Bellator 225: Newell Is Where He Wants To Be
For Nick Newell, 2018 saw him miss out on a chance to join the UFC via the Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Now heading into Bellator 225, the Connecticut native debuts in his home state for the promotion he wanted to fight for.
“My team reached out to them actually and we made the deal happen,” Newell said of his talks with the Viacom owned organization. “So I let them know that I was interested in fighting and my team reached out and made it happen.”
“I’m not hard to work with. I’m not really too much of a diva. I have the little things that I like and things that I ask for and I feel like there’s always a middle ground in everything so I don’t really argue with people much in person & in business, I always try to keep a level head. I surround myself with the right people so there’s no drama on my end. Bellator’s been really great to me just like every other organization I fought for was great to me.”
“So I’ve always wanted to fight for Bellator,” Newell said of his career that has seen him fight not only on the UFC series, but also for the PFL’s initial World Series Of Fighting iteration.
“They’re on their way to being the biggest show in the world. Their production value is second to none. They put on interesting fights, they have a lot of eye-grabbing things and they were coming to the Webster Bank arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut which is 10 minutes from my house. Everyone dreams of fighting in the arena in their hometown and guess what, I get to make that happen.”
And while it is what Newell wanted, his debut for Bellator is not an easy one, standing across from Corey Browning, a fighter who has yet to see the scorecards in his five pro fights.
“Yeah I mean you can be the hammer or the nail and I’m out here to be the hammer,” the Milford, Connecticut native said of Browning’s propensity for stopping fights. “So he’s shown that he can put people away but he’s shown that he can BE put away.
“I have 17 fights and I’ve stopped 13, 13 of them I think and I’ve only been stopped once and that was from the number 5 guy in the world and that wasn’t like I was like knocked out clean it was just …the fight gave. But for me it’s cool because there was a time in my career when I had as many fights as him and I hadn’t seen the scorecard either so were definitely gonna, I’m going to make sure that he keeps that streak alive and I’m gonna finish him.”
While Newell has the experience advantage, Browning’s first fights inside the Bellator cage came against highly touted prospects, Aaron Chalmers and Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson Jr, defeating both via submission (Chalmers) and TKO (Ferguson).
“Yeah he fought two great athletes,” Newell said of Ferguson and Chalmers. “Both of those guys are very athletic and very explosive. But they lack the composures of the elite. I’m not saying that one day they won’t find it but you know those guys have a lot of attention on them and they just couldn’t keep their cool. And one thing he’s got is that he’s better at that and you know but when he fights me it’s a whole different beast.”
“I have a much more diverse attack than both of those gentlemen I’m definitely on another level in terms of my grappling and my ability to mix it up; striking and the grappling, grappling and the striking, and you know I think I have more knockouts than those guys did too.”
With Browning in-front of him, Newell is not looking past his Bellator 225 opponent but gave FIGHT SPORTS his assessment of current lightweight and featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull.
“I think that Patricio is good, he’s a really good fighter, he hits really hard. He’s got like; he uses his range real low,” Newell said prior to fight week.
“I can’t really say anything bad about the guy he’s an amazing fighter.”
For the full Bellator 225 Card, look below
Bellator 225 Main Card (9 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Matt Mitrione (13-6, 1 NC) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (28-6, 2 NC)
265 lbs.: Vitaly Minakov (21-1) vs. Javy Ayala (11-7)
125 lbs.: Alejandra Lara (7-3) vs. Taylor Turner (2-5)
265 lbs.: Tyrell Fortune (6-0) vs. Rudy Schaffroth (6-0)
170 lbs.: David Rickels (21-5, 2 NC) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (21-0)
Bellator 225 “Prelims” Undercard (7 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Kastriot Xhema (3-3, 1 NC) vs. Rodolfo Rocha (1-2)
155 lbs.: Corey Browning (4-1) vs. Nick Newell (15-2)
185 lbs.: Austin Vanderford (7-0) vs. Joseph Creer (5-0-1)
170 lbs.: Sabah Homasi (11-8) vs. Micah Terrill (13-7)
140 lbs.: Mike Kimbel (3-1) vs. Chris Disonell (0-2)
205 lbs.: Grant Neal (0-0) vs. Alpha Toure (0-0)
170 lbs.: Khonry Gracie (1-1) vs. Oscar Vera (0-1)
135 lbs.: Ricky Bandejas (11-3) vs. Ahmet Kayretli (9-3)
265 lbs.: Timothy Johnson (12-5) vs. Azunna Anyanwu (15-5)
165 lbs.: Aviv Gozali (2-0) vs. Eduard Muravitsky (7-8)
175 lbs.: Jon Manley (9-5) vs. Thiago Rela (10-7)