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12th Mar 2018

A one-handed fighter wants UFC shot and you know what, he bloody deserves it

There are 14 reasons why Nick Newell belongs in the UFC

Ben Kiely

Nick Newell

In 15 professional fights, Nick Newell has only lost to one man.

Nick Newell made his return to MMA at LFA 35, two years after announcing his retirement. It took him just over two minutes to submit Sonny Luque via neck crank.

Born with a congenital amputation of his left arm, Newell only has one hand. His left arm ends just below his elbow. However, he hasn’t let that hold him back inside the cage.

Although he is only able to make one fist, he has amassed an impressive record of 14-1 as a professional. Two of those wins coming by knockout and nine were submissions. After becoming the XFC champion, he signed for the WSOF where he eventually secured a title shot against then-undefeated champion Justin Gaethje, who has since become a leading contender in the UFC’s lightweight division.

Gaethje scored a second-round TKO victory over Newell, but he has rebounded by racking up three-straight victories. The unwritten rule is that three consecutive wins are required for a UFC contract.

Now’s the time

After the fight, Newell made his play to get the UFC’s attention. If the big wigs needed convincing, he pointed them towards his record.

“Life is a cold hard place. It will chew you up and spit you out, but if you make it your bitch, you can do anything. You can either become a victim of circumstances or you can create your own. I’m out here, I’m creating my own circumstances.”

“I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I belong in the UFC. That’s it. That’s final. I gave you 14 reasons why I belong in the UFC. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I proved it 14 times.”

We’ve seen fighters with far worse records than Newell sign to the UFC. There are plenty of fighters who aren’t on Newell’s level who have competed in the promotion. Dana White infamously said he would never sign the one-handed fighter, but now is really the time he changed his tune.

Newell’s earned his shot to fulfil his dream.