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By Bob Teal, MMATorch Specialist
This week, we will take a look at the career of the very accomplished Carlos "The Ronin" Newton. Carlos was born in Anguilla, a small island just west of Puerto Rico. Newton moved to Toronto as a young boy, a stark contrast to the beaches and warmth of the Caribbean. He grew up in the infamous Jane and Finch section of Toronto, Canada. This area is known for having an elevated number of immigrants, and contains an extremely high concentration of gangs. Despite his surroundings Carlos began his training in martial arts during his elementary school years, and would eventually compete in grappling tournaments around the world including the Abu Dhabi Combat Club. Martial Arts truly were a way out for him.
Newton fights with a graceful, technical, and very intelligent grappling style which he nicknamed Dragonball Jiu-Jitsu, a tribute to his affection for the Japanese anime comic and cartoon series. Carlos began his mixed martial arts career in 1996 at the tender age of 19. He has fought all over the world for almost every major promotion including the UFC, Pride, K1 and the IFL. His overall record stands at 16 wins and 14 losses.
Newton has fought a veritable who's who of old school and current superstars of mixed martial arts including Dave Menne, Kazushi Sakuraba, Renzo Gracie, Pat Miletich, Matt Linland, Matt Hughes, Dan Henderson and Anderson Silva. In fact the Ronin had been dominating his match against Anderson Silva right up until he caught a flying knee to the head. He then ate several more punches before the ref stepped in.
Newton is a former UFC welterweight champion. He captured the belt via submission over Pat Miletich in 2001. His reign as champion only lasted 6 months however, as he was bested by Matt Hughes in November of the same year. During the second round of the championship bout against Hughes he caught Matt in a triangle choke. While in the triangle an almost unconscious Matt Hughes picked Newton up and pressed him against the cage. No longer able to hold Newton up Matt slammed Carlos down to the mat knocking him out. Hughes basically had to come to before realizing that he had just become the UFC Welterweight Champion!
In 2006 The IFL (International Fight League) was founded by Kurt Otto and Gareb Shamus who was the creator of Wizard magazine. The league focused on a team concept so that fans could more easily follow their team throughout a season until an ultimate champion was decided. Newton was tapped to be the coach of the Toronto Dragons. His team did not win the championship even with fighters like Wagney Fabiano and Joe Doerksen on his squad. As a coach Carlos fought twice in the IFL falling both times to fellow coaches Renzo Gracie and Matt Linland respectively.
In recent years Carlos has been working full time as an architect despite studying Geriatric Medicine in college. Newton currently fights and teaches out of a couple schools located near where he grew up in Ontario, Canada.
Most recently he squared off against Shonie "Mr. International" Carter at the W1: High Voltage show on October 10, 2009 at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec. The fight was supposed to be for the W1 welterweight championship belt but The Ronin came in over weight and the match was scaled back to a three round non-title bout. Despite being over weight Newton was able to earn a decision victory over Carter.
After the fight Carlos gave an interview to Sherdog. When asked about his future plans, he said he does not have any opponents lined up but he is apparently planning to put his full-time job on hold to begin training full-time. His objective is to remain in the welterweight division as he expressed embarrassment at not being able to make weight stating this was the first time that this has occurred in his career. His hope is to see an improvement in competition by heading overseas to Japan and possibly fighting for a bigger promotion in the land of the rising sun.
Carlos Newton is only 33 years old but is considered a legend among hardcore MMA fans. His skill and personality were apparent from the very first time he stepped into a ring back in 1996. Furthermore, a committed and focused Carlos Newton is absolutely a contender in the welterweight division of any promotion. Can he become champion once again in the very sport he has helped to define?
Bob Teal is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring you up to date on fighters you might have forgotten about or perhaps never even knew. I welcome any feedback and suggestions you have. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
[Carlos Newton photo credit Wade Keller (c) MMATorch]
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