It’s not the UFC yet, but don’t tell him that. Nick Newell (14-1) is facing the biggest fight of his career. He will appear on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. It’s a time, and place, where fighters get one chance to impress the UFC’s president for a deal with the promotion.
Newell born as a congenital amputee had a two-year layoff from the sport before returning to competition at LFA 35 where he defeated Sonny Luque via first-round submission. Newell will face Alex Munoz (4-0) on the contender series.
Fight fans around the world have shown mixed reactions. Some of them like it, and others, are against it all together. White, however, is giving Newell the shot of a lifetime.
“We met face to face, and he told me how long he’s been in the sport, who he trains with, what he’s done,” White said of his meeting with Newell. “And he’s like, ‘If you don’t believe me if you don’t think I’m good enough, then at least let me try the Contender Series.’ So, I said, ‘Fair enough.'”
“They were very smart in flying out and meeting with me face to face. This kid’s been working his whole life, training, and he’s telling me that he can – this kid fought Justin Gaethje and went two rounds with Justin Gaethje when Justin Gaethje was on fire.”
Newell brings more to the sport than just talent; he brings heart and a type of character that isn’t something that’s taught, it’s something a person is born with having. The story that is attached to Newell connects with people from all walks of life, and that is what motivates him to new limits.
“I know where I stand in this sport, and I know that there’s gonna be a lot of eyes on me. And if I win, it’s gonna be bigger than anyone else that’s ever won on the show,” Newell said on MMA news. “And if I lose, it’s gonna be worse than anyone has ever gotten it on the show. And I know that. And I knew that going into this camp. And I knew that when I accepted the fight. So, for me, that was extra motivation to make sure that everything goes right and I’m on point for this fight.”
On Tuesday night, the world will see the fate of Newell and his dream of making it to the UFC. Having more than three times the experience then his opponent, Newell is still facing his biggest challenge yet. In what is already one of the most inspiring stories in combat sports he has a chance to reach a new level and to once again prove to the world that nothing is impossible. And to do it on his terms, his way.