UFC one-armed fighter Nick Newell challenges opponents
Nick Newell can only defend the right and attack only the right. The American was born without a part of his left hand, but he devoted his whole life to the martial arts. Six years of professional career, 13 victories and one defeat - this was his career until 2015, when he decided to leave the sport. Now Newell is back to get into the Octagon of the Absolute Fighting Championship (UFC).
From fighters to fighters
“I am only 29 years old, I want to have a future. I want to be in good shape when I get older. I want to play with my children when they arrive. Everything I achieved was very expensive for my body. The last workouts were abnormal, I was chased by injuries. I think the time has come, ”said Nick Newell on October 19, 2015. The 13th victory, which he won that day, was to be the last in his career.
29 years old is not an age for a fighter. Newell Conor MacRegor's namesake (the nickname of an American coincides with the pseudonym of the Irishman - the Infamous) in the same 29, being the champion of the UFC, where Nick is so eager,started a boxing career. True, not too succeeded. In MMA, you can fight without any problems even in 35. However, Nick’s position was aggravated by one significant circumstance.
Newell was born without a part of the arm to the elbow joint - this is called congenital amputation. “All my life I have been without a hand, and things seem ordinary to me that will be unusual for others. And I was quite an active child, ”said the athlete.
The lack of a limb did not prevent Nick - did not make him withdraw into himself and become meek. On the contrary, at school in Connecticut, he played football and baseball, and for senior classes he made a far from easy decision for a disabled person: he began to engage in freestyle wrestling.
Nick himself said that the start of his wrestling career was terrible. In the first 17 bouts, he always lost. But by graduation, he became the state champion, then he fought for the University of Western New England, where he was captain of the national team for two years. Nick did not submit to the US Championship, although he won more than 300 fights.
By 2009, 23-year-old Newell was bored with wrestling and saw the TV show The Ultimate Fighter. Plans for the future are determined.
Everything went perfectly.Wrestling past, intolerance to defeat and mad motivation allowed to prove that he is not just the same, but better than many fighters. He won the first duel with a knockout, the next five finished with a submission (strangling or painful hold).
“Most of all, I am proud of my desire to always be better. I have never compared myself with someone and did not envy other people's achievements. I just competed with myself. The desire to make myself better, I think, led me to success, ”said Newell.
Brave was not only himself. Going out to Octagon by a notorious outsider and leaving it as a winner is worthy of not just respect, but admiration. However, his rivals to decide to fight, it seems, is no less difficult. The victory would not make them real champions in the eyes of ordinary fans, the defeat, especially early, would be a real disaster.
14 athletes came against Newell, 13 of them saw his hand rising up, ten lost before the time allotted for the fight. The American is a master of painful tricks: he scored eight early victories as submachine, only two by knockout. In 2013, Nick choked off the most experienced Eric Reynolds with his signature suffocating technique.This fight was the fourth for him under the auspices of the Xtreme Fighting Championships - the third most important promotion of the United States. More importantly, the fight was titular in weight up to 70 kilograms. In the XFC, Nick became the first one-armed fighter, and immediately a champion. Trying on a belt, he gave a hint about the UFC.
The end and the new beginning
The world's largest promotion reluctantly made contact with a unique fighter, despite an impressive record. Frankly, the organization hurried to disown Nick, calling his dream madness. The leadership of the UFC proved that even for athletes with both hands is extremely difficult to fight in the strongest championship, so Newell is not shining here.
Accustomed to proving wrong those who, looking at him, twists his finger at his temple, Nick decided to leave the XFC and signed a contract with the ambitious project World Series of Fighting. As part of this organization, he experienced the most brutal upheaval in his career.
At first, Newell had no problems. He completed two fights in the same way - strangling the opponent. In July 2014, he met Justin Gatji, who was then considered one of the strongest fighters outside the UFC.
Gatzhi had the advantage not only in quantity, but also in the length of the hands, and enjoyed it to the full.By the middle of the second round, Nick, having taken several heavy blows, could hardly stand, and after another attack, the opponent fell on the floor. The judge stopped the fight, Nick suffered the first and so far the only defeat in his career. But the hardest thing was later.
Newell was exhausted, injuries began to pursue him. According to him, the training process caused constant pain. He was enough for another nine months and two fights - in October he left MMA.
The financial issue was resolved through its own gym. Nick spent two years training, but did not return to octagon. Physically, he gradually recovered, and he seemed to become bored again. And here he comes back.
“I'm just going to prove myself again, and this time I’ll make sure that I’m worthy of it,” explained Newell, adding that he was going to try to get into the UFC again.
One day, answering the question what courage is, Newell said: “This is your ability to overcome. If you really have the courage, then you can overcome anything. ” His whole life confirms these words. And Nick is ready to prove his case again.