Nick has had to face the struggles of missing his left arm from the elbow on. Most people would think that a handicap like this would make competing in any type of sporting event near impossible, however that hasn't stopped Nick. While in highschool and college Nick competed in wrestling and like so many others, he wanted to test his skills further in MMA. I would have thought that missing your left forearm and hand be a massive disadvantage for MMA, but Nick, like any good mixed martial arts, has turned his weakness into his greatest strength. During his fight last Friday with Dennis Hernandez at XFC 15, Nick showed decent stand-up, some solid wrestling and a fantastic heel-hook finish. In fact, his "handicap" played a major role in finishing the fight; with his forearm and hand missing, the nook between the bicep and elbow created a extremely tight grip around Dennis's heel. Despite trying to roll out of the submission the heel-hook was locked in and Dennis was forced to tap. As a long time Pancrase fan, I love me a good heel-hook and this one was beautiful. Nick had obviously found out that his condition helped him to better secure what is often seen as a high risk submission. Check the video of the fight after the jump along with more analysis.
After the fight Nick stated that he has even more submission tricks up his sleeves which he hoped to display in his future fights. It'll be really interesting to see just how far this kid can go. While this opponent wasn't the biggest challenge for Newell, it'll be fascinating to see how he handles fighting someone that has good stand up and can keep it on the feet. However, it's become painfully clear that if his fights hit the mat, his opponents have to be extremely careful as 5 of his 6 winsa re by submission. Conventional submission defenses might not always apply when you're fighting someone with an unconventional body type.