"Notorious" Nick Newell retired from cage-fighting in 2015, citing injuries and a decline in performance. But after two years of letting his body heal and getting his mind clear, the Connecticut native has decided to return to the fight game. He's back in great spirits and perfect health.
The now 31-year-old inked a deal with Legacy Fighting Alliance late in 2017, and his first fight with the promotion has finally been announced to the public. Newell, a former World Series of Fighting lightweight contender, makes his hotly-anticipated promotional debut on March 9 against Sonny "Loco" Luque.
Newell went 13-1 in his six years as a pro between 2009 and 2015, finishing the likes of Eric Reynolds and David Mays. The lone loss on his resume came at the hands of current UFC star Justin "The Highlight" Gaethje. As for Luque, the 36-year-old is a well-rounded fighter with multiple wins by submission and knockouts on his resume.
"Loco" is coming off a knockout win last year over Irak Cueto. No one can say for sure how the Newell vs. Luque scrap will play out because the "Notorious" one has been away from the sport of MMA for so long. Some deal with cage rust better than others. What we do know is that Newell is a former world champion, and no stranger to the bright lights of AXS TV. The hard-hitting talent appeared regularly on the channel during his tenure with XFC.
The fight, which will reportedly be contested at a catchweight of 160 pounds, is slated for the historic Arena Theatre in Houston. Newell's bout is expected to serve as the co-main of "LFA 35, which airs live and free on AXS TV. In the main event of the evening, Sabina Mazo fights Silvana Juárez in women's flyweight action.