According to XFC President John Prisco, current XFC Lightweight Champion Nick Newell, refused to defend his title against Scott Holtzman, causing him to strip the fighter of the title and share some less than flattering thoughts on the matter in a post on the XFC website:
"Nick built his name on fighters who were willing to step up and fight him. And now, the opportunity he received, he is not willing to extend to Scott, even though they both carry the same XFC record (4-0). To me, that’s hypocritical and I have zero respect and no room for any individual that acts like that in my organization."
"I think Nick knows what I believe. He was going to lose. Nick knows he can’t defend himself when someone like Scott puts him on his back. I believe Scott is one of the most talented 155ers on the planet. He’s training on the west coast right now with Benson Henderson for that very reason. In my eyes, I saw the fight going 1st round stoppage – Holtzman by ground and pound."
According to Newell however, he never agreed to such a title fight and in fact was coming to the end of his contract with the intention of leaving to pursue his own increasingly larger ambitions. With his career and future in MMA on his mind, Newell had the following to say to MMAFighting.com regarding the situation and Prisco's comments:
"My contract is up and I chose not to go back to XFC," he said. "It's not about Scott Holtzman, certainly not. It's more so about me wanting to go somewhere that will guide me where I want to go. I want to go to the UFC. There was an interview with Dana White. I'm sure many people remember, and he said, 'Well, has he beaten anyone that was in the UFC?' And the answer's no, because I haven't had the opportunity to fight someone that was in the UFC. At 27 years old, I want to get to the top as soon as I can. No more playing around. I want to fight the guys who will get me where I want to be."
According to the report, upon refUSAl Prisco offered Newell a better deal but the fighter's management just wasn't content with the amount offered. With no champion present to defend the belt, Prisco is forced to have Scott Holtzman fight an as of yet unknown opponent for the now vacant XFC Lightweight title at an upcoming June 14th event.
Regardless of the manner with which the situation occured and the words which were stated by Prisco, Newell took the high ground ins responding with the following statement:
"I don’t have anything bad to say about the XFC. As a person, [John] says he respects me. I owe a lot to XFC. I was a no-name when I first came up, but I moved on. I'm moving forward with my career. He’s going to say I’m scared or whatever because he has a fight to promote. I don’t blame him. I’m not really mad or angry as much as I am upset that he'd say something like that because if you asked him before my last fight if i was scared, or if I wasn't tough, he’d never say that. He's just saying that to make his own guys look better, and I don't blame him."
Newell who has recently been training hard at American Top Team will now be looking forward to his next endeavour and plans on sharing that information with the fans when it happens. As far as his training and confidence goes, both have never been better according tot he fighter:
"Hanging with these [ATT} guys is a good way to gauge where you're at. There's a lot of great fighters here. You can ask anyone from the team. You can call up [head instructor Ricardo] Liborio right now. He’ll tell you I’m ready."
Stay tuned to Lowkick to find out where the next step of Nick Newell's career happens to take him.