When Nick Newell steps into the cage this Saturday at Bellator 232, he’ll still feel like he’s fighting for his job — because he always does.
Nick Newell takes on Manny Muro at Bellator 232, his first fight for the promotion since a successful “tryout” a few months back. The promotion takes over Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut for the card this Saturday, October 26. Newell made a big splash in his Bellator debut and he looks to keep gaining traction in the organization. He has to get through a 16-fight veteran in Muro when the two lock horns for this 160lb catchweight fight.
The Bellator Journey
For Nick Newell, this is another home state fight. His last bout took place in Connecticut and it resulted in a successful Bellator debut, ending in a submission win. Though he’s not a ten-minute drive from the arena this time, Newell is still digging the close proximity to the venue. “I mean obviously it’s always good when I can drive to the venue,” said Newell. “It’s cool to travel and I like visiting places. There’s pluses and minuses to everything. But fighting at home is good. It just makes life easier for me.”
Newell initially began his Bellator journey with a one-fight deal. After the victory, the promotion locked him down for a multi-fight agreement. This isn’t something that Newell is putting a tremendous amount of stock in. “Nothing’s set,” he stated. “Things can always change. I always feel like I’m kind of fighting for my job. The better you do, the better fighters you get, the more money you make, the better you add to your legacy.”
Newell continued by saying that “Nothing’s really changed. I want to win and there’s always different circumstances in a fight. People always ask me ‘hey is it different now that you’re dad?’ No it’s honestly not. It’s all the same. I’ve always wanted to win. I don’t like people having things over me. I don’t want to give that to someone.”
Newell has accomplished a tremendous amount, but he refuses to allocate too much time to smell the roses. “I never rest on my laurels. There’s always more you can do,” he stated. “You can always do better and it doesn’t really matter who you are. For me, I’m just really trying to go out there and make statements every single fight.”
To that point, his total focus seems to be on the next step. This comes in the form of Manny Muro. When asked for Newell’s thoughts on his opponent, he replied “He’s good. I definitely have watched him fight. He stays pretty calm out there. Good composure, well-rounded fighter. I’ve fought a lot of guys. I’ve been doing this a long time. There’s nothing out there that’s going to surprise me or catch me off guard.”
Newell continued, saying “I’ve been pro for over ten years and I’ve been training for twenty. For me, it’s another day in the office. There’s another person standing in my way of everything I’ve worked for and everything I’ve sacrificed. I gotta take him out. He’s definitely good. He’s very good but I’m great.”
It’s been a long road for Newell. It wasn’t always about bright lights and big arenas. The venues for some of his earlier fights weren’t exactly as glamorous. “Even before that I was fighting in bars. I was fighting amateur in there and now I’m fighting for an organization that’s well on it’s way to being the biggest organization in the world.”
Inspiring People, The Undertaker, and Hypnotism
Newell is not only a world-class martial artist but a congenital amputee as well. He now finds himself in a position where people are being inspired by his efforts. More specifically though, kids who are congenital amputees have an amazing role model to look up to.
When asked about being put on this pedestal by many, Newell replied “I definitely think it’s unique. It’s not something I ever expected. I just started doing this because it was fun and I enjoyed it and I’m a competitor. But to have all of these people reach out to me, it’s kind of cool and rewarding. Because I never asked to be an inspiration. I never tried to be an inspiration. I’ve always worked hard and kept my head down. Grinded and never did anyone wrong. To have people kind of reach out to me like that means a lot.”
Newell’s story is inspiring, but he’s not alone in overcoming the odds, cornering fellow amputee Jake Lee Peacock in New York earlier in his Muay Thai career. He was ringside recently for Peacock’s Lion Fight bout, and saw him score an emphatic win. Peruse Newell’s social media and you’ll also see post about possibly coming out to The Undertaker’s theme song. Though Newell didn’t say he’d come out to the Deadman’s music, he did promise a surprise for his fight night entrance that will delight the fans.
Newell has also been seeing a hypnotist and feels its had benefits from on a performance level. He has a few other techniques for recuperation though. “I have a therapist I go see. He does a great job at helping me,” Newell said. “Fixing all my injuries. I see him at least once sometimes twice a week. I do float therapy as well.”
Newell vs Muro takes place on the main card of Bellator 232 this Saturday October 26. The pugilistic proceedings will broadcast live on DAZN.