Tenacious one-and-a-half-armed cage fighter Nick Newell has advanced to a promotional mixed martial arts contender’s series which could land him a nice UFC contract, SB Nation’s MMA Fighting reported.
Newell received an offer to enter a Tuesday Night Contender Series fight this summer by UFC president Dana White, the website said. A big victory in the series would give him a real shot at gaining a UFC contract.
A congenital amputee born without the lower portion of his left arm, Newell, 32, compiled a 14-1 record since 2009, before leaving the sport in 2015, MMA Fighting said. He returned last month with a submission victory over Sonny Luque at lFA 35.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to announce Newell’s big break on Twitter Wednesday.
Nick Newell will get a shot at a UFC contract. Per Dana White, he’ll be offered a fight on the Tuesday Night Contender Series in June.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 26, 2018
USA Today Sports MMA Junkie reported that the complete schedule for the Tuesday Night Contender Series has not been announced, but the events will be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
Newell, out of West Haven, Connecticut, fought for the World Series of Fighting lightweight title in 2014, losing to defending champion Justin Gaethje, ESPN reported. Gaethje, now fighting under the UFC umbrella, has called for Newell to get his shot, the network stated.
ESPN said nine of Newell’s 14 wins have been by submission (the other guy gave up).
Newell’s advancement appears to be a change of heart for White, who had said in 2012 that the UFC had no interest in signing Newell because it would be too dangerous for him to face UFC-caliber competition, ESPN said.
“I want to thank Dana White, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard for believing in me and giving me a shot,” Newell told MMA Fighting on news that he was approved for the contender series. “I still have to go out there and deliver. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
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