Nick Newell has been stripped of the Xtreme Fighting Championships lightweight title and will therefore not defend the belt at XFC 24 as originally expected.
According to a press release issued by XFC President John Prisco, Newell was stripped of the strap after refusing to defend his title against Scott Holtzman, who will now vie for the vacant belt on June 14 live on AXS TV. The event takes place at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla., and will also see Ricky Rainey take on Reggie Pena in a middleweight co-headliner.
A congenital amputee, Newell was born without his left hand and much of his left forearm. The 27-year-old lightweight has yet to taste defeat as a professional mixed martial artist, rattling off nine consecutive victories to begin his career. The former collegiate wrestler signed with the XFC in December 2011 and won the promotion’s lightweight title one year later, submitting Bellator vet Eric Reynolds with a rear-naked choke at XFC 21.
Like Newell, Holtzman has also earned four straight wins in the XFC, beginning his pro career with three stoppages before outpointing Jason Hicks on Feb. 22 at XFC 22. Known as “Hot Sauce,” Holtzman owns two of his wins via technical knockout and a third by submission.