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on that card. Wouldn’t Newell suffering a defeat stand out among others? After all, it could be seen as simply a person with a disability losing a cagefight – an image that carries with it all sorts of stigma and negative connotation. Abbott doesn’t’ believe that would be the case. “I think he’d be a great example

to a lot of people out there if he were to win or lose,” said Abbott. “It’s just him out there doing his best. I don’t think there’d be any stigma attached to him getting beaten.” “I am a fan of Nick,” said Abbott. “He’s willing to take that chance and put himself in the ring, and you never know

the glory of victory if you don’t know what it’s like to fail. He’s only asking for the chance to prove himself. It’s much more disappointing if he never gets his chance.” Originally published by F (February 12, 2013) at nick-newell-jim-abbott/

UNDEFEATED An interview with “Notorious” Nick Newell, mixed martial arts (MMA) world champion

Photo courtesy of

by Amp It Up! Staff


Although he was born missing nearly half of his left arm, Nick Newell has been participating in mixed martial arts since he was 22. His first MMA fight was in 2008, and he debuted professionally in 2009. At 27, he is now a world champion with a professional record of 9 wins and 0 losses. Nick recently spoke with Amp It Up! about how he got started in the sport and his plans for the future. Amp It Up! (AIU): What got you interested in mixed martial arts? Nick: I saw it on TV, and I thought, “Wow, I’d like to learn how to do this!” I started out learning, and learning turned into competing. I just got carried away with it. AIU: What made you believe that you could succeed with only a partial left arm, which would seem like a disadvantage in fighting? Nick: I don’t think like that. You have your advantages and your disadvantages no matter what your body type is. I wasn’t raised to doubt myself or wonder if I could or couldn’t do anything. Instead of doubting myself and weighing what could happen, I just like to dive in and see what happens. AIU: Who would you credit with giving you the belief that your partially missing arm should not hold you back? Nick: My family, definitely, especially my mother. I was raised well, and they taught me to just go and do things. They never told me that I couldn’t do anything. Whenever I wanted to do something, they said, “Okay.” AIU: Did you ever get made fun of because of your missing arm? Nick: Yeah, I got made fun of a little bit, but I’ve always been a little more quick-witted than most people, and I’ve always been kind of tougher than others too. I was also just nice to everyone, and I always had a great group of friends. Of course, everyone always has their opinions, and some people made jokes about me. I’m a pretty funny guy, and I always joke with people, but I don’t ever make fun of my arm. I can take Amp it up! magazine  MARCH 2013

a joke, but I didn’t take any nonsense from anyone trying to pick on me. AIU: Have you in some way been able to turn your partial arm into an advantage in MMA fighting? Nick: There are some advantages and some disadvantages. It’s not a risk to grab on the ground, but I also don’t have a left cross. It depends on how you look at it. AIU: Is Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White still saying that he will never allow you to participate in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or has he changed his mind? Nick: No, that still seems to be the position of the UFC. I’m ready when they’re ready to take me, but they’re still not interested. There’s nothing I can do except keep fighting. I’ve never been one to beg anyone. I know how good I am, and I know what I’m capable of. I’m going to be known as one of the best fighters in this sport and not just as a guy with one hand but as a fighter in general. I know that I’ll have my day, and my time will come. I’m not going to cry and say, “Oh, no, you didn’t want me,” or beg them to let me fight. I’ll fight whoever wants me. I’ll fight for a league that’s going to give me a chance. I’ve done nothing but win and prove myself in the past so I don’t understand why the UFC would say no, but it is what it is, and I’m just going to keep winning and showing how good I actually am. AIU: Any advice for others who might be on the verge of giving up their dreams because of their limb loss or limb difference? Nick: Give it a go. You only know what’s going to happen if you give it a try. A lot of great things have come about from people taking risks. For more information about Nick Newell, please visit his Web site at

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Amp It Up! Vol. 2 Issue 2  

The Health & Lifestyle Magazine for Amputees Who Want to Live More Fully

Amp It Up! Vol. 2 Issue 2  

The Health & Lifestyle Magazine for Amputees Who Want to Live More Fully