It is an amazing story. Nick Newell, born with a congenital defect that left him with just one arm, forged an improbable career for himself in mixed martial arts. And it’s been a career full of wins! In fact, his only loss was to Justin Gaethje in the WSOF.
Of course Newell has been itching to get a shot in the Octagon, and everyone has been rooting for him, so Dana White relented and gave him a shot in the main event of tonight’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. His opponent was a rusty Team Alpha Male wrestling coach named Alex Munoz.
And for three rounds, Munoz beat Newell up.
I’ve watched Newell compete in the past, and was hoping he’d pull it off, because his tale is so compelling and heartwarming and would make for much better television than trotting CM Punk into the cage to die. But Munoz beaned him good in the face, and wrestled the hell out of him. For the briefest of moments, Newell threatened with the guillotine choke he’s famous for. And yet… and yet it wasn’t enough. Munoz took all three rounds, and took home the decision.
There were some good fights on the card, and at the end of it all, when White was awarding contracts, Munoz was left out in the cold.
But really, like when Kimbo Slice was on TUF, this particular episode was less about who was earning their berth in the Octagon and more about the noteworthy person in the cage. Too bad Newell couldn’t pull it off.