Nick Newell will make his World Series of Fighting debut Saturday when he takes on Keon Caldwell in a lightweight bout.
Ahead of the matchup, Newell joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss his opponent and much more.
On fighting with one hand: “Sometimes life’s not fair, and you can either think the world owes you something and quit or you can play with the cards you’re dealt and make the best of it and work a little bit harder to achieve the things you want to achieve.”
On whether he was afraid he wouldn’t be allowed to fight when he started his career: “Back when I first started fighting, actually Massachusetts had no athletic commission. I kind of came in at the right time, so it was up to the promoter to really make the call on whether or not who can fight. You actually didn’t even need to have medicals or anything. You could just show up and fight. I’ve seen them pick people from the crowd. It’s not like that anymore. It’s very well organized, but because of that, I kind of lucked out and I got to fight.”
On building his professional resume before regulation began: “By [the time regulation began] it was pretty much already too late. I had already proven I could do it, so they had to let me go.”
On opponents turning down bouts against him: “There were a lot of them. It started with people just straight out saying no, and then everyone was getting heat for that. They were like, ‘No one wants to fight Nick.’ Like, ‘Why don’t you guys just be real fighters and fight Nick?’ And then it turned to people taking the fight and then getting injured. I can’t say that it wasn’t legit because you never know, but then I had people no-show weigh-ins. I think I trained for five fights and I had one.”
On his exit form XFC: “You can listen to whatever you want to listen to, but at the end of the day, my contract was up and I felt like the 155-pound division in the XFC was thin and there wasn’t many challenges for me. If you look, the guy who I just fought is already fighting for the title. I was a free agent, and World Series of Fighting gave me an offer and I thought it was a great offer and it was good for my career. I thought it was time to move on. I thought it was time to challenge myself and step up, and the fans really wanted it. A big part of me is I really love all my fans, and I want to give the people what they want to see.”
On opponent Keon Caldwell: “I’m definitely not sleeping on him and his skills. I’ve seen him fight. He’s 9-1 for a reason -- because he’s a killer. He’s a big dude. He brings in a lot of power on his strikes, very physical, great athlete. He has a lot of knockouts, but some of them were on the ground. I’m just expecting the best fighter possible. I’m expecting a war. I’m expecting a really tough fight. I’ll be ready for anything he brings my way. He might be a little bigger than me, but I’m very strong and I’ve never really felt overpowered in the cage. We’ll see what happens August 10. I’m coming out guns blazing, ready to get that win.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 30:04).