DWTNCS 14 Results and Recap: Nick Newell Comes Up Short, Three Contracts Awarded

Nick Newell
Nick Newell Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Nick Newell finally gets his shot at the UFC on the latest installment of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

It would be cliche to say that, win or lose at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Nick Newell is a champion. And it’s a statement that Newell himself might even downplay. He doesn’t come off as the type looking for a participation trophy. Newell wants to win, and he wants to show he has what it takes to fight in the UFC. Just like all the other fighters on DWTNCS 14, airing this evening on UFC Fight Pass.

The only difference? Newell is a congenital amputee. Which makes every single win on his 14-1 record that much more impressive. His lone loss? To Justin Gaethje. A guy who is currently one of the UFC’s biggest stars at lightweight.

Newell gets a lot of attention because of his perceived disability, though it does a disservice to Nick Newell the fight. Newell has eleven finishes in fourteen wins; any other fighter, and we’re talking about what a great finishing rate he has. Instead, we’re talking about a missing limb, and while that’s part of the story, it’s not the whole part.

Still, it’s a great “overcoming adversity” story and the world loves those. Nothing wrong with that. Which is why so many will be cheering Newell on in the most anticipated episode of the Contender Series this season.

Check back come fight time – 8PM ET – for full results and a recap of the night’s action at DWTNCS 14!

Chase Hooper vs. Canaan Kawaihae

Kawaihae tagged Chase Hooper with a couple of lefts early while backing him up, and the opening bout of DWTNCS 14 was underway! Hooper would respond by looking for a leg, but when that didn’t happen, he found himself dropped by Canaan Kawaihae. He’d survive, only to eat a few more shots on the feet and attempt to pull guard. Kawaihae caught a kick and dumped Hooper. Moments later a pair of lefts, then a right connected on Hooper, and he was rocked! They’d go to the ground, briefly. Hooper still looked dazed and initiated a clinch against the cage, only to wind up on bottom when they went down. Hooper nearly found himself caught in a rear-naked choke with an arm-trapped, but scrambled out, and incredibly made it out of the round.

The second saw the pair going back at it until a low blow halted the action. Back underway, Hooper grabbed on to a guillotine, but Kawaihae was able to scramble free. A couple of transitions later they were back on the feet. with Hooper landing a few shots on Kawaihae as the latter worked for a takedown. That allowed Hooper to get in top position. From there he unleashed a flurry of big elbows, then added more ground n’ pound as Kawaihae covered up. Quite the change in momentum. Hooper was in control, taking the back and looking for the rear-naked choke. Kawaihae would turn in and get on top, but Hooper soon had the back again, and went for another rear-naked choke before finishing the frame with another heavy elbow.

Kawaihae looked exhausted to start round three, but soon found himself in an arm-bar. He was able to defend that but was pounded on and at risk of being finished by a rear-naked choke for the better part of the third round. Hooper continued going back to submission attempts, despite a TKO being available, and finished the round in clear control. The big question was, how did the judges score the first?

Chase Hooper def. Canaan Kawaihae by unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 28-26)

Jeff Hughes vs. Josh Appelt

Hughes was certainly showing the more polishes game against Josh Appelt, who looked to go to the ground early. Appelt, who some may remember for a loss to Bobby Lashley in Bellator, then landed a low blow, after eating a couple of strikes. When the action resumed, Hughes fired off a combo that set up a single leg attempt, which he completed. From there, a horrific amount of ground n’ pound by the fence. Somehow, a very tough Appelt survived and got back to his feet, but an uppercut to the nose dropped him, and that was the fight!

Jeff Hughes def. Josh Appelt by TKO, Round 1, 4:26

Sodiq Yusuff vs. Mike Davis

Fast start to the third bout of the evening at DWTNCS 14. Davis would throw a punch only to eat a leg kick that triped up. Yusuff was looking sharp, but Davis was no slouch either. Yusuff again landed a hard leg kick. Davis connected with a jump knee, but Yusuff countered moments later, stopping him in his tracks. Davis went to the body with a kick back out in the open. Davis would be wobbled with another kick, then dropped, moments later. Sodiq Yusuff would pounce, but Davis managed to hang on. Yusuff continued to press the action, and Davis changed levels for a takedown. He gave up his neck briefly, however. Back on the feet they continued to trade with Yusuff ending the round with a right hand.

Davis had recovered in round two and the pair settled in early, then unleashed a flurry of back-and-forth swings that missed in the second minute of the round. Davis backed Yusuff up against the fence, but it was Yusuff who looked to be the fresher, more dangerous fighter. He circled out of harm’s way, looking to counter. Davis, meanwhile, worked his jab. To the head, then the body. In the final minute he’d go to the body with a kick.

The third round saw the pair slowing a bit. They’d tie up by the fence, but Davis was still backing Yusuff up. Yusuff, however, landed another nasty leg kick, hurting Davis. Davis was wounded, the damage from all those leg kicks clearly adding up. They’d go the distance, however, with Yusuff winning all three rounds.

Sodiq Yusuff def. Mike Davis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Jim Crute vs. Chris Birchler

Crute vs. Birchler at light heavyweight turned out to be a bit of a head-scratcher. The Australian, Crute, looked strong early, landing a number of strikes including leg kicks, seemingly at will. Birchler, meanwhile appeared hesitant. The stoppage, however, was the question. In the final sequence, a right then left wobbled Crute, shades of Kevin Lee at UFC Atlantic City. Unlike Lee, Crute didn’t recover, or at least, the ref didn’t let him. He came in to wave it off, and Jim Crute had the win!

Jim Crute def. Chris Birchler  by TKO, Round 1, 4:23

Nick Newell vs. Alex Munoz

Munoz pressed Newell early, looking to test his defenses. Newell went for a high kick, and landed a jump knee that Munoz was able to push through into a takedown. Newell came right back to his feet, however. He continued to attack with some heavy kicks. Newell led with his jab, and later in the round launched a flying knee again, but came up short. Munoz would score another takedown with ninety seconds remaining, but Newell escaped to his feet. Munoz held on to a body lock, dragging Newell down again, but he powered up, allowing the pair to trade jabs. Newell began clipping Munoz late,

Newell opened the second with leg kicks, then went high with another kick. He fanned on a spinning back kick. Munoz would then rock Newell, following him to the ground with some heavy ground strikes. Newell was bloodied, but survived; he went back to the leg kick, but was telegraphing a potential spinning attack. The next exchange saw them go to the ground (Newell caught off-balance), where Munoz was able to control Newell from the back, landing a knee to the body. Newell would break free as the seconds wore down, and they’d go to a third.

Munoz tied Newell up by the cage early in round three. That allowed him to sneak in a knee. Munoz would shoot for a takedown near the midway point, and Newell locked on a guillotine! It was tight, but Minoz would roll through once, twice, and eventually Newell lost his grip. Munoz would take the back nut Newell broke free. Another takedown by Munoz followed, this time, Newell couldn’t catch him in the choke. He would break free and briefly take the back, but was too high up, as the round came to an end.

Alex Munoz  def. Nick Newell by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

When all was said and done, Dana White awarded UFC contracts to Jeff Hughes, Sodiq Yusuff, and Jim Crute. Chase Hooper, meanwhile, was given a developmental deal at just eighteen years old.

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series 14 Results:

Alex Munoz  def. Nick Newell by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jim Crute def. Chris Birchler  by TKO, Round 1, 4:23
Sodiq Yusuff def. Mike Davis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jeff Hughes def. Josh Appelt by TKO, Round 1, 4:26
Chase Hooper def. Canaan Kawaihae by unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 28-26)