Nick Newell (born on March 17, 1986 in Milford, Connecticut) is an American mixed martial artist, who fights at lightweight. He is well known for being a one-armed fighter, with his left arm ending just after the elbow, meaning he has no left hand and does not have most of his left forearm.
From birth, Newell had a left arm that stopped past the elbow because of a condition called congenital amputation. But he adapted with his one arm, going into his high school wrestling team. He thought about quitting after his very first session because it was ‘the hardest thing I had done in my life’ as he says, but his mother did not allow him, and instead he worked hard from then on.
Newell has over 300 victories between high school and college in wrestling.
His roommate in college was current WWE superstar Curt Hawkins. They would watch The Ultimate Fighter, which was on the same channel right after WWE Raw, and Newell has said this is what inspired him to take up MMA.
Before turning professional, he amassed an amateur record of 2 wins, 1 loss. He describes his early MMA career as a struggle, not because he could not win (he is currently undefeated), but because other fighters did not want to fight a one armed fighter. The opponents who have turned down a fight against him felt that it would be a lose-lose situation for them, as if they won, they just beat a one armed fighter, and if they lost they lost to a fighter with only one arm. One fighter did not even show up at the weigh-ins because he did not want to fight him. This became a bit of a struggle for Newell to find good opponents for the number of fights he’d like to have.
In 2011, Newell signed a multi-fight deal with both Shark Fights and Xtreme Fighting Championships. He was supposed to have make his Shark Fights debut at Shark Fights 19, however an injury resulted in him being left off the card. He had his first bout with XFC at XFC 15: Tribute. The event was renamed ’Tribute’ in honour of Nick’s friend and fellow XFC signee Abi Mestre, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. Mestre was a close friend and teammate of Newell’s who joined Nick last year at the open tryouts for the XFC.
Newell defeated Denis Hernandez at XFC 15 with a dominant 71 second submission (heel hook) victory. Multiple videos and sources covered the fight, with many videos of the whole fight being posted on multiple MMA websites, as well as being shared across many Facebook and Twitter pages worldwide.
He did an interview with Bleacher Report to talk about the fame he has been getting since his first televised fight at the XFC event. According to him, all the videos of the fight combined have reached around 4,500,000 views.
Newell then defeated Chris Coggins via majority decision in what was Newell’s biggest test in his MMA career so far.
Newell defeated David Mays at XFC 19 after landing a big left knee on Mays chin, rendering him unconscious.
He next fought for the vacated XFC Lightweight title at XFC 21 against Bellator veteran Eric Reynolds.Newell won the fight via submission in the first round and took the XFC Lightweight Title in the process.