Newell received his opportunity last July when selected to fight in
Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series, a feeder program
that sends top performers directly to the UFC. Newell, a congenital
left-arm amputee, suffered a unanimous decision loss to Alex Munoz
and hasn't competed since.
Newell is back now, ready to debut for the Rhode Island-based
combat sports promotion Classic Entertainment & Sports. Initially
scheduled to fight Kalvin
Hackney, "Notorious" will now face 32-year-old Antonio
Castillo Jr. at
CES MMA 56.
"The Mexican Muscle" holds a record of 10-11, losing his last four
fights in a row. Newell admitted recently to MMA Junkie Radio
that he is "taking a step back" by fighting for a regional
promotion like CES, but doesn't devalue the strength of the east
coast league, especially since his May 31 bout will stream live on
UFC Fight Pass.
Despite the DWTNCS setback, Newell, a new father, is still focused
on moving forward with his career, "I don't want to stand still. I
don't want to fight and be in the same spot. So at CES, I have to
make a statement."
Newell hopes that putting on a strong performance at CES will catch
the attention of top MMA promotions like the Professional Fighters
League (formerly WSOF), Bellator, and of course, the UFC. Newell,
33, wants the big leagues to see what he can do and "reach out to
me and be like, 'Damn, I want this guy.'"