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Nick Newell: The One-Armed MMA Fighter



Nick Newell could beat you with one arm, and that’s not just a figure of speech. He’s been battling some of the MMA’s fiercest competitors like that for quite a while.

Standing 5′ 10″, 155 lbs, with an impressive 7-0 record and the strength to make 20-0 seem possible, Nick Newell finds himself part of the vanguard in a new wave of “adaptive” athletes – competitors who embrace and overcome physical disabilities to compete against others who are unencumbered. Unlike some who become “adaptive” after military service renders them disabled, Newell, born with a condition called congenital amputation, has never had a left arm that reaches past his elbow. Amazingly, the affliction hasn’t slowed him down. A high school and college wrestler, Newell was inspired to take up MMA fighting after rooming with current WWE star, Chris Hawkins in college. Broadcasts of MMA fights followed the wrestling matches the two watched together and, after years of studying the sport, Newell decided to become a part of the action.

With an impressive amateur win-streak behind him, Newell signed a multi-fight deal with Shark Fights and Xtreme Fighting Championships. YouTube videos of his fights have garnered a staggering number of views and it’s no surprise why. The arm is jarring at first (so much so that a number of his would-be opponents have not even shown up to fight him), but becomes an afterthought the first time he makes contact with a challenger.

Nick never backs down. That’s what we call motivation.

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