Milford, Conn. native will take on Alex Munoz next Tuesday with UFC contract at stake
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (July 20, 2018) – Nick Newell '08 has never let his physical disadvantages affect his love of playing sports or his desire to succeed at any endeavor he undertakes.
Newell, who was born with a congenital amputation of his left arm, grew up playing soccer and baseball before joining his high school wrestling team. He wrestled collegiately for four years at Western New England and began mixed martial arts (MMA) training in the offseason to complement his wrestling workouts.
Newell credits his mental toughness as a key factor in helping him overcome his disability.
"I've had my ups and downs," Newell said. "But I was raised to be tough, I have thick skin. Over the years, I've learned to not care what people say or think."
Newell's experiences as a Golden Bear wrestler also helped shape him as both a person and a fighter.
"My time at Western New England was extremely influential," he explained. "I was able to grow personally while gaining that wrestling room toughness."
The Milford, Conn. native, who owns a career record of 14-1 as a professional MMA fighter, now has his sights set on reaching the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest and most prestigious MMA promotion company in the world.
Newell has spent the past decade competing in lower-level promotions including Xtreme Fighting Championships, World Series of Fighting, and Legacy Fighting Alliance. He retired in 2015 before returning to the sport earlier this year.
Newell will have a chance to achieve his dream next Tuesday (July 24), when he takes on Alex Munoz in the UFC Tuesday Night Contender Series at the UFC Training Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The winner of the 155-pound fight between Newell and Munoz earns the opportunity to compete in UFC with a contract on the line. UFC President Dana White and matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard will be present for the event, which airs live on UFC Fight Pass.
Although his goal is to reach UFC, Newell doesn't plan on stopping there.
"I want to be the best version of myself and see how far I can take this," Newell said. "All I can say is I know that I am one of the best fighters in the world. The plan is to crack the Top-15 by the end of 2019."
Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday night's bout, Newell has made the Western New England community proud and proven that anything is possible with determination and a positive mindset.