Ian Matuszak's timelines on Twitter and Facebook long have been filled with his uplifting spirit -- and photos of him with UFC champions past and present.
His excitement over discovering Brazilian jiu-jitsu and being a white belt under Dave Patton and former UFC fighter Pete Sell stood out more than any hashtag or emoji could in social media. Matsuzak is 20 years old, lives on Long Island, attends LIU Post and has cerebral palsy.
Last month, Matuszak was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer.Weidman to woman, 94: 'You're not dying today'Legless wrestler, 6, inspires WeidmanNewsday's Chris Weidman UFC documentaries
Matuszak trains at Serra BJJ Academy and Longo & Weidman MMA. UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, from Baldwin, is hosting a fundraiser at his gym in Garden City on Saturday night to help with medical costs for Matuszak. There will be open mat for jiu-jitsu training, food and drink and a chance to meet UFC fighters, including Al Iaquinta, Eddie Gordon, former welterweight champion Matt Serra, trainer Ray Longo and more.
It runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at Longo & Weidman MMA at 1 Commercial Ave. in Garden City. The "I Stand With Ian" gofundme campaign already has received more than $6,000 in contributions.