The one-handed MMA fighter kept his perfect record intact with a submission victory over Keon Caldwell in his debut with World Series of Fighting on Saturday night in Ontario, Calif. Newell forced Caldwell to tap out at 2:07 of the first round with a modified guillotine choke.
“I had a bunch of ways I thought I would beat him and this was one of them,” Newell said afterward. The 27-year-old Newell moved to a perfect 10-0 in his career. The Milford, Conn., native was born without a left hand – his arm ends just below his elbow. He has now finished all but one of his pro MMA fights via knockout or submission.
Newell's impressive victory highlighted his long-awaited debut in a major MMA promotion and earned the fighter a spot in World Series of Fighting’s inaugural lightweight (155 pounds) title tournament. He was signed by the organization in May after leaving Xtreme Fighting Championship, where he was the lightweight champion.
The former Connecticut high school wrestling standout and brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu has been told his entire life that his skills would be limited because of his missing limb, yet he’s overcome everything that has stood in his way. He now has a win under his belt in one of the largest MMA organizations in the country – and in front of a national audience on NBC Sports Network.
“I know what it’s like to be at the bottom,” Newell said. “Now I’m at the top and I’m not letting anyone take it away from me.”