When Emanuel Newton shocked Muhammed Lawal with a first-round spinning back fist KO in their first meeting at Bellator 90, there were many who were anticipating that “King Mo” would get his revenge in the rematch. That didn’t happen at Bellator 106. Newton showed the first time was not a fluke as he defeated Lawal via a unanimous decision to capture the interim light heavyweight title.
Lawal had a solid opening round, going back to his wrestling pedigree as he secured a couple of takedowns. He also landed some well-placed left and right hands in some tight work against the cage. Newton changed the tone of the fight in the second round when he landed a left high kick to the jaw of Lawal that stunned him.
“King Mo” got away from his takedown plans in the final three rounds, and was simply outworked from the outside. Newton landed more strikes and showed a very unorthodox repertoire, although he did pay a couple of times for missed spinning back fists by being taken down. Lawal’s best moments in round five came when he landed some solid punches that left Newton bloodied.
However, Lawal didn’t have the sense of urgency that he needed to score more damage before the final bell.
In the end, all three judges saw the fight 49-46 in Newton’s favor, although Lawal clearly didn’t agree with the verdict. Newton will now face Attila Vegh in a Bellator light heavyweight unification title fight. For all the hype surrounding him, Lawal is now just 3-2 with the promotion.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports