XFC Strips Nick Newell of Lightweight Championship; New XFC 24 Headliner on Tap

May 10, 2013
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Nick Newell XFCXFC president John Prisco on Friday revealed that he is stripping lightweight champion Nick Newell of his belt for refusing to defend it.

Prisco said that Newell was expected to defend his belt against the promotion’s No. 1 contender, Scott Holtzman, at XFC 24 on June 14, but the champion refused.

Newell is a congenital amputee, his left arm ending just after the elbow. He has no left hand and does not have most of his left forearm. He adapted, however, and went on to wrestle in high school and college before turning to mixed martial arts, where he now holds a 9-0 professional record.

Four fights into his XFC tenure, Newell won the promotion’s lightweight championship by defeating Bellator veteran Eric Reynolds. The bout with Holtzman was to be his first title defense.

Newell has made no secret of his ambition to eventually fight for the UFC. It appears that goal – or at least a conflict over how to realize that goal – is what led to the XFC stripping him of the belt.

“Nick expressed his wishes to me quite some months back, that he wanted to fight ex-UFC fighters, as it would be his best route to the UFC,” Prisco said on Friday.

“While I have always said we are not here to be a feeder to the UFC, I understand any fighter wanting to test themselves against those higher in the rankings,” he continued. “Nick was offered to fight Eric Reynolds for that reason. Then Holtzman earned his shot, in much of the same fashion Nick did.

“When negotiating with his management regarding this fight, they were telling me about being offered a lot of money to fight for another promotion. We responded that if it’s about money, bring us the best offer and we’ll agree to match that offer. They did, we matched it, and we were again refused by Nick saying he only wants to fight ex-UFC fighters.”

At that point, Prisco made the decision to strip Newell of the belt. Holtzman, however, will still get his shot at XFC gold.

“Nick is being stripped of the title and Scott Holtzman will fight June 14th vs. a new opponent for the XFC Lightweight Championship Belt,” said Prisco. “Contracts are going out today and we’ll be making the announcement over the weekend.”

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  • @JohnnyLopesyo

    jeez everyone picks fights these days… and wont fight the lesser name but better oponent.. hes obviously in it for the money n fame. not love of MMA, which means he will lose

    • Shawn Steinberg

      You obviously don’t know anything. If that’s what you get out of that story. It is the exact opposite, he is doing it to be the best in the world, not money or fame. This guy has said over and over how badly he wants to fight in the UFC and IMO he deserves to be there already and only because of his arm is he not there right now. It is for the love of the sport and wanting to be the best, just like everybody else and he should get a fair chance.

      • Tommy Blingshyne

        you shouldnt get to pick and choose your fights…if youre the champ of XFC, you fight who the #1 contender is…you dont turn down fights…thats lame…

        • jrcr_15

          Exactly, leave the matchmaking up to the matchmakers. I hate when fighters think they are bigger than the organization they fight in.

      • Lucas Freire

        Yeah,he wants but doesn’t want to defend his belt? This atitude is unprofessional,and if he already faces tough judgement from Dana because of his arm,what else if he keeps this kind of posture?

        Hell,even Anderson Silva defended minor league belts.

  • XFC

    He is being stripped of the belt because he disrespectfully refuses to defend the title against someone who earned their shot. Not because he wants to someday go to the UFC.


    • Nice to know your organization doesn’t play any games. You stripped him and now will move on and get a champion who will defend against anyone at anytime hopefully.

    • Joey

      I love how that article states that Nick didn’t want the fight as he “knew’ he would couldn’t beat Scott Holtzman…..thats laughable.

      He just dominated Eric Reynolds who has fought the likes of Jorge Masvidal
      and lasted three rounds with Eddie Alvarez. I am pretty sure there isn’t much to gain in the way of fighting a guy with four professional
      fights especially considering its his goal to get into the UFC asap.

      The fact that XCF doesn’t think its a feeder to the UFC is a pretty ignorant statement. Every organization is a feeder to the UFC. Why is it so unreasonable that people should want to get to a place where they can make the most money and fight the best fighters in the world. Considering how much punishment these guys take, its not like every fighter is going to be able to compete at their peak for that many years and if Nick feels like that’s where he is at now then his line of thinking is reasonable.

      He is an inspirational fighter and will add a ratings draw anywhere he fights with being a one armed fighter. He will just find somewhere like MFC or even WSOF where he can get more exposure and an opponent that get him closer to his ultimate goal: fighting for the UFC.

      • Bandit

        Newell knows Holtzman will run through him. He isn’t ready for a guy like Holtzman. The fact that there are people here defending Newell is mind blowing. He’s no champion, a champion defends his title. If Newell wants to save face he steps in the cage and takes his beating like a man.

  • Darin

    This guy hasn’t defended the belt once and he thinks he can turn down worthy challengers because he doesn’t think they have enough name recognition? Anderson Fu$&ing Silva doesn’t even do that.

  • Will

    Holtzman earned a title shot. Newell hasn’t defended it once. They are both 4-0 in the XFC. If Holtzman is so unworthy then it should be an easy day at the office. It’s live in 40 million homes. I don’t think that’s something to scoff at. XFC matched any offer he had on the table. But Hot Sauce would’ve gotten the strap either way and Newell preserves his illustrious 9-0 record. ESPN the magazine has gone to this dudes head.