‘Hey, if Parker can do this, why can’t I?’”

It’s a wonderful tale of inspiring kindness from someone who could easily have said “no” to the request. Well done to Sammy and definitely well done to Parker, who is showing nothing in life has to hold us back if we don’t let it.