Back in July, WSOF champion Justin Gaethje handed Nick Newell his first loss of his professional MMA career. After nearly 5 months on the shelf since the loss, Newell is ready to return to the cage and put the division on notice with a big win, however, WSOF matchmaker and VP Ali Abdelaziz has other plans for Newell.
He spoke to MMAFighting:
“He’s an expensive guy, and to be honest with you, I want to give him a fight to get back on track and normally when you have one fight left on your contract, a promoter gives you a fight you can lose. I don’t want to play this game with Nick.”
“If I match him up to rebuild him, most likely I’m going to give him a good fight. He’ll have a chance to win. It has to make business sense for both of us. If I was his management, you’ve gotta be smart. I would get Nick Newell to three wins or two wins and after that, he’ll start making his money back again.
“To fight for more money, you’ve gotta fight top guys. You can’t fight lower-tier guys. You have to have a strategy to build your brand back up.”
“If I give Nick Newell a fight and he loses again, there’s not going to be too many people that care about Nick Newel. But if Nick Newell gets two, three wins, people are gonna be like, ‘Wow, I want to see Nick Newell fight again.'”
Newell on the other hand doesn’t necessarily agree.
“The thing I care about now most — more than anything — is I just want to fight. It’s not sitting well in my stomach this last fight. I’m ready to just show the real me and make a statement.”
“I just want to stay active. I want to fight like five times a year. I know that’s probably not going to happen, but whatever. I want to go wherever I can make the most money, too. That’s definitely a motivating factor. Obviously, the UFC is a great opportunity to make that and prove how good I am, too. Anywhere they have elite competition and I can get paid well is cool.”
For the record, in 2012, UFC President Dana White said Newell he would “never” sign Newell.