I’m used to seeing slanted stories in the political world, but it’s interesting when it happens in MMA. Check out this article, ‘XFC lightweight champion Nick Newell unwilling to defend title, stripped of belt.’

In a lengthy statement posted on the promotion’s website and various media platforms, Prisco claims Newell is unwilling to compete against Holtzman out of fear. Says Prisco:

“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.”

Meanwhile, Nick Newell’s side of the story clarifies what I think is a key point:

First of I AM NOT UNDER CONTRACT WITH THE XFC. XFC promoted a fight that didn’t exist yet.

The headlines are misleading and imply that I was stripped of my title because I refused to fight when in fact I just chose not to renew my contract with the XFC. I am not scared to fight anybody. I have been through too much in my life to be scared of any man. All you have to do is look at one of my fights to see my heart & my fearless style. This has nothing to do with me being scared. It is more so just an attempt to bully me into a contract.

XFC trash talking me and trying to slander my name upsets me more then anything but they are promoters. XFC is promoting, thats what they do. They have to try and make their guys look as good as possible and I’m not one of their guys so it is at my expense.

Rumor has it Newell is angling for a UFC contract, which would certainly explain why he isn’t jumping back into another deal with the XFC.