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Nick Newell (born March 17, 1986 in Milford, Connecticut) is an American mixed martial artist, currently signed to Bellator MMA, competing in the lightweight division.[1]

Nick Newell
Born (1986-03-17) March 17, 1986 (age 33)
Milford, Connecticut, United States
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight155 lb (70 kg)
Reach74 in (190 cm)
Fighting out ofWest Haven, Connecticut, United States
TeamFighting Arts Academy
Years active2009–2015, 2017–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout2
By submission11
By decision3
By knockout1
By decision1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Early lifeEdit

Newell was born with congenital amputation of his left arm, which ends just below his elbow. Newell has a very short yet muscular stump of his forearm which he learned from a young age to grasp objects with. Newell, born with his deformity and therefore not needing to adapt or re-learn, joined 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 to, and instead he worked hard from then on.[2]

Newell has over 300 victories between high school and college in wrestling (if you include non competition matches in college).[3]

Newell stated that while growing up, he idolized former Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott, who has no right hand and was an inspiration for Newell to challenge himself.[4]

His roommate in college was WWE wrestler 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.[5]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Before turning professional, he amassed an amateur record of 5 wins, 1 loss. He describes his early MMA career as a struggle, not because he could not win, but because other fighters did not want to fight a one armed fighter. The potential opponents who turned down fights against him felt that it would be a lose-lose situation for them, as if they won, it would've been against a one-armed fighter; if they lost, it would've been against a fighter with one arm. As such, finding quality opponents became a struggle for Newell.[6]

Xtreme Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

In 2011, Newell signed a multi-fight deal with both Shark Fights and Xtreme Fighting Championships.[7] He was supposed to have made his Shark Fights debut at Shark Fights 19, however an injury resulted in him being left off the card.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

Newell then defeated Chris Coggins via majority decision in what was Newell's biggest test in his MMA career so far.[12]

Newell defeated David Mays at XFC 19 after landing a big left knee on Mays chin, rendering him unconscious.[13]

He next fought for the vacated XFC Lightweight title at XFC 21 against Bellator veteran Eric Reynolds.[14] Newell won the fight via submission in the first round and took the XFC Lightweight Title in the process.[15]

On June 14, he was scheduled to defend his XFC title against Scott Holtzman, however Newell turned down the fight stating that he only wants to fight ex-UFC fighters. Newell would be stripped of his belt.[16]

World Series of FightingEdit

On May 28, 2013, Newell signed a multi-fight contract with World Series of Fighting.[17] WSOF President Ray Sefo hinted that Newell will be featured on the upcoming WSOF 4 & 5 cards against an opponent who has yet to be named. On June 20, it was announced that Newell would fight Keon Caldwell at World Series of Fighting 4.[18] He won the fight via submission in the first round.

For his second fight with the promotion, Newell faced Sabah Fadai at World Series of Fighting 7: Karakhanyan vs. Palmer on December 7, 2013. Again, he won the fight via submission in the first round.

Newell challenged Justin Gaethje for the WSOF Lightweight Championship at WSOF 11.[19] He lost the fight via knockout in the second round, suffering the first defeat of his professional career.

On February 13, 2015 it was announced that Newell has signed a new four-fight contract with WSOF.[20]

After his first loss, Newell returned to the promotion on April 10, 2015 at WSOF 20. He faced Joe Condon and won the back-and-forth fight by unanimous decision.

Newell returned to the promotion on October 17, 2015 at WSOF 24. He faced Tom Marcellino and won the back-and-forth bout by unanimous decision. After the fight Newell announced his retirement from MMA.[21]

Legacy Fighting AllianceEdit

Newell came out of retirement on March 9, 2018, when he met Sonny Luque in a lightweight main event at LFA 35 in Houston. The event aired on AXS TV. Newell won the contest via tapout due to Face Crank at 2:10 of the first round.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

On April 25, 2018 it was announced that Newell will be featured on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. He faced Alex Munoz on the July 24th edition of the series, and lost the fight by unanimous decision.


On April 15, 2019, it was announced that Newell has signed with CES MMA and would be making his promotional debut against Kalvin Hackney at CES MMA 56 on May 31, 2019.[22] However, Hackney was forced to withdraw from the bout and was replaced by Antonio Castillo Jr.[23] Newell submitted Castillo Jr. in the first round with a rear naked choke.

Bellator MMAEdit

On July 23, 2019, it was announced that Newell had signed a single-fight deal with Bellator MMA. Newell's debut took place at Bellator 225 against Corey Browning on August 24.[24] He won the fight via an arm triangle submission in the first round.

On September 18, 2019, Bellator president Scott Coker announced on his social media that Newell had signed a four-fight contract with the organization.[25][26] Subsequently it was revealed that Newell will face Manny Muro at Bellator 232 on October 26, 2019.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

Newell and his wife have a son, Wyatt, who was born in 2018.[28]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
18 matches 16 wins 2 losses
By knockout 2 1
By submission 11 0
By decision 3 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 16–2 Corey Browning Submission (arm-triangle choke) Bellator 225 August 24, 2019 1 3:15 Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Win 15–2 Antonio Castillo Jr. Submission (rear-naked choke) CES MMA 56 May 31, 2019 1 2:06 Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Loss 14–2 Alex Munoz Decision (unanimous) Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series 14 July 24, 2018 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 14–1 Sonny Luque Submission (neck crank) LFA 35 March 9, 2018 1 2:10 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 13–1 Tom Marcellino Decision (unanimous) WSOF 24 October 17, 2015 3 5:00 Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States
Win 12–1 Joe Condon Decision (unanimous) WSOF 20 April 10, 2015 3 5:00 Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States
Loss 11–1 Justin Gaethje TKO (punch) WSOF 11 July 5, 2014 2 3:09 Daytona Beach, Florida, United States For the WSOF Lightweight Championship.
Win 11–0 Sabah Fadai Submission (guillotine choke) WSOF 7 December 7, 2013 1 1:21 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Win 10–0 Keon Caldwell Submission (guillotine choke) WSOF 4 August 10, 2013 1 2:07 Ontario, California, United States.
Win 9–0 Eric Reynolds Submission (rear naked choke) XFC 21: Night of Champions 2 December 7, 2012 1 1:22 Nashville, Tennessee, United States Won the XFC Lightweight Championship.
Win 8–0 David Mays KO (knee) XFC 19: Charlotte Showdown August 3, 2012 1 2:01 Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Win 7–0 Chris Coggins Decision (majority) XFC 17: Apocalypse April 13, 2012 3 5:00 Jackson, Tennessee, United States Catchweight (152 lbs) bout.
Win 6–0 Denis Hernandez Submission (heel hook) XFC 15: Tribute December 3, 2011 1 1:11 Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 5–0 Anthony Kaponis Submission (armbar) Cage Titans 5 - Vendetta June 25, 2011 1 1:01 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 4–0 Billy Walsh Submission (armbar) Cage Titans 3 - Mayhem January 28, 2011 1 1:24 Randolph, Massachusetts, United States
Win 3–0 Steve Butler Submission (rear-naked choke) Triumph Fighter 1 - Supremacy March 27, 2010 1 1:59 Milford, New Hampshire, United States
Win 2–0 John Biasiucci Submission (rear-naked choke) ICE Fighter - Christmas Beatdown December 12, 2009 1 1:31 Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Win 1–0 Daniel Ford TKO (punch) CFX 3 - Rumble in the Jungle June 20, 2009 1 4:20 Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Nick "Notorious" Newell MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography". Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  2. ^ "For one-armed MMA fighter Nick Newell, the real challenge is finding opponents". MMAjunkie.
  3. ^ "One-Armed MMA Fighter Remains Undefeated with Heel Hook Submission at XFC 15". Bleacher Report. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  4. ^ Raimondi, Marc (2013-08-08). "MMA fighter undefeated despite being born with one hand". New York Post. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  5. ^ Chief 187. "Notorious Nick Newell by Chief 187 | Chief 187 Blog". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  6. ^ "For one-armed MMA fighter Nick Newell, the real challenge is finding opponents". Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  7. ^ ""Notorious" Newell signs mutli-fight deal with XFC | New England Mixed Martial Arts News". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  8. ^ "The Fighting Truth – MMA Facts Exposed » Blog Archive » Nick Newell Forced Out of Shark Fights 19 Debut". 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  9. ^ "Nick Newell and his Inspirational Story Capped off Friday's XFC 15". MMAValor. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  10. ^ Ragsdale, Cheryl. "One Armed MMA Fighter 'Notorious' Nick Newell Excites Fans at XFC 15 - Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  11. ^ Juul, Matt (2011-12-19). "B/R MMA Talks with Undefeated One-Armed XFC Lightweight Nick Newell". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  12. ^ Haggerty, Kevin (2012-04-15). "XFC 17 Results: Eric Reynolds wins decision in main event, Nick Newell remains unbeaten". MMA Mania. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  13. ^ "XFC 19 Results: Cury, Herrig, and Newell Earn Wins". MMA Frenzy. 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  14. ^ "MMA: Despite having just one arm, Nick Newell deserves title shot". Eagle Tribune. 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  15. ^ "XFC 21 Results Nick Newell Submits Eric Reynolds to win Lightweight Title". 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  16. ^ "XFC Strips Nick Newell of Lightweight Championship; New XFC 24 Headliner on Tap". May 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "Undefeated, One-Armed Lightweight Nick Newell Signs with World Series of Fighting". May 28, 2013.
  18. ^ "World Series of Fighting Reveals Aug. 10 Fight Card".
  19. ^ "Justin Gaethje vs. Nick Newell lightweight title fight joins Tyrone Spong at WSOF 11 in July".
  20. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (February 13, 2015). "Nick Newell inks new deal with WSOF, slated to fight at WSOF 20".
  21. ^ Matt Erickson, Christian Stein (2015-10-17). "After decision win at WSOF 24, Nick Newell announces retirement from MMA". Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  22. ^ "Nick Newell meets Kalvin Hackney at CES MMA 56 in Connecticut". April 15, 2019.
  23. ^ Jose Youngs (May 23, 2019). "Nick Newell vs. Antonio Castillo Jr. set for CES 56".
  24. ^ "Milford's Nick Newell will make Bellator debut on August 24 in Bridgeport". July 23, 2019.
  25. ^ Simon Samano (September 18, 2019). "Bellator signs Nick Newell to multi-fight contract".
  26. ^ Damon Martin (September 23, 2019). "Nick Newell feels valued at Bellator, not treated as 'some novelty act that doesn't belong'".
  27. ^ Steven Marrocco (September 30, 2019). "Nick Newell's return set for Bellator 232".
  28. ^ {(cite web|url= Newell wants to make statement in return to UFC Fight Pass: 'I still want the big fights'|date=May 27, 2019||author=John Morgan}}