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:
Nick expressed his wishes to me quite some months back, that he wanted to fight ex-UFC fighters, as it would be his best route to the UFC. While I have always said we are not here to be a feeder to the UFC, I understand any fighter wanting to test themselves against those higher in the rankings. Nick was offered to fight Eric Reynolds for that reason. Then Holtzman earned his shot, in much of the same fashion Nick did.
When negotiating with his management regarding this fight, they were telling me about being offered a lot of money to fight for another promotion. We responded that if it’s about money, bring us the best offer and we’ll agree to match that offer. They did, we matched it, and we were again refused by Nick saying he only wants to fight ex-UFC fighters.
To read a few less than positive things that Prisco had to say about Newell, check out the full interview here.
As such, Newell has been stripped of his title and released of his XFC contract, which according to our sources, he only had one fight remaining on. While this seems on a surface level like a blatant attempt at a power grab on Newell’s part, we will not pass judgement until we hear Nick’s side of the story. As of this write up, Newell has yet to respond to CagePotato’s request for comment.