Nick Newell is Leaving the XFC; Decision Came Down to What's Best for Newell's Career

MMA Weekly
Nick Newell is Leaving the XFC; Decision Came Down to What's Best for Newell's Career
Nick Newell is Leaving the XFC; Decision Came Down to What's Best for Newell's Career

XFC president John Prisco on Friday revealed that he stripped lightweight champion Nick Newell of his belt for refusing to defend it.

He placed Newell’s reasoning for turning down the fight on the idea that Newell knew he was going to lose to No. 1 contender Scott Holtzman, and therefore avoided the bout at all costs.

“I think Nick knows what I believe. He was going to lose,” said Prisco. “Nick knows he can’t defend himself when someone like Scott puts him on his back. In my eyes, I saw the fight going first-round stoppage.”

Newell’s manager, Angelo Bodetti of Hero Sports Management, has an entirely different perspective on the situation, seeing the banter about his fighter not wanting to step in the cage with Holtzman as promotional posturing.

“It really had nothing to do with the Scott Holtzmans of the world and it had everything to do with what's the next fight and what's the fight after that,” Bodetti told “Where is his career gonna go? What is the platform for his fights going to be? Things like that.

“Nick only has one fight left on his contract, so immediately following Nick's last fight we started contract negotiations. Obviously, they're not going to let Nick fight unless he's under a long-term contract.

“So it really has nothing to do with the opponent, and everything to do with the direction his career is heading.”

XFC is a growing promotion with an AXS TV deal, but Newell has been clear for some time, his end game is the UFC. The moves that he and his management are making always resolve to that key point: Nick Newell wants to fight in the UFC.

They felt that the XFC was no longer the best option for him to continue forging a path to the Octagon.

Newell has yet to determine what his next step is, but he’s fielded offers from several promotions. The one he selects, however, will be one that he feels best aligns with his end game.

Since they no longer felt that XFC was the best option, Newell and his management decided to pull the plug now, trying not to leave the XFC in dire straights when it comes to the promotion’s June 14 event in Florida, where Newell and Holtzman were expected to fight.

“There is no announcement to make on what he's doing next because we're still deciding on that,” said Bodetti. “(But) we were pretty comfortable in the fact that it wasn't going to be with the XFC, so we just wanted to make sure that they knew and they had enough time to do what they had to.

“We wanted to make sure that we didn't do this at such an awful time that the whole card would be in jeopardy.”

And while it may not sound like it from the some of the comments that have been made publicly, Bodetti said there are really no hard feelings over this decision… at least from his perspective.

Despite the promotional banter going out across the Internet, he believes the professional relationship between his client and the XFC is still a healthy one.

“Nick is very appreciative to XFC. He wouldn't be anywhere near where he is without that platform and without the time and the effort that they put into him,” Bodetti stated.

“The XFC has been absolutely nothing but professional and they have done nothing but right by us and right by Nick,” he continued.

“The whole Nick doesn't want to fight Scott, that's promotion. At the end of the day, there's the promotional side and there's the professional/personal side, and the professional/personal side has been nothing but great.”

(Follow @KenPishna on Twitter)

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