For years, Nick Newell has fought in many MMA organizations but none of them were willing to commit to him long-term. Newell, who is a feel-good story for all have followed his journey as he was born with congenital amputation of his left arm, but that never kept him from fighting.
The only thing that has held Newell back had been finding a promotion to stick behind him, push him to their masses, and allow him an opportunity to achieve ultimate long-term success, but now Bellator MMA has changed all of that. After finding success in what he calls his “tryout” for Bellator at Bellator 225 back in August, the promotion rewarded Newell with a long-term deal that landed him his home.
Now back in his home state of Connecticut for the second consecutive fight with Bellator, Newell has shifted his focus to making a run at the title. At Bellator 232 Nick Newell will face Manny Muro and his road to the title will begin, and he’s happy to doing it behind Bellator’s push and support.
“It definitely feels good to have found my home. I’ve had my past five fights have been five different leagues, all of them have treated me well, all of them have been good, but Bellator in my last fight, it felt like this is where I belong. Now I’m glad to be a part of this organization and be someone that they push. I mean of all the fighters fighting this weekend, they picked me to come out to media day, it makes me know my place, and this is where I belong.”
Finding his home with Bellator feels great, getting the push and the support is important, but nothing means more to Newell than winning the title.
“I want to go for the title, anything less than that is failure. You never know unless you try, so whether it happens or not I’m giving it my all, and I truly believe that I can make it happen.”
The story of Nick Newell is an inspiration to many and as his career continues, he wants everyone, not just those that look up to him to know that he put in the work each and every day.
“I just want to be someone that everyone knows wasn’t the most naturally gifted, but showed up all the time, worked hard, and did what they had to do to get where they wanted to be. I’m a blue-collar work ethic. I punch a clock and I go to work. Right now I teach martial arts so I teach that next generation and I go and speak to kids, so I’ve already kind of laid the ground work for that in the future when it’s all said and done.”
Working within martial arts was a way for Nick Newell to find himself and his passion while learning valuable physical and life skills through martial arts. Teaching the next generation about martial arts also helps Newell let everyone know, he never wanted to be a victim despite his situation.
“Martial arts for me, it was important to not be a victim. I didn’t want people to pity me because I have one hand or look at me any different than anyone else. I wanted to be able to defend myself and be confident, so martial arts gave me that ability, and I was able to roll that into a career.”
Facing a tough opponent in Manny Muro, Newell not only feels he’s at home, but feels he is the best he’s ever been, and that’ why he’s expecting a finish in his own backyard at Bellator 232.
“I’m expecting a finish, no doubt. Whether it happens on the feet or the ground, I’m comfortable with both. I felt really good training, really good sparring, really good rolling, so everything kind of came together. I just feel like I’m amongst the elite, I know that I belong, and I’ve been saying it for a long time, but I truly feel I’m the best I’ve ever been.”
After a very busy schedule recently, Newell plans to take some time off following Bellator 232 so he can focus on being a father and taking some much-deserved time off, but none of what is ahead for him is unexpected.
“This is just what I expected, I expected this to happen so nothing really catches me by surprise.”
After years of calling for a promotion to call home, Nick Newell has one with Bellator MMA, and as they continue to push him in his home state of Connecticut, Newell is simply focused on becoming a world champion.
You can hear the full interview with Nick Newell below:
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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