Nick Newell had recorded big wins in his career prior to Bellator 225, but last night’s victory was a pivotal one for the 33-year-old. After the bout, Newell reported that he knew “something special” was going to go down at the Bridgeport, Connecticut card.
A pivotal win for Newell
Newell has always garnered plenty of attention, on account of his fighting abilities, and because he’s a congenital amputee. Due to the latter, Newell’s always faced questions from observers as to whether he could compete at the highest levels of the sport. That’s despite the fact he went 14-0 to begin his career, before he lost to former WSOF champ and current UFC contender, Justin Gaethje.
Last year, Newell was given a chance to secure a UFC contract via Dana White’s Contender Series, but he came up short against prospect Alex Munoz. Newell got back on track this past May by submitting Antonio Castillo Jr. at a CES MMA card, and Bellator booked him for a prelim bout last night with Corey Browning. Newell won the fight via first round, submission and in doing so, likely ensured he receives more bouts from Bellator.
The congenital amputee improves to 16-2 pic.twitter.com/PpmQm8XqZS
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) August 25, 2019
Newell reflects on his massive win
After last night’s victory, Newell had this to say about win and how he felt leading up to it (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I knew something special was going to happen,” Newell said. “Something felt special about it. I know that sounds like a weird thing and I’m not a spiritual guy, but this week I woke up at the beginning of the week and said this is going to be an incredible week. Something special is going to happen. And my team felt it and I felt it and I did everything right. I was able to go out there and perform.”
“Like everyone, you have your moments of doubt,” he said. “You question things. There was a period of time where I was getting injured very badly. I didn’t get to where I am being a natural. I had a very hard road, a very long one, to get to where I am. I had to train very hard. For me, it was getting to be a little too much. I needed to take a break. In those two years, I still drove 90 minutes to my coaches every week and I trained the whole time. I opened up a business. I was doing it, I was fighting. I said to myself, ‘I don’t want to fight for a paycheck. I want to fight because I love it. When I get this figured out and get my money right I’m going to come back.’”
It’s certainly an awe-inspiring story, and it will be really interesting to see what comes next for Newell. Don’t be surprised if the fighter’s booked for the Bellator main card next.