Nick Newell, a congenital amputee with a left arm that extends just below his elbow, fought Tuesday night in Las Vegas for a chance at a UFC contract. The MMA fighter, 14-1 heading into the bout with Alex Munoz, had dominated the regional circuit over the years and finally had his chance at attaining his lifelong dream. UFC President Dana White once said Newell would never fight for the organization. Now was his opportunity to prove him -- and many other doubters -- wrong.
ESPN photographer Daniel Martinez spent time over the last week with Newell in West Haven, Connecticut, and Las Vegas as he prepared for, and competed in, the biggest fight of his career.
Nick Newell prepares for his training session by putting on shin guards ahead of some striking practice. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell works with some resistance bands during his training session in preparation for his upcoming match on July 24. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Working on his ground game, Newell trains with a teammate on some grappling. Daniel Martinez for ESPN A sign at his gym in West Haven, Connecticut, highlights the upcoming fights of members of the gym; Newell is proudly displayed. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell fills out the official pre-fight medical questionnaire prior to his official weigh-in for Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell takes to the scale during his official weigh-in on Monday. He came in at 155.25 pounds. Daniel Martinez for ESPN A can of Campbell's soup is Newell's post-weigh-in meal. This is his first bit of carbohydrates over the past couple of days, provided by head coach Jeremy Libiszewski. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Working with Libiszewski, Newell practices some high knees in hopes that he will get an opportunity to use them in his fight for a UFC contract. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell's coaches watch the previous fights while mentally preparing for the task at hand. Newell stays warm and continues to move around until he's ready to go. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell makes his way to the Octagon for his fight against Alex Munoz and a chance at a UFC contract. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell and Munoz wrestle in their "Contender Series" match on July 24. Daniel Martinez for ESPN. Munoz, in a dominant position, rains down some hammer fists, striking Newell a few times in the early rounds. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell sizes up his opponent at the beginning of the third round following a blow from Munoz, which cut him under his left eye. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell's family and friends who came out to support him during his fight. Daniel Martinez for ESPN After a tough first two rounds, Newell takes to the offensive in hopes of scoring a knockdown or knockout during the last 20 seconds of the fight. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Knowing how the fight went, Newell immediately falls to his back after realizing that he is going to lose by decision. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell is seen by doctors directly following his unanimous decision loss to Munoz. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Riding the escalator after losing his match, Newell closes his eyes for a quick moment of reflection. Daniel Martinez for ESPN Newell enjoys a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich for dinner after a tough but unfortunate loss to Munoz. Daniel Martinez for ESPN
Waiting for an Uber ride back to their their hotel, Newell and some of his team look forward to getting some rest after a long day. Daniel Martinez for ESPN