Nick Newell: I want to be the best fighter in the world

by Ben Fowlkes | source: usatoday.com
 

There are only a handful of people in MMA that I never heard a bad word about, and Nick Newell is on that short, short list. I remember the first time I ever heard about him, now five years ago or more. In addition to being an utterly cool guy, and an undefeated professional fighter, Nick has one arm partially missing, since birth.

It is inevitable that at first he would be known as that fighter with one arm. However, as his undefeated string extends, like all champions, he wants to be known just as a good fighter.

Ben Fowlkes caught up with Newell, who opened up on the subject.

"It's easier for me to get attention, but it's harder to get respect," said Newell.

But as Newell prepares to fight Eric Reynolds for the XFC lightweight title in Nashville on Friday (AXS TV, 10 p.m. ET), there's hope that this bout transforms him from curiosity to contender.

Newell's coach, Jeremy Libiszewski, of Fighting Arts Academy in Springfield, Mass., insists Reynolds will be the first real test Newell has faced since turning pro in 2009.

"They're fighting for a title for a reason," Libiszewski says.

It's nice to be an inspirational story just for showing up and trying hard despite a disability, but that's not why Newell got into the sport in the first place.

"My goal when I started was never to be the one-handed fighter," he says. "My goal is to be the best in the world. If you set your goals any lower, you're only cheating yourself."

For most MMA fighters, that means an eventual move to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. And sure, Newell says, he feels he could "absolutely compete with anyone in the UFC."

UFC President Dana White wouldn't rule it out, he says. But at the same time, White notes, "The UFC's tough enough with two arms."

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Recent Comments »

Pride Wanderlei site profile image  

12/4/12 11:55 PM by Pride Wanderlei

Why didnt they pick this kid for TUF?

ssj site profile image  

12/4/12 11:39 PM by ssj

UFC President Dana White wouldn't rule it out, he says. But at the same time, White notes, "The UFC's tough enough with two arms."ouch

Goderson Silva site profile image  

12/4/12 11:26 PM by Goderson Silva

How many PPV buys do you think he would do? Seriously.

dus 10 site profile image  

12/4/12 11:18 PM by dus 10

If i were him id arm fuck a chick and tell her it was my giant cack.

UGCTT_VA757_GJTT site profile image  

12/4/12 11:14 PM by UGCTT_VA757_GJTT

I hope he does great. He has tons of heart and that will take him far. It's hard enough to live life with one hand, but he wins fights with one arm. He's a real inspiration.

greenseed site profile image  

12/4/12 10:02 PM by greenseed

.

dus 10 site profile image  

12/4/12 9:59 PM by dus 10

His deformation helps his subs.

6ULDV8 site profile image  

12/4/12 1:50 PM by 6ULDV8

Two billionth, seven hundred fifty eight millionth, six hundred fifty four thousandth, three hundred and fifty first best fighter in the world, is what I want to be.   But I'll take anywhere from Two billionth, seven hundred fifty eight millionth, six hundred fifty three thousandth, three hundred and fifty first to Two billionth, seven hundred fifty eight millionth, six hundred fifty five thousandth, three hundred and fifty first though.   Thank you for your consideration.

6ULDV8 site profile image  

12/4/12 1:48 PM by 6ULDV8

I want to be the 2,758,654,351st best fighter in the world.   Now that's a headline!  Run it big print across the top of the fold!   Boo Ya!