19 Oct 2015 09:25:42 AM
It’s been a hell of a journey for WSOF lightweight, Proving Grounds winner, and friend of the Potato, Nick Newell — one wrought with obstacles to overcome, occasional setbacks, and triumphs that most of us could only hope to achieve. Chief among those triumphs, this picture. I mean, seriously, how awesome is this thing? Sure, all the awards and titles and recognition and all that stuff is great, but how many people get to take a free shot at Danny Trejo and live to talk about it? The answer: Nick Newell, and *only* Nick Newell.
An inspirational figure in more ways than one, Newell kicked off his professional MMA career with 9 straight victories (8 of them finishes), capturing the XFC lightweight title in the process and signing with the World Series of Fighting shortly thereafter. While Newell would suffer his first (and last) professional defeat to lightweight champion Justin Gaethje in 2014, he would spend the next two years getting himself back on the path to a title shot.
At WSOF 24 last weekend, Newell took on Tom Marcellino (a local fighter from where I grew up, coincidentally) in a back-and-forth battle that saw “Notorious” awarded a unanimous decision victory. In a shocking moment immediately following the decision, however, Newell announced his retirement from the sport, stating his desire to go out with his wits still about him. It was a selfless, sobering moment that words simply fall short of describing.
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