Nick Newell: I'd like my equal opportunity too


XFC lightweight champion Nick Newell, who is missing a portion of his left arm after a congenital amputation as a child, appeared Monday on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour. On the show he advocated forcefully for the equal treatment he has earned.

After the pre-fight press conference for UFC 155 in December, White threw cold water on the idea of ever giving a UFC contract to a one-handed fighter despite Newell's obvious progress in the sport.

Last month UFC president Dnaa White emphatically said he did not think Newell should be in the UFC.

"Never, no," said White. "It's hard to fight here with two arms. It's tough. There's guys that we bring in that are considered top guys on The Ultimate Fighter that don't ever really pan out and make it. Will the state of Nevada let him fight? Will the state of California let him fight? Would some of these bigger athletic commissions let him fight? Maybe he can get away with that in some of these other states. I don't know, fighting with one arm is just craziness to me."

White stance is obvious, but uninformed. Newell's record as well as the experience of fighters he has trained with all indicate he is at the level to be considered for a UFC contract.

"No matter how much I accomplish in this sport, it's always going to be something that gets brought up. I've come to terms with that," said Newell. "People will always look at me as being the guy with one hand."

"As much as I would like to be known and looked at for my fighting skill, it will always be an issue like with the whole Dana White interview. It's always going to be something that gets brought up."

"I've already been licensed in Nevada, so that's not really an issue. At all. It kinda disappoints me that someone that's such a powerful figure in this sport feels that way or looks at me that way."

"[The UFC] is where you can test yourself against the best guys in the world. I want to see where I stand among the world's elite fighters and I feel like I've earned my shot. Anyone else with my track record would be getting looked at, but it's due to outside circumstances."

"I don't get discouraged too much about things like that. I'm not going anywhere in this sport. I'm good. A lot of those guys in the UFC, just because they're in the UFC doesn't mean they can beat me. I think I match up really well with a lot of people in there.

"[White] wants to talk about how he wants to give people equal opportunity - to women, to gay fighters and stuff like that. Well, I'd like my equal opportunity as well."

"The MLB gave a shot to Jim Abbott, he did great. Even that chick on The Bachelor. They're giving her a shot."

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tags: XFC   UFC   Dana White   Nick Newell   

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Mat Santos site profile image  

1/20/13 8:04 PM by Mat Santos


Jill Laz site profile image  

1/19/13 8:05 AM by Jill Laz

Are you serious so what you seem to be saying is the way the arm feels or is looked at bothers you I've seen his fights if he is over you it will not matter what "touches" you because it won't be for long before they end the fight also the precedent issue if someone could use the same equipment in the cage and fight like everyone else they should be aloud (so don't fret wheelchairs would be out)

Jill Laz site profile image  

1/18/13 9:32 AM by Jill Laz

To be honest I'm surprised everyone including Dana is making such a big deal about it he fights like a mad man PLUS since the UFC is about fighters being marketable imagine the human interest how many folks will tune in or go to see a card based on the curiosity factor "hey I wonder how a kid with one hand fights I have to see this" I mean the UFC has a ton of "maybe guys" on the bottom of their weight class's good and good business so do it Dana :)

FreakDaddy site profile image  

1/18/13 9:22 AM by FreakDaddy

If he keeps winning it will happen......

IDOHARM site profile image  

1/18/13 9:15 AM by IDOHARM

How bad could it be to give Newell an undercard fight on an upcoming UFC card to see how he holds up? Not like the UFC hasn't made any questionable talent decisions in the past. Dana and Joe have nothing to lose, and great press exposure to gain if Newell can pull off a win in the elite MMA organization.

Mat Santos site profile image  

1/18/13 9:08 AM by Mat Santos


TartanTopTeamsHeroinWhore site profile image  

1/18/13 2:10 AM by TartanTopTeamsHeroinWhore

Fair points.Maybe Bellator should pick him up. The talent isn't quite as cut throat as the UFC and the tourney style format is fair if nothing else so there won't be any complaints about him getting easy fights or being fed to the wolves.

Naderhood site profile image  

1/17/13 12:41 PM by Naderhood

I underdstand your points. Until Nick is well known to the casual MMA fan as being a great fighter above being a guy with one arm, guys wont want the stigma that would come with beating a guy perceived to be at a physical disadvantage. However, I think drawing a line would be determined by a fighters level of success. If a guy with one leg was kicking the shit out of people the way that all-american wrestler with one leg kicked the shit out of everybody to win at nationals, then I think he'd earn a chance to compete at the highest levels. At a certain point though, the physical limitation would be too much of a hindrance for a fighter to be successful in spite of. My point though, is that Nick's "disability" isnt enough to keep from competing at a high level.   Eventually he'll be known as a bad muthafucka first, before being known as a guy with one arm. And as a kicker, he's a GREAT interview and does phenomenally well as a spokesman for the sport as well as being great with people. Thats more than can be said for a lot of guys in the UFC who fight, but are fucking assholes and do a shit job of relating to the fans of the sport.

ajl416az site profile image  

1/17/13 12:21 PM by ajl416az

LOL at your boy beating Jamiedidn't see that one earlier

Mat Santos site profile image  

1/17/13 12:12 PM by Mat Santos