Jim Abbott, the legendary one-handed MLB pitcher, offered his congratulations to one-handed fighter Nick Newell, who won his Bellator debut on the preliminary card of Bellator 225.
Nick Newell earned plenty of congratulations for a successful Bellator MMA debut at Bellator 225, and that included a message from a hero of his — former MLB pitcher Jim Abbott.
Newell competed in the featured bout of the Bellator 225 preliminary card, taking on Corey Browning. Newell managed to get Browning against the cage and took him down, eventually securing a choke for a first-round submission win.
After the fight, Newell delivered a speech from the heart, saying that he had answered to those who said he could never accomplish competing in a major MMA promotion due to having only one hand.
And if there’s anyone who can echo those sentiments about overcoming what many may feel is impossible, it’s Abbott, who joined members of the MMA community in praising Newell.
“Well done, [Nick Newell],” Abbott tweeted. “Damn it you’re just the best. Never ever give up.”
Despite being born without a right hand, Abbott went on to pitch in ten MLB seasons, playing from 1989 until 1999, and spending time with four teams: the California (now Los Angeles) Angels (two times), the Chicago White Sox (two times), the New York Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers. On Sept. 4, 1993, during his time with the Yankees, Abbott pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.
Making his MMA debut in 2009, Newell won 13 of his first 14 fights, with his only loss coming to Justin Gaethje — who was the WSOF lightweight champion at the time — before announcing retirement in October 2015.
After a win over Sonny Luque in March 2018, Newell earned the chance to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series, but he lost a decision to Alex Munoz. Before tonight, Newell rebounded with a submission of Antonio Castillo Jr. at CES MMA 56 in May.
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