After working two decades for his UFC dream, one-armed fighter Nick Newell fell short in his attempt to land a UFC contract after absorbing a crucial loss at Contender Series.
Known as one of the most inspirational fighters in the world, Newell suffered a painful setback last night but remained hopeful that he will make the cut someday.
The one-arm fighter bowed to eventual winner Alex Muñoz in Dana White’s Contender Series, Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Newell avoided a knockout but suffered the loss via unanimous decision.
Born with a congenital amputation in his left arm, Newell did not let his disability to stop him from dreaming of competing in the world’s biggest mixed martial arts competition. Back in his college days, he was a wrestler then when he first watched The Ultimate Fighter. Since then, he set his sights on becoming a UFC fighter.
After 17 years, Newell received the opportunity to earn a UFC contract. But last night’s defeat to Muñoz shattered his long-time dream. But he said that he is not going to abandon it.
“Physically, I’m fine. Emotionally, it hurts. I’ve lost before and it’s made me better. There’s lessons to be learned from this, and I’m just going to keep moving forward.”
As a professional mixed martial artist, Newell collected 14 wins and a single loss to UFC star Justin Gaethje four years ago. Despite this impressive record, UFC officials were still not ready to open the door for him.
‘Everything is Earned’
If there is one person who is used to defeats, that is Newell. While living his life with one arm, it is not new that people will close the door for him.
Newell believes that last night’s loss will only make him better. He is also aware that ‘everything is earned’ and he knows that he has to work better to earn another chance.
“Everyone always looks at my hand. What I do here is an indication of what people facing an obstacle like mine can do. I’m better than what I showed. I just have to work and get better and prove it. I just want to fight in the UFC, but everything is earned. I’ve taken the hard road my whole life, so I’m used to it. I don’t want anything given to me. I want to earn everything I have. All I ever asked was for a chance. I got my chance, and I didn’t make the most of it. There’s first place, and there’s second place and today I was number two. I got a chance. I have it in me. I know I do. I just have to show it.”
The 32-year old fighter also recognised his opponent as the better athlete last night.
“I’ve worked 17 years for this. I am who I am because I’m never content. Nothing’s ever good enough for me. I was that guy that lost his first 17 wrestling matches in high school and went on to be all-state. I won a world title in MMA. I’m 14-1, now 14-2. It sucks, but this is the game we play. There’s winners and there’s losers. Today wasn’t my day. Alex deserved it. He earned it.”
Watch Nick Newell’s highlights in the video below:
One loss cannot erase the impact of Nick Newell to the sport and other aspiring fighters.
We hope he continues to inspire other people to dream big!