Newman to Represent STL at World Championships of MMA
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s 2016 World Championships of Amateur MMA are just around the corner and with the governing body fielding Team USA being based in St. Louis, it seems only natural that the Gateway City would have a competing representative.
Damian “D-Man” Newman won’t be the only fighter out of the Missouri/Illinois region, but the fact that he’s fighting again is all the more surprising if you know him. According to available records, Newman had just one fight in the last three years after a bout outside the cage with Hepatitis C.
The illness derailed the then 14-2-1 amateur’s professional debut.
“I have a very good idea of when I got it,” Newman told Brett Auten of KnuckleJunkies.com. “Right before I started getting into fighting I used drugs and I could put my money on it that’s where I got it. Just a short stint, not very long at all, changed my whole life and I had it for six or seven years.”
The St. Louisan has since been medically cleared to return to competition, announcing that return in dramatic fashion. He secured a first round Rear Naked Choke victory over Mark Chappl in under two minutes back in April. Newman could be in the pro ranks in the near future, even if he’s journey had a detour in it.
The World Championships will be shown on UFC Fight Pass during the UFC’s International Fight Week (July 5-10.) The finish of Chappl occurred under St. Louis’ Shamrock FC, who have sent a number of fighters to Bellator.
“…I never felt I was done, so I never quit getting better mentally and physically it only took a few weeks of training to get back to form. I am in better health now having cleared the Hepatitis infection from my body and now it’s just the normal…” he told InsideSTL.
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The 26-year-old father of two has been looking for labor work leading up to the two weeks he will be at the event. He said he doesn’t want to move to fast, wanting to work out any flaws before he hits the pro ranks, but that he is also ready to prove himself.
“I feel I am a fighter who does his best under pressure because I invite it. So I will am excited to have this opportunity to show that I’m ready for the pros. Shamrock and I have been in talks about making the jump with them sometime soon and with the Bellator connections I see it being a smart start.”
“…the IMMAF is showing fighters what’s it’s like at the next level and what is expected of us and it’s something I can appreciate…My future should be bright and exciting. I am a bell to bell fighter. I fight with a fire behind me so I’m coming forward weather my opponent likes it or not. Look forward to watching me break my opponents on my way to the IMMAF World Championship!”
*Additional source: Brett Auten, Editor in Chief of KnuckleJunkies.com
The rest of Team USA is featured below.
Ashley Samples – Strawweight: -52.2 kg (115 lbs) Tracy Cortez – Flyweight: -56.7 kg (125 lbs) Taryn Conklin – Featherweight: -65.8 kg (145 lbs) Male:
Carlos Hernandez and Damien Newman – Flyweight: -56.7 kg (125 lbs) David Evans – Bantamweight: -61.2 kg (135 lbs) Carlos Castro and Orlando Jimenez – Featherweight: -65.8 kg (145 lbs) Sam Agushi – Lightweight: -70.3 kg (155 lbs) Will Starks and Benjamin Bennett – Welterweight: -77.1 kg (170 lbs) Irvin Jones and Dallas Jennings – Middleweight: -83.9 kg (185 lbs) Gary Battle Jr. – Light Heavyweight: -93.0 kg (205 lbs) Jason Simbro – Heavyweight: -120.2 kg (265 lbs) Jonathan Bradberry – Super Heavyweight: +120.2 kg (+265 lbs)
-via UMMAF Press Release (May 31, 2016)