Having wrestled since the age of five, and residing in Las Vegas, Ryder Newman has been surrounded by the fight game for nearly his whole life. And now while he’s not far into his professional MMA journey, Newman enters the 29th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” with a winning streak and experience training with some of the best fighters in the world.
Newman was a state, regional and national wrestling champion while at Green Valley High School before going on to have a praiseworthy collegiate career. A five-time All-American, Newman had stints at West Virginia University and the University of Wyoming, with a year spent at the Olympic Training Center, wrestling as part of Team USA.
“I was the kid who grew up fighting a lot my whole life,” Newman said at a media day for TUF participants. “I was always the guy at the parties and stuff fighting. It’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, something that I love.”
Reflecting on his time in wrestling, Newman recalled having practices at Xtreme Couture and being influenced by the MMA around him and knowing it was a sport he wanted to get involved in.
Xtreme Couture would soon come back to him as he got his MMA career afoot. It was recommended to him while training under Robert Drysdale alongside Brad Tavares and Kevin Lee, and that’s when he ran into Eric Nicksick, MMA coach and gym manager at Xtreme Couture, who essentially took Newman under his wing. Now Newman finds himself training with the likes of Tavares, Eryk Anders, Dan Ige and current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou.
“Rhino” dropped his professional MMA debut, getting knocked out by Mitch Ramirez (3-0) in about two minutes. He’d rebound, however, with a 42-second knockout of Isaiah Warner (0-1). Newman fought twice in 2020, scoring unanimous decisions over Chris Crosby (3-3) and Brandon Lopez (3-1) in Global Legion FC.
“I’m violent, I’m aggressive. I’m going to try to slam you on your head and when I slam you on your head, I’m going to try to pound your face in,” Newman told UFC.com when explaining his fight style. “I bring the action, and from the second that bell rings I’m coming for you.”
With his wrestling credentials and the MMA experience surrounding him as mentors and training partners, perhaps Newman can prove it’s his time to enter the UFC.