Remarkable story of a one-handed MMA fighter's journey to Bellator

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One-handed MMA fighter "Notorious" Nick Newell has recently secured a one-fight deal with Bellator to fight at Bellator 225 on August 24 against Corey Browning. 

It's an incredible story, but Newell is adamant that the Bellator contract means nothing to him if he doesn't win the fight.

Anything less than a win is "unacceptable" to him. 

Speaking to TMZ Sports, Newell said: "I appreciate everything Bellator's doing for me, but just like showing up and being like, 'oh my god, I got signed by Bellator,' and getting my ass whooped, is not acceptable. 

"For me it's nothing until I get my hand raised. I've accomplished nothing. Just by getting signed doesn't mean that you're a big deal or that you're good enough."

Newell was born with congenital amputation of his left arm, ending just below his elbow. During his days in high school, he joined the wrestling team and achieved over 300 victories.  

He credits his inspiration to former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born with no right hand. Newell met Abbott when he was young, and never looked back. 

In college, Newell shared a room with current WWE superstar Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins), who helped to fuel his desire to compete in MMA. 

Talking to Bleacher Report, Newell explained: "He [Brian] wasn't a fan of MMA. I mean he likes it, but he's not INTO it, he doesn't know any of the moves. He's hardcore Pro Wrestling. I mean he's in the WWE now, Curt Hawkins. 

Sixth Annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards

"But he did help me to get into MMA because he loved Monday Night Raw so much that he used to watch it every week. And it was back when Raw was on Spike TV, and then after Raw they said 'Hey, there's this new show: The Ultimate Fighter'. And I was like 'What IS this?'

"I had watched fights before, but I didn't really get it until I watched TUF, and then I was like 'Oh, okay this is cool, I gotta start doing this.' So Monday Night Raw and pro wrestling got me into MMA."

Soon after, Newell's inspiring journey to Bellator took off as he began in MMA, though in the early days he said that it was a great struggle because no-one wanted to fight someone that only had one hand. 

This didn't put Newell off, however, and with an impressive amateur record of 5-1, he signed for Xtreme Fighting Championships in 2011 before later heading to World Series of Fighting just two years later. 

In 2014. Newell announced his retirement from MMA, but he eventually made a successful return against Sonny Luque on March 9, 2018 with the Legacy Fighting Alliance promotion.

This impressive performance attracted the attention of UFC president Dana White, who booked him to fight Alex Munoz in the Tuesday Night Contender Series the next month. Unfortunately, Newell lost the bout via the judges' scorecard. 

This didn't deter him, though, as he then joined CES MMA and won his first fight for the company by tapping out Castillo Jr. with a rear naked choke in the first round in May this year. 

The 33-year-old is now married to long-term partner Danielle, and last year they had a son named Wyatt. On July 23 it was announced that he had signed for Bellator and now he can't wait to fight in his hometown. 

Sixth Annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards

Away from the fighting cage, Newell is also using his incredible story to inspire others as a motivational speaker, telling Bleacher: "You can't just sit around and expect the world to give everything to you. Sometimes things don't go your way. Sometimes your born with one hand, or your family didn't have a lot of money, or you have to work a couple jobs to afford something you wanted or pay to go to school.

"It's not always fair, but the people that are determined, that are willing to push through that, and know what they want and set their goals and work to achieve them... you can do anything you want in this world."

Newell's story is extremely inspiring, and we all look forward to seeing how he fares in his fight on July 23. 

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