Who Says You Need 2 Arms and 2 Legs To Compete In MMA?
By Jason Sutcliffe
MMA is a sport where weaknesses are exploited, and fighters jump on any advantage they can find. The average person would not even think of climbing inside a cage and engaging in battle. Imagine doing it with half an arm! No way, right, that would be far too big a disadvantage.
Well do not tell Nick Newell that. Newell had a condition from birth called congenital amputation, which left him missing his left arm from just below the elbow. Most people would have never even considered competing in physical activities such as wrestling and MMA against competition with the advantage of having all four complete limbs.
With the support of his mother who never allowed him to quit, he amassed over 300 wins during his high school and collegiate wrestling career. Newell found his inspiration to chase greatness from the infamous Yankee pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbott was able to overcome missing his right hand and have a successful career pitching in the majors.
The 27-year-old American Top Team student from Springfield, Massachusetts has found a lot of success in MMA. It has not come without its challenges; it has been tough for Newell to get fights in the past. Fighters have refused to fight him and gone as far as not showing up at the weigh-ins to avoid the fight. The reasoning, it was a lose-lose fight for them if they win they beat a one armed fighter if the lose they lost to a one armed fighter.
After finding opponents and stringing a few wins together under the XFC banner, he fought veteran Eric Reynolds for the vacant Lightweight title. Newell was able to tap Reynolds in the first round to take the title.
Shortly after winning the title Newell jumped ship to the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) promotion. He made his debut this Saturday when he took his undefeated record into the cage against the 9-1 Keon Caldwell.
Newell had a remarkably impressive 9-0 record heading into the fight with 8 of those wins coming in the first round. It did not take Newell long to make it 10-0 and add one more 1st round win to his resume. He was able to take the fight to the ground early and often, before synching in a guillotine choke forcing Caldwell to tap.
Newell clearly has a truly high skill level. I am not sure if Dana and the UFC are going to come calling anytime soon, but if he keeps on winning in devastating fashion the call will come eventually.
Some people may think there is no way that Newell will be able to compete with the top level fighters in the world, but do not tell that to Nick Newell. He has never backed down from a challenge and has never let the critics tear him down, and I am sure he is not going to start now.