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Tag: Keon Caldwell

[VIDEO] Spong, Newell Victorious at World Series of Fighting 4


(Tyrone Spong vs Angel DeAnda.)

It may not have been the barnburner that we hoped it would be, but Tyrone Spong improved his MMA record to 2-0 in the main event of last night’s WSoF 4 by earning a unanimous decision over Angel DeAnda.

Spong fought smart, utilizing leg kicks throughout the fight while avoiding DeAnda’s heavy hands for most of the fight. To DeAnda’s credit, he was never dropped by Spong, but he also never mounted any significant offense. At least I don’t think he did; one of the judges scored this fight 29-28.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the most exciting fight in recent memory. Fortunately, the rest of the WSoF 4 main card made up for the disappointment that was the main event. After the jump, there’s also videos of a knockout and submission for your viewing pleasure.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Nick Newell Steps up at World Series of Fighting 4


(Photo via World Series of Fighting)

By Elias Cepeda

Like many kids, young Nick Newell dabbled in a number of sports as a child. First, there was soccer, then karate and baseball.

Nothing really stuck with him, however, until he joined his high school’s wrestling team as a freshman. The fact that he was missing the lower portion of his left arm didn’t seem to matter to Newell.

His family had always encouraged Nick to take part in whatever interested him, like all the other kids, and now his interest was in combat sports. “I really loved one on one aspect,” he tells CagePotato in the days leading up to his fight against Keon Caldwell on tonight’s World Series of Fighting 4 event in California.

“I don’t like depending on anyone else to get the job done. At the end of the day, you have no excuses no one to blame.”

That Newell lost his first fifteen wrestling matches didn’t put a damper on his enthusiasm for wrestling, and it also didn’t bring scorn of teammates mad that he was losing so much. “I was the team’s only 103 pounder so if I went out there and got a forfeit win it was better than nothing,” he tells with a laugh.

“I got my balls busted because I was a freshman but that was about it. The wrestling team is a family. And the coach had a lot of faith in me expected a lot out of me, even when I sucked. He always believed in me. Everyone saw how hard I worked as well. You’re together six days a week and you develop a bond.”

During college Newell decided that he wanted to fight MMA because, well, he saw MMA fights and knew that he could be good enough to do it. “I knew that I wanted to fight when I went to see fights for the first time,” he says.

“There were some fights around where I was training wrestling in college and some friends asked if I wanted to go see some fights. I said, ‘yeah, I’ll go.’ When we were watching I thought to myself, ‘I could beat these guys.’ So, instead of just talking about it, I went out and started training and did it.”

Indeed he has. The lightweight has put together a perfect 9-0 record as a professional over the past four years and became the XFC champion.

Tonight, he makes the step up to The World Series of Fighting.

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WSOF Check-In: Lightweight Tournament Announced, Newell & Spong Prepare for Fights This Saturday


(Learn more about lightweight rising star Nick Newell and the challenges he’s overcome | Video via MMA World Series Youtube page)

We’ve been following lightweight prospect Nick Newell’s unlikely and inspiring career for some time now here at CagePotato, and this Saturday he makes his next big move at the World Series of Fighting 4 event in Ontario, California. Newell will face TUF veteran Keon Caldwell.

Even though Newell hasn’t yet won his WSOF debut, the promotion announced that a win over Caldwell would earn Newell a spot in its upcoming lightweight tournament, which will crown the promotion’s inaugural 155-pound champion. If Newell does indeed enter that tournament, he’ll have a chance to prove once and for all that he’s truly a UFC-caliber fighter.

Why, you ask? Well, simply because the tournament is stacked with top international lightweights including a number of UFC veterans. Dan Lauzon will be in the tournament, as will the winner of an excellent WSOF 4 match up between Tyson Griffin and Gesias Calvacante.

Of course, all this doesn’t sit so well with Keon Caldwell’s camp, who tell MMA Junkie that they are worried of unfair treatment from the WSOF. While Newell has been publicly guaranteed a spot in the lightweight tournament if he’s victorious this weekend, Caldwell has been given no such offer. (“I just think they’re on the Nick Newell hype train,” said Caldwell’s trainer Richard Cox.)

Also fighting this Saturday will be kickboxing star Tyrone Spong, who will be headlining WSOF 4 against California-bred knockout artist Angel DeAnda. It will be Spong’s second World Series of Fighting appearance following his beat-down of Travis Bartlett in November. You can check out a lil’ video of Spong hitting people and acting cocky after the jump. Above, you can enjoy a mini documentary show on Newell’s life that takes you inside his camp, family, and home.

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Nick Newell Draws Keon Caldwell for August 10th WSOF Debut


(From left to right: Newell, and a Google Image Search result for “Black Assassin.” See, now *that* would be a competitive fight. / Nick photo courtesy of WSOF via MMAWeekly)

Looks like the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) is serious about grooming and spotlighting recent signee Nick Newell. The lightweight prospect has been matched up with former Ultimate Fighter Season 13 competitor Keon “The Black Assassin” Caldwell at WSOF 4: Spong vs. DeAnda, August 10th at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.

If you remember Keon Caldwell at all, it’s probably not in a good way. He’s the guy who voluntarily left TUF 13 shortly after arriving, a decision we thought was career suicide at the time. Caldwell has only competed once since then, scoring a TKO win over Jonathan Baldree, in July 2011. Caldwell has a 9-1 record overall, but most of his wins have come over fighters with losing records, and again, he hasn’t fought in nearly two years. Yikes. Our condolences go out to Caldwell’s family.

The undefeated Newell has yet to fight in 2013 but is coming off two straight first round finish wins, which brought his pro record to 9-0. The former XFC lightweight champion signed with the World Series of Fighting in hopes that he would get tougher fights against top lightweight free-agents, and eventually get signed by the UFC. This booking doesn’t exactly accomplish that.

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The Politics of Quitting: Why Giving Up on ‘TUF’ is One of MMA’s Most Unforgivable Sins

(“Look mom, no future!” Pic: Las Vegas Sun)

If 13 seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter” have taught us anything, it’s that we will never see Keon Caldwell again. Truth is, you can get away with a lot of things on “TUF” and very little of it really has anything to do with being a professional fighter. You can piss in somebody’s fruit tray. You can piss in somebody’s bed. You can piss in somebody’s workout gear. Hell, you can even get drunk and piss in your own pants and as long as you don’t cause an embarrassing public scene at a casino later, you’ll probably be fine. After approximately 160 episodes however, one thing we know you absolutely can not do is quit the UFC’s popular reality show.

In choosing to leave “TUF” of his own free will this week, Caldwell essentially committed career suicide. Of all the bullshit UFC fighters can do and be forgiven — Steroids? Fine. Federal crimes? Whatever. High speed chases with the cops? No problem – it’s strange to think that quitting a TV program is a sin that simply can’t be absolved. It’s true though, leave “TUF” and you might as well be a child molester. You’re done. Finito. Dead to them. Time to start thinking about community college.

More than any of the ridiculous “made for TV” aspects of the show – more than the editing designed to bury him or his coach’s cartoonish disappointment or Dana White’s self-righteous fuming — that’s what made Caldwell’s exit from the show so hard to watch this week. As fake as the rest of “TUF” may be, one fact is very real: We just saw a 22-year-old kid euthanize his own dream on national television, seemingly without fully grasping the consequences.

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