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Tag: Nick Newell

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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Submit Your Questions for Our Video Q&A With ‘Notorious’ Nick Newell!


(Work hard, play hard. / Images via Fighter 411 and @NotoriousNewell)

Undefeated lightweight Nick Newell is set to make his return to the cage next month at World Series of Fighting 4: Spong vs. DeAnda (August 10th; Ontario, California) where he’ll be taking on Keon Caldwell. Nick has been one of our personal heroes for years, and he’s agreed to do a CagePotato fan-Q&A in advance of his WSOF debut, where he’ll answer questions sent in by you wonderful people.

Got any burning questions about Nick’s life and career? Please submit them to the comments section below by tomorrow night; we’ll award a CagePotato t-shirt to whoever writes the best question that we decide to use. Thanks so much, and please follow @NotoriousNewell and @MMAWorldSeries on Twitter!

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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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Nick Newell Signs Multi-Fight Contract With World Series of Fighting


(Newell chokes out Eric Reynolds at XFC 21 last December. Photo courtesy of Brian Siskind via facebook.com/nicknewellmma)

World Series of Fighting officials have confirmed with MMAFighting.com that they’ve signed undefeated lightweight and former XFC champion Nick Newell to an exclusive multi-fight contract. Newell’s debut date and first opponent haven’t been announced yet, although WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz suggested that Notorious Nick’s promotional debut will likely happen in August or September.

After leaving the XFC to seek out higher-profile opponents, Newell fielded offers from “everyone but the UFC” before coming to terms with World Series of Fighting. If Newell’s goal was to fight a higher caliber of 155-pound talent, it seems like he made the right decision; WSOF’s third event scheduled for June 14th features Jacob Volkmann, Lyle Beerbohm, Dan Lauzon, Brian Cobb, and Justin Gaethje, all of whom could be a solid test for Newell later this year.

World Series of Fighting is planning to host future events on August 10th and September TBA, featuring the semifinals of a four-man middleweight tournament.

Previously: Nick Newell Gives His Side of the Story Regarding XFC Fallout, Explains Why He Never Accepted Fight Against Scott Holtzman

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Interview: Nick Newell Gives His Side of the Story Regarding XFC Fallout, Explains Why He Never Accepted Fight Against Scott Holtzman


(“I can’t sit around my whole life trying to make other people’s careers better. I gotta do what’s best for me, and what’s best for me is moving on.” / Photo via ProMMANow.com)

Yesterday, XFC president John Prisco announced publicly that lightweight champion Nick Newell (9-0) had been “stripped of [his] title” after refusing to fight XFC’s top lightweight contender Nate Holtzman (4-0). Following the news, Newell released the following statement on his Facebook fan page:

EVERYBODY CALM DOWN! First of I AM NOT UNDER CONTRACT WITH THE XFC. XFC promoted a fight that didn’t exist yet.

The headlines are misleading and imply that I was stripped of my title because I refused to fight when in fact I just chose not to renew my contract with the XFC. I am not scared to fight anybody. I have been through too much in my life to be scared of any man. All you have to do is look at one of my fights to see my heart & my fearless style. This has nothing to do with me being scared. It is more so just an attempt to bully me into a contract.

XFC trash talking me and trying to slander my name upsets me more then anything but they are promoters. XFC is promoting, thats what they do. They have to try and make their guys look as good as possible and I’m not one of their guys so it is at my expense.

Even though Scott is bad mouthing me as well, I have no ill will towards him. I consider myself to be a professional and as a professional I choose to stay away from negative talk towards other fighters, but I understand that he is an unfortunate victim of circumstance.

Definitely not scared just have my eyes on bigger pastures.

Love you all,
Nicholas G. Newell

CagePotato contacted Nick yesterday evening to further clarify the situation, and he spent a few minutes with us to discuss his version of the events that led to his split with the XFC, as well as his plans for the immediate future. Short version: Newell’s decision to leave was based on his desire to continue moving upward in his career — and had nothing to do with Scott Holtzman specifically — and he’s very close to announcing his next fight contract. Check it out…

CAGEPOTATO.COM: John Prisco blasted you pretty hard for not accepting a fight against Scott Holtzman; he said you were scared, and that Holtzman would have stopped you in the first round. Did that feel like a betrayal to you?

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XFC Lightweight Champion Nick Newell Stripped of Title Over Alleged Refusal to Defend it at XFC 24

Ever since he was dubbed the winner of our “Proving Grounds” competition a couple years back, we have repeatedly sung the praises of undefeated, congenial amputee fighter “Notorious” Nick Newell. We’ll spare you the obvious cliches, but to say that Newell’s dramatic (also, absolutely devastating) run under the XFC banner — which culminated in a first round submission victory over Eric Reynolds to claim the promotion’s lightweight title – was anything less than inspiring would be a disservice.

Unfortunately, Newell’s influential story has turned into that of controversy recently.

Newell was scheduled to defend his newly-earned title against fellow undefeated prospect Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman at the upcoming XFC 24, but according to XFC President, John Prisco, Newell has refused to defend his title against anyone but a UFC veteran and has thusly been stripped of his title. Prisco spoke directly through XFC’s official website and he was rather candid:

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Interview: XFC Champ Nick Newell Wants to Prove He’s One of the Best Lightweights in the World


(Photo via luckyfinproject.org)

While attending the MMA World Expo last weekend, CagePotato contributor Oliver Chan ran into undefeated lightweight fighter and inspirational figure Nick Newell, who most recently won XFC’s 155-pound title with a first-round submission win over Eric Reynolds in December. “Notorious Nick” was cool enough to give Oliver a few minutes of his time, and discussed his work with Tap Cancer Out, why he deserves a shot in the UFC, and the “rich people’s sports” that are taking over the Olympics. Enjoy, and follow Nick on Twitter @NotoriousNewell.

CAGEPOTATO: I’m here with CagePotato favorite Nick Newell, Nick how are you doing?

NICK NEWELL: Good, good, I’m glad to be on the website again. I’m a huge CagePotato fan, and you guys have always had my back, so I really love the site, and I love that I’m getting more press from you guys.

Well, we’re big fans of you. Let’s talk about Tap Cancer Out, and this organization that you’ve aligned yourself with.

Jon Thomas who runs Tap Cancer Out is a longtime training partner of mine and a good friend. He’s a great guy and he’s got a great cause going. Cancer affects a lot of people, and I’m sure everybody knows someone who’s had cancer. A former training partner of mine had cancer, and I have family members who have had it, and it’s terrible. Any way you can contribute and help people out that have it is great.

During your MMA career there have been a lot of people who just didn’t want to fight you because of your physical attributes. Talk to us about some of the challenges you’ve faced getting to where you are now, as a 9-0 fighter.

It was a crazy journey, it took a long time — a lot longer than I would have liked — but the whole time while I wasn’t fighting, I was training and getting better and better. At first I got fights, and then I started beating people and then no one wanted to fight me. And they said, “Oh, it’s because you have one hand,” or whatever, but they were just trying to duck me, I think. And now that I’m fighting for the XFC, I get to fight really top-level guys, and everybody’s calling me out, so it’s different.

So what’s next, are you going to stay with XFC, or will you start looking at bigger promotions and try to get your name out a little more?

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Friday Link Dump: Ronda Rousey’s Manager Responds to Sandy Hook Controversy, Nick Newell Argues for ‘Equal Opportunity’ in the UFC, Kimbo’s Next Boxing Match + More


(The Gracie Brothers speak out about the rape case involving Lloyd Irvin students, and explain how an unhealthy training environment could contribute to similar situations. / Props: GracieBreakdown)

- Eddie Alvarez Offered UFC 159 Co-Main Event; Will Seek Injunction at Court Hearing on Jan 25 (BleacherReport)

- Manager: UFC Champ Ronda Rousey Meant No Disrespect With Sandy Hook Video (MMAJunkie)

- Nick Newell to Dana White: ‘I Want My Equal Opportunity’ (MMAFighting)

- Why the ‘Frank Mir Curse’ May Spell Doom for Daniel Cormier’s Octagon Career (MMAMania)

- Kimbo Slice to Box Shane Tilyard, Jan. 30 in Sydney (TheSweetScience)

Dan Henderson Won’t Wait For Title Fight (FightDay)

- The 25 Greatest Trash-Talkers in Sports History (Complex)

- “I Know A Liar When I’m Around One.”: Manti Te’o's Uncle Comments On Ronaiah Tuiasosopo (Deadspin)

- 7 Scariest Workout Injuries — And How to Prevent Them (MensFitness)

- The Screen Junkies Show: ‘Django’ Toy Review In South Central (ScreenJunkies)

- The 30 Most Awkward Childhood Photos Ever (WorldWideInterweb)

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Your Champion, Potato Nation: Nick Newell Wins XFC Lightweight Title


(Video via AXSTV)

Former CagePotato Proving Grounds winner Nick Newell kicked, suplex-slammed and choked his way to victory in Nashville, TN last night, earning the XFC 155 pound title in the process. As you can see in the fight video above, Newell took out Bellator veteran Eric Reynolds quickly and improved his unblemished record to 9-0.

Reynolds himself has before gone the distance with both Jorge Masvidal and maybe UFC-bound Eddie Alvarez. Newell beating Reynolds in such dominating fashion, then, has to put him one step closer to consideration for the big leagues.

The southpaw Newell began his attack against Reynolds with rear and and lead kicks, both low and high, before closing the distance and getting behind Reynolds with a body lock. From there, Newell maintained control and bided his time before lifting his opponent high up into the air and slamming him face down onto the mat. Newell quickly spun around to get his legs around Reynolds and took his back.

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Heads Up: Potato Nation Staff Sergeant Nick Newell Fights Tomorrow at XFC 21

In case you haven’t been following the career of CagePotato’s own “Proving Grounds” Winner Nick Newell lately, all you have to know is that he is still an undefeated ass-kicking machine. On the heels of his most impressive victory to date over Adam Mays (see above), Newell will be looking to improve to a perfect 9-0 when he takes on the toughest test of his career, Bellator veteran Eric Reynolds, in the main event of XFC 21, which goes down tomorrow night from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Tennessee.

Sporting a 16-5 record, Reynolds is no slouch to say the least. Although they were ultimately losing efforts, Reynolds made it three rounds with former Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez and former Strikeforce lightweight title challenger Jorge Masvidal in back-to-back efforts during his stint with Bellator in 2009. Now riding a three fight win streak, Reynolds will surely have his hands full with Newell, who proved in his victory over Denis Hernandez at XFC 15 (an event headlined by Reynolds) that he is just as deadly on the ground as he is on the feet.

You can catch the fight live on AXS TV, which is available for free as an app on your iPhone or iPad.

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