One-handed MMA fighter Nick Newell to earn lightweight title shot
Nick Newell has already toppled every single obstacle put in his way. The next challenge might be the toughest to date.
Newell, who was born without a left hand, will be getting a title shot in one of the biggest organizations in the U.S. when he meets Justin Gaethje for the World Series of Fighting lightweight title in July. Newell, a Connecticut native, confirmed the news to FOX Sports on Tuesday. It was first reported by Yahoo!
"I have a great opportunity in front of me," Newell said. "I am going to make the most of it and bring the gold back to the Northeast."
The 28-year-old’s goal has always been to be known for being just an MMA fighter — not just the only one-handed MMA fighter. If he beats Gaethje, he’ll take a big step in that direction. The first name anyone will use to describe him would be "champion."
No exact date or venue has been set for the bout yet, WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz told Yahoo!
I have a great opportunity in front of me. I am going to make the most of it and bring the gold back to the Northeast.
Newell (11-0) has still not lost an MMA fight since going pro in 2009. He’s 2-0 in World Series of Fighting with a pair of submission finishes in the first round. Newell choked out Sabah Fadai with a standing guillotine on Dec. 7 in Vancouver. He ended Keon Caldwell’s night even quicker in his debut, another guillotine at 2:07 of the first round back in August.
Previously, Newell was the XFC lightweight champion. That was a smaller stage, but this could potentially be on a huge one. Through its deal with NBC Sports Network, World Series of Fighting is supposed to air at least one of its shows this year on regular NBC. Newell told FOX Sports last month that it was "a strong rumor" that his fight with Gaethje could end up on regular television.
It’s unclear if that will happen, but Newell is officially next in line for a title shot. And it has nothing to do with the absence of his left hand being a novelty.
"I had no choice but to give this to him, because he earned it," Abdelaziz told Yahoo!