Being born without part of his arm has not stopped a mixed martial arts fighter from Milford from recently winning the title of XFC lightweight world championship.
However, Nick Newell, 26, told Eyewitness News that he wants to fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but so far the president of the company is against the idea.
"I think that whether you're missing a limb or you're not missing a limb, you should always be confident in yourself," Newell said in a recent interview with Eyewitness News.
Newell said he was born with congenital amputation in his left arm. He's used to strangers throwing him glances, but said his friends and family have never pitied him and have always encouraged him to be active.
"Growing up, I was always looked at a little different," Newell said. "I've been like this my whole life and I don't know any other way."
Newell joined the wrestling team at Jonathan Law High School in Milford where he was a captain and all-state wrestler. In college, he would become the captain of his wrestling team.
"After I was done in college, I really needed something to compete in," Newell said. "I had a void that was left."
About 4 1/2 years ago, Newell started his mixed martial arts career. He traveled to Massachusetts where they did not have an athletic commission yet, which meant he could fight as long as he got permission from the promoter.
"I told the promoter, 'I'm going to sell a lot of tickets' and he said, 'You can fight,'" Newell said.
At first, Newell was touted as a gimmick to sell tickets, but that quickly changed as he won his first amateur title. And shortly after that he turned professional.
Newell spends his days training at Ultimate MMA Training Center in North Haven.
"After, he tapped me like two, three times," said Louis Figueroa, who is the trainer for Newell, "I'm like how is this guy doing this?"
So far, Newell has recorded nine straight wins and remains undefeated with eight of his victories coming in the first round. In December, while fighting for XFC, he won the lightweight championship.
"You are the way you are and sometimes you don't get the fairest shake or things don't go your way or you were born into a bad situation. You've got to be able to adapt and overcome," Newell told Eyewitness News.
Newell said in five years that he plans to be "kicking butt" in the UFC.
UFC President Dana White said he would "never" allow Newell to compete for his company.
White was previously quoted saying, "Fighting with one arm is just craziness to me."
He added that it's a hard enough game to fight with two arms and could not imagine someone fighting with one.
Newell told Eyewitness News that he doesn't need special treatment and wants equal opportunity. He said he is not quitting until he gets it.
"I'm far from invincible but I've proven that I'm more than capable," Newell said. "And all I'm asking for is my fair shake just like everyone else."
In the end, Newell told Eyewitness News that he is "not going anywhere."
"I'm going to keep working hard and I'm going to keep winning," he said. "And you're going to see a lot more of Nick Newell in the future."
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, April 18 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:53:24 GMT
The police department's statements detail their use of GPS tracking, surveillance and the help of tips from the public that led to the eventual arrest of Mohammed Whitaker, the man suspected of being theMore >
Court documents detail how new-age technology, old-fashioned police work and observant eyewitnesses led to the capture of the man that authorities say was responsible for a string of highway shootings that terrorized the area.More >
Friday, April 18 2014 9:07 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:07:55 GMT
An ailing Miley Cyrus has canceled her concert Tuesday night at Sprint Center.The notice came a matter of hours before she was scheduled to go on stage.A concert promoter tells KCTV5 that Cyrus is in theMore >
An ailing Miley Cyrus is no longer in a Kansas City hospital, but posted on her Twitter page Friday morning that she is "sick of waking up to needles." She has postponed the rest of her Bangerz concert tour. More >
Saturday, April 12 2014 6:07 AM EDT2014-04-12 10:07:09 GMT
An incredible photo snapped Saturday at the iconic Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore is going viral. A mother humpback whale and her calf were cruising just offshore when a set rolled in. J.T. Gray of NorthMore >
An incredible photo snapped Saturday at the iconic Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore is going viral.More >
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:14:53 GMT
Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte says they have the highway shooter suspect in custody. Police announced last week that they have positively linked 12 shooting incidents that have taken place onMore >
Kansas City police Chief Darryl Forte says they have the highway shooter suspect in custody. More >
Friday, April 18 2014 1:23 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:23:58 GMT
A 14-year-old girl told Overland Park police that a man attempted to abduct her while she was waiting at a bus stop.This occurred near West 87th Terrace and Nall Avenue at 8:19 a.m. The girl told policeMore >
A 14-year-old girl told Overland Park police that a man attempted to abduct her while she was waiting at a bus stop.More >
Friday, April 18 2014 10:02 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:02:47 GMT
Three people were injured in the series of shootings that Mohammed Whitaker is now charged in – two were struck in the leg and the other in the arm. None of their injuries were serious. After hearing newsMore >
After hearing news of Mohammed Whitaker's arrest and the subsequent charges against him, one of the first victims whose car was hit riddled by bullets said he can now breathe a sigh of relief.More >