Nick Newell, who has gained attention for fighting professionally in MMA despite being born with only one full arm, said he is receiving plenty of offers in the wake of his abrupt departure from the Xtreme Fighting Championships promotion, where he was lightweight champion.
"Everyone but the UFC," Newell said, when asked Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast which promotions had contacted him. "I’m getting offers from a lot of different leagues."
Newell declined to offer specifics, but he said he would examine each offer and announce a decision soon. The fledgling World Series of Fighting promotion is among those courting Newell.
Newell, 27, captured the XFC belt by defeating former Bellator fighter Eric Reynolds on Dec. 7. He never defended it. XFC officials announced Friday that they had stripped Newell of his belt after Newell refused to face Scott Holtzman in June at XFC 24.
XFC president John Prisco said Newell (9-0) refused to defend his title against any opponent who was not a former UFC fighter. Newell disputed that statement Monday, saying he had decided before the announcement to vacate the title and entertain offers from other promotions.
"My contract was up. I was in negotiations with a few different people and I decided that I wasn’t going to go with XFC and basically relinquish or vacate the title," Newell said. "And they worded it the way they wanted to, and it ended up becoming kind of a fiasco."
Newell, who was 4-0 in XFC, wrestled in high school and college and earned six of his nine wins by submission. Only one of his fights has gone the distance. He is now on the roster of the well-regarded American Top Team camp.
Newell on Monday credited XFC for allowing him to fight, and credited the parting to a simple difference of opinion.
"We had different visions on where we would go in my career," Newell said. "Nine fights in, I’d like to fight veterans and established guys."