The UFC is seemingly on the precipice of handing a fighting contract to journey lightweight Nick Newell, a fighter born with a congenital amputation.
Newell, a 32-year-old fighter who sports a 14-1 career record, was born without a left hand and forearm; an amputation that ends just below his elbow.
Nevertheless, the fighter amassed a reasonably successful high school and collegiate career in wrestling, before turning his attentions to mixed-martial arts after college.
Newell managed to amass a reasonably impressive early career, which peaked in 2012 upon capturing the Xtreme Fighting Championship lightweight title. But in 2015 the fighter took a hiatus from the sport, toying briefly with the idea of retirement.
That hiatus ended in March where, after two-and-a-half-years away, Newell returned to the sport in dominant, victorious fashion.
Since then, the man self-styled as “Notorious” has been reportedly campaigning UFC boss Dana White for a contract with the global fight company. But while the company has stopped short of giving him a document to sign, Newell’s now within more than a fighting chance of getting to the big time.
Reports today confirmed that Newell has been offered a spot on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series; a televised tryout of sorts that allowed unsigned fighters to showcase their talents in the hopes of scoring a UFC contract.
Nick Newell will get a shot at a UFC contract. Per Dana White, he’ll be offered a fight on the Tuesday Night Contender Series in June.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 26, 2018
Newell is particularly handy inside an octagon, as highlight footage from his previous fights attests; of his 14 career wins, 9 have come via submission.
The full schedule for the second season of White’s Contender Series show has yet to be revealed, but the series is set to premiere in June.