Connecticut heartthrob "Notorious" Nick Newell (13-1) is taking his talents to Legacy Fighting Alliance. The 31-year-old announced earlier this week that he's coming out of retirement for a chance to cement his legacy as one of the best 155-pound fighters in the world, and convince fans that he's one of the greatest of all-time.
A veteran of such high-level promotions as World Series of Fighting and XFC, Newell walked away from cage-fighting in 2015 after injuries piled up. But now after two years away, his body is back in peak shape and the itch to compete was too great to deny.
The "Notorious" one wanted back into the fight game, and signing with LFA made the most sense. Why not another promotion? First of all, Newell's previous employer -- World Series of Fighting -- is no more. "WSOF" became the Professional Fighters League in 2017, and most of the marquee names from the promotion's old regime jumped shipped to the UFC.
David Branch, Marlon Moraes and Justin Gaethje -- the top World Series of Fighting athletes from when Newell was with the promotion -- have all moved on. The hard-hitting hunk probably could have inked a deal with the newly-formed PFL, but Legacy Fighting Alliance provides him with the best opportunity to earn a call-up to the UFC.
For Newell, the goal is still to compete against the top talent available at 155 pounds. LFA -- and eventually the UFC -- could help make that dream come true. Newell says his LFA debut will likely come in the first quarter of 2018. As for an opponent, no one can say for sure just yet who he'll be matched with. LFA has seen some solid young talent emerge in recent months at lightweight, with Jonathan Wyderko, Dakota Bush and Trey Ogden all picking up wins.
Any of those three would make for an interesting first test for Newell. What we do know for sure is that "Notorious" has always been a big draw at the box office, particularly with female fight fans. The sex appeal and excitement he'll bring to LFA will absolutely put butts in seats and elevate television ratings to levels the promotion has never seen before.