In his first fight in nearly three years, Nick Newell needed just two minutes and ten seconds to dispatch Sonny Luque in Friday night’s Legacy Fighting Alliance 35 main event. Newell ended proceedings by taking Luque’s back and locking in a vicious neck crank, which led to Luque tapping out.
The inspirational Newell, a congenital amputee who’s without the lower portion of his left arm, had retired from MMA after beating Tom Marcellino at World Series of Fighting 24 in October 2015. The 31-year-old improved his record to 14-1, with his lone defeat coming against current UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje.
In his post-fight interview, Newell made his case for being on the UFC roster.
“Life is a cold hard place. It will chew you up and spit you out,” Newell said (transcription via MMA Fighting). “But if you make it your bitch, you can do anything. You can either become a victim of circumstances or you can create your own. I’m out here, I’m creating my own circumstances.
“I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I belong in the UFC. That’s it. That’s final. I gave you 14 reasons why I belong in the UFC. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I proved it 14 times.”
Five years ago, UFC president Dana White effectively said that the promotion wouldn’t ever sign Newell, saying that, “It’s hard to fight [in the UFC] with two arms.” Newell will obviously hope that White has changed his tune over the years, and that his dream of fighting inside the Octagon becomes true.
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