Shocking news from the WSOF 24 post-fight press conference as former World Series of Fighting lightweight title contender Nick Newell announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Newell (13-1) won a unanimous decision victory over Tom Marcellino earlier in the night and will leave the sport with just one loss – to current WSOF lightweight champ Justin Gaethje in a July 2014 title fight.
Newell, born with a congenital amputation of his left arm, said that at 29, with more than half his life spent in wrestling and MMA, his body can no longer take the toll.
“It’s a hard decision, but I think I’ve proven a lot,” he said. “I was never the best in the world, but I was always a fan favorite and I always came to fight. Tonight was not the real me, and I don’t want to give that to my fans. I want them to remember me as the guy throwing people over his head and going bonkers and heel hooking people. I’m not that 25-year-old kid that can come out like a whirling dervish looking for blood. I’ve been doing this since I was 14 and I never stopped because I always wanted to be the best version of me possible, and my time is up.”
“It’s been a long time coming,” Newell said. “My last three camps, I haven’t been able to really show what I’m capable of. My knowledge is getting higher and I’m getting better at the sport, but my body’s not able to keep up like I used to.