Home News MMA Nick Newell to Challenge Justin Gaethje for WSOF Lightweight Title in July

Nick Newell to Challenge Justin Gaethje for WSOF Lightweight Title in July

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(George Ruhe for the New York Times)

Nick Newell isn’t shy about his desire to compete in the UFC. Since debuting in 2009, the lightweight without a fully formed left armed has steamrolled his opponents to the tune of an 11-0 record, and in July he may get to prove his worth in front of a national audience.

WSOF Executive Vice-President Ali Abdel-Aziz has tapped Newell to fight Justin Gaethje for the promotion’s lightweight title this summer, according to a story first reported by Yahoo Sports. Coincidentally, WSOF expects to make its NBC debut around the same time, although a time and venue for the show haven’t been announced.

Newell is a congenital amputee, having been born with a left arm that stops just past his elbow. The condition, however, hasn’t stopped the 28-year-old fighter from working towards his dream of joining the UFC.

All but two of his victories have come by submission and only one has gone past the second round. Since defeating Sabah Fadai via standing guillotine choke at WSOF 7, Newell has campaigned for a title shot against Gaethje. On Tuesday, he got his wish.

Like Newell, Gaethje comes into the unnamed event with an undefeated 11-0 mark. Their difference is in the finish. Nine of his 11 fight ended by knockout and only one was decided by the judges’ scorecards. It will be Gaethje’s first title defense after winning the inaugural lightweight championship from Rich Patishnock at WSOF 8. The 25-year-old southpaw won by TKO just over a minute into his battle with Patishnock.

Last December, Abdel-Aziz announced that WSOF would air two events on NBC with the first slated for the summer. Since signing a three-year deal with NBC in February 2013, the promotion’s fights air exclusively on NBC Sports Network, including this weekend’s WSOF 9 headlined by Steve Carl and Rousimar Palhares.

Despite the given timeframe, Abdel-Aziz wouldn’t disclose whether the Newell-Gaethje fight would air in primetime.

Stay tuned to Scifighting.com as details for WSOF’s July event emerge.

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Jose Serrano
Born and raised in Santa Ana, California, Jose Serrano has always had a desire to be a journalist. He worked his way from staff writer of the Santa Ana College el Don newspaper to Editor-in-Chief where he led them to nationwide recognition. Individually, Jose gained recognition from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2008 and 2009 for various stories written and pages designed. When he is not writing, Jose find pleasure in watching is beloved Los Angeles Angels. You will also find him reading and taking writing classes. His desire to write about MMA comes from his exposure to it when he was a teenager. As his love for sports continues to grow, so does his need to write about them.