One-handed fighter Marney Maxx proud to be called ‘Brazilian Nick Newell’ after viral head kick KO


After being born with a congenital amputation of his left arm, a young man turned to martial arts in search for a better life.

Then, following a highlight-reel finish in MMA, he became an overnight sensation.

Sound familiar?

Marney Maxx is the proud Brazilian Nick Newell .”


After a crushing head-kick defeat of Deivid Costa, in Salvador (Brazil),

Maxx was the headline in January. His win drew a post on social media from his biggest idol, Newell, who referred to the Brazilian lightweight as his “fellow one-handed fighter.”

“[It was] awesome,” Maxx told MMA Fighting. We try to inspire people that they are capable of overcoming the challenges and daily struggles. Being Nick Newell is an incredible honor. I keep telling myself I’m a badass, and no one can take me down [laughs]. Only God can, and I know he doesn’t want to.”

Maxx, 33, began training martial arts in his native Fortaleza at early age, however he wasn’t very successful in his first few attempts.

But Newell was inspired by his MMA journey in XFC, WSOF and MMA.

“I started in kung fu and didn’t do well,” Maxx said. Maxx said, “I had trouble breathing and was often knocked out by people.” Then I began training Muay Thai and won everything, but still wanted more. After seeing Nick Newell fight, I decided to take up MMA.

“I was getting submitted all the time. Then I realized that I wanted to train jiu jitsu to become Nick’s equal. And then ‘Notorious” reached out and we talked. Man, I have no words.”

Maxx is expected to return to the cage on March 22 against a yet-to-be-determined opponent at Argentina’s Ragnarok event.

In the interim, he sells Jelly Beans in Fortaleza. He hopes to get enough money to cover his travel and camp costs in Argentina. After obtaining a loan to help pay for the flight from Salvador to Costa earlier in the year, he was able to buy jelly beans to make ends meet.

” I’ve considered giving up,” Maxx stated. It’s a pain to try and make my dreams come true, but I still have to come home exhausted and without enough money. It’s very tiresome. I had to stop teaching classes to train for this fight. Since I was young, I have been trying to find a way in society. It’s difficult .”


With an MMA record of 4-4, Maxx may never reach the top of the world in the sport. Maxx hopes that he can finally become a fighter full-time and realize his goals.

“I had an anxiety crisis and was depressed,” Maxx said. “I wasn’t motivated, but then I had this chance in a big promotion. People didn’t believe in me, and I used that as fuel to go there and win. When I think about giving up, God gives me strength to continue.”


Photo via Demo Fight