Nick Newell might not challenge newly-minted World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje for the lightweight title, after all.
Recent reports indicated that the lightweight standout Newell had been granted a title shot against Gaethje, but WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz said nothing is official just yet.
"I said this is a fight, I think Nick Newell deserves it, but I have to talk to both camps," Abdelaziz told Bleacher Report. "It's going to be a timing issue."
Newell last fought at WSOF 7, where he submitted Sabah Fadai in Round 1 via guillotine choke. The win placed Newell in the lightweight title picture, but Abdelaziz said he does not know if Newell and his camp would be willing to wait until the summer for a potential showdown with Gaethje.
"I don't know if Nick Newell will want to wait this long—until June or July," Abdelaziz said. "I just have to be sure both guys agree and it fits our TV schedule. It has to make sense all around because it's such a big fight. It would go down in the summer, but it's not confirmed yet."
Newell, for his part, said he is open to any road that leads him to the title.
"Yeah, absolutely (I'd wait for the title shot)," Newell told Bleacher Report. "I'm willing to fight him; it's just whenever they book it. If I have to beat somebody else first to get a title shot, I'll do that, too. I'm down with whatever."
At 11-0 with 10 first-round finishes, Newell boasts a championship resume.
A fight with Gaethje, however, would represent the toughest test of Newell's career to this point, and the consequences of this showdown could either completely legitimize his spotless record or cause detractors to point out that he was over-hyped all along.
If Newell and Abdelaziz get their way, we will find out this summer in what will be a hotly-anticipated lightweight showdown between two undefeated juggernauts.