On Monday (following a report from MMAjunkie) it was announced that the phenom Newell will fight Kalvin Hackney at CES MMA 56 in Connecticut on May 31st. The card will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass, which came to an agreement to broadcast the regional promotion’s shows earlier this year.
Newell (14-2) is one of the sport’s most inspirational figures. A congenital amputee who was born without the lower portion of his left arm, Newell was able to win the XFC lightweight title on the regional scene before landing a spot on the World Series of Fighting roster. He challenged Justin Gaethje for the WSOF belt in 2014, losing by TKO against the current UFC contender.
The 33-year-old won twice more after the Gaethje defeat, then announced his retirement from MMA in 2015. Newell returned to competition on a Legacy Fighting Alliance card in March of 2018, tapping out Sonny Luque in two minutes. Having been shot down by Dana White in 2013 as someone who’d never be signed by the UFC, Newell got a spot on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series against Alex Munoz. Unfortunately for Nick, he dropped a unanimous decision and thus would not get that UFC contract.
Newell’s next opponent, Kalvin Hackney (17-5), is first and foremost not related to UFC groin shot expert Keith Hackney. As for his actual fighting career, Hackney has won his last three bouts, including a decision over Josh Davila earlier this month. He’s fought on Bellator MMA, Titan FC, and Legacy FC shows over the years.
CES MMA 56 is headlined by featherweight champion Bruce Boyington against Dan Dubuque.