For those that don’t know who Nick Newell is he is an American Mixed Martial Artist who fights in the lightweight division. His record is 14 wins with 9 by submission and only 1 loss, to Justin Gaethje.
The most amazing thing about this is, Nick doesn’t have a left hand. I don’t mean he can’t punch with his left. I mean it’s not there. Under his left elbow is like a stump of forearm. He’s competing in the hardest sport on the planet, successfully, with one arm.
He retired a few years ago frustrated with his career but he’s recently made a comeback and the question has come up again, Should Nick Newell get a shot in the UFC?
Dana White has previously dismissed it. He believes that the level in the UFC is too high to compete with a disability and no one would want to see Nick getting badly beat up.
To be honest, I can see both sides.
The thing is that most fighters with a record of 14-1 with 9 subs would have the attention of the UFC, probably a while ago. But would there be the same attention and big push for him if he had 4 perfectly working limbs? I’m not so sure.
Also you can question the level of some of his competition (probably more than question), but you can only beat whose in front of you and Nick always had problems finding guys willing to fight him. You beat a one armed man, who gives a fuck but if he beats you then thats pretty embarrassing.
Fact is though that there are plenty of guys who probably deserve the UFC shot more than Nick, although some are signed to other promotions. Does that mean he shouldn’t get the call up? No it doesn’t, there are plenty of guys in the UFC who probably deserve it less.
To Dana’s point though, the Nick Newell story is beautiful. A man who who has defied the odds his whole life. A man following his dreams in a sport that honestly should eat him up. So on that basis why not let him push it to the very end? To keep defying the odds?
The other side of the story is that no one wants to see an unhappy ending, no one wants to see a man who is so inspirational get badly beaten. The Gaethje fight was hard to watch.
Bottom line is, are we his protector? He doesn’t need one.
Does he need someone to tell him what he can and can’t achieve? Not so far.
And fuck it, if you can put CM Punk in the octagon then there is space for Nick Newell.
Update – Nick has signed with manager Ali Abdelaziz, maybe this could get him closer to the UFC contract.