There is little more for Nick Newell to do on the regional mixed martial arts scene. After Friday night, it's apparent that Newell is ready for the major leagues, and should no longer be denied a chance at the sport's highest level. The man who was born with one hand hasn't let the disability stand in the way of his dreams, and neither should any organization let it stand in the way of signing him. Not after Newell needed just 82 seconds to beat Eric Reynolds and capture the XFC lightweight championship.
Newell made it look downright easy, suplexing Reynolds to the mat, and then sinking in a rear-naked choke to win the belt.
Reynolds was no gimme opponent. He came in with a 16-5 record and had previously been in the cage with top talent like Eddie Alvarez and Jorge Masvidal, taking each into the third round before losing. Newell defeated him faster than either of those two.
"I was ready for a war, but if you see an opportunity, you take it," Newell said afterward. "I'm an opportunist, that's why I have eight first-round finishes."
Newell came out fast from the opening bell, scoring with kicks and punches, but the finishing sequence began after the two initiated a clinch. Newell scrambled to his back and picked Reynolds up before slamming him down. From there, he immediately took his back and looked to sink in the choke.
Reynolds tried to get back to his feet, but Newell never stopped working for the choke and sunk it under Reynolds' chin, securing it with the forearm of his shortened arm. Reynolds tried to work himself free as he fell back to the mat. Finally, checkmated, he tapped.
"Everyone has different body types and different advantages and disadvantages," Newell said. "I got that choke because I train it, because I work hard. I got that choke because I have good technique."
Newell is now 9-0 and has only needed more than three minutes in three of his fights. And his "disability" still leaves him with more ability than anyone he's yet to face. Time for a jump to the big leagues.