One of mixed martial arts' most inspiring stories of 2012 has to be the rise of one-armed, XFC champ "Notorious" Nick Newell.
Earlier this month, the undefeated lightweight defeated MMA vet Eric Reynolds to take the 155 lb. title at XFC 21, finishing "It's a Wrap" with a slick rear naked choke just over a minute into the fight. Newell, who owns eight first-round finishes out of nine career bouts, has not let his disability stop him from becoming one of the sport's rising stars as he's poised to have a huge 2013.
You can check out Newell's ascension to the XFC crown in the video embedded above. The piece, compiled by yours truly, documents the tail end of "Notorious'" training camp as well as his fight night viewing party in Connecticut where the champ's hometown friends and family members gathered to offer their support.
Earlier this week, XFC officials announced that the winner of the Jason Hicks vs. Scott Holtzman at February's XFC 22 will get the first crack at the newly-crowned champ. Hicks and Holtzman also sport unblemished professional records, so I expect either fighter to be a solid challenger for Newell's first title defense.