WSOF 4: Nick Newell Says “It’s My Time Right Now”, Keon Caldwell Expecting “Fireworks” in Lightweight Tilt
By Kelsey Mowatt
Nick Newell is certainly used to the spotlight, and when the undefeated lightweight steps into the cage Saturday to fight Keon Caldwell at World Series of Fighting 4, it’s going to be that much brighter. Not only has Newell captured attention throughout his career due to his accomplishments, but the fighter recently had a highly publicized split from the Xtreme Fighting Championship. Newell was looking to land a high profile fight next, and the 27 year-old found it with WSOF.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to fight on such a big show, on a great network and a lot of people paying attention,” Newell said during a recent media call for the August 10th WSOF, which will see him take on Keon Caldwell. “The stakes are high and the opponent’s great and it’s just the challenge I’ve been looking for.”
“When you put two guys in there who don’t hold anything back and go for the finish as soon as that bell rings than you’re going to have fireworks and you’re going to have a great fight,” added Newell, who is a congenital amputee that is missing his left hand and part of his forearm. “I can’t wait to go out there and have some fun and do my thing.”
WSOF 4 will be broadcast live on The NBC Sports Network, which could provide Newell and the card’s other competitors significant exposure.
“I’m excited to be fighting on such a large stage. It’s a big network that everyone gets where all my friends and family can watch. It’s a great opportunity and I can’t wait to take advantage of the opportunity. The higher the stakes and the bigger the fight, the better I fight. I’m really excited to go out there and fight and put on an exciting fight for the fans.”
Caldwell has a similar record to Newell, except for the fact that he has one loss to go along with nine wins. The 23 year-old fighter’s only defeat in ten bouts came against Dhiego Lima, who is the younger brother of Bellator star Douglas.
“I don’t really know what to expect from Keon or what he’s been working on or how much better he’s gotten,” said Newell. “From his previous fights I know he’s won with his striking and that he has good power. He’s finished fights on the ground as well. I’m just expecting everything. He’s coming down from 170 so he’s used to fighting bigger guys. It’s a tough fight, a definite challenge. I’ve been training with some really big guys and I’m really coming into my own as a mixed martial artist. I feel like it’s my time right now and I have to make the most of my opportunity.”
While Newell hasn’t competed since December, when he tapped out Eric Reynolds at XFC 21, Caldwell hasn’t fought since July, 2011, when he stopped Jonathan Baldree.
“I’ve been off for two years, but I’ve been on the ground and really never stopped,” said Caldwell, who made his pro debut in 2007 and has won nine bouts via TKO or KO. “Right now I’m in the best condition that I ever was before.”
“I think Nick and I will put on an awesome show,” added Caldwell. “I think there will be some fireworks once we get into the ring.”
WSOF 4 will be hosted by the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, and will be headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between Tyrone Spong and Angel DeAnda.