One-handed fighter Nick Newell won his tenth consecutive fight Saturday against Keon Caldwell for the World Series of Fighting. The 27-year-old congenital amputee from Milford, Conn. managed to defeat his opponent with a guillotine-choke submission hold.
The one-handed fighter was born with his left arm ending just below the elbow, but has not let it stop him. Before signing to the World Series of Fighting in May, he was previously the lightweight champion of Xtreme Fighting Championship. He also has a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and holds a single-season record for wrestling wins at Jonathan Law High School with 53 victories total.
Newell's versatility helped him defeat Caldwell at the World Series of Fighting 4. The match only lasted 2:07 into the first round, but during that time the one-handed fighter dove for the legs, used vicious kicks, and even threw a spinning elbow with his amputated arm. After several takedowns, Caldwell succumbed to a chokehold— Newell clutched his left arm until his opponent tapped out.
"I had a bunch of ways I thought I would beat him, and this was one of them," the undefeated Newell told The New York Post.
Newell has defeated various tough opponents like Adam David Mays (6-3) and Eric Reynolds (16-5), so his most recent domination of Caldwell gives him a shot at the lightweight title. Before turning professional, the one-handed fighter went 2-1 in amateur mixed martial arts, but found it tough to find fights— potential opponents felt they had too much to lose if they were defeated by Newell.
"Not everyone is in tune with it," he told MMA H.E.A.T. "This is a world-class organization, one of the biggest organizations in the world, and you know there are still people that tune in that are like 'What?! That guy has one hand?!'"
"I'm just a dude that comes out to fight and trains hard, and just wants the same respect and treatment as everyone else … and I just happen to have one hand," he continued. "I'm more of a fighter that has one hand than a guy with one hand that happens to fight."
Newell's submission victory landed him on the top 10 sports moments on ESPN, which could help him attain his ultimate goal of getting into UFC, the most lucrative MMA organization. In addition, all of his fights but one have been through knockout or submission.
"I know what it's like to be at the bottom. Now I'm at the top and I'm not letting anyone take it away from me," he said.