Nick Newell is ready for prime time.
The 31-year-old MMA fighter, who has amassed a 14-1 record during his nine career with the World Series of Fighting and LFA, among other promotions, said after his most recent win that he belongs in the UFC.
“Life is a cold hard place,” said Newell, who was born with a left arm that ends just below the elbow. “It will chew you up and spit you out. 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 one of the best fighters in the world and I belong in the UFC," he added after his first round submission win over Sonny Luque. “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.”
Few people question Newell's talent as a fighter. Before his retirement in 2015, Newell was so dominant that the UFC couldn't help but notice him. But despite his campaign to move up to the highest levels of mixed martial arts, the call never came.
Dana White brushed aside the suggestion that the UFC sign Newell in 2012, expressing concern for the fighter. “It’s hard to fight here with two arms,” he said. “I don’t know. Fighting with one arm is just craziness to me.”
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Newell was having none of this. "I didn't know so many people cared about me so much," he said sarcastically. He compared the concern over his well-being to concerns raised about women fighting in the UFC. And we've all seen how successful that's been.
"I know, because I've trained with a lot of high level guys, that I'm ready for the UFC and I'm more prepared and I'm going to win fights there."
"I'm ready to start snappin' some necks and cashin' some checks," Newell added.
It's not clear if the UFC is entertaining an offer to Newell, but given White's previous comments, it would be surprising. Still, that won't stop the fighter, and those who support him, from making his case.