Muhammed Lawal-Emanuel Newton rematch for interim title on Bellator 106 PPV
by Matt Erickson on Aug 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm ET
Bellator MMA has another big rematch set for its first pay-per-view card.
(11-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) and Emanuel Newton
(21-7-1 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) will meet for the promotion's interim light heavyweight title at Bellator 106 in November. Promotion officials on Thursday announced the new fight booking.
Bellator 106 takes place Nov. 2 at Long Beach Arena in California with a main card on pay-per-view – the first paid broadcast effort from the California-based promotion. The card is headlined by a light heavyweight fight between former UFC champions Quinton Jackson
and Tito Ortiz
. Plus, earlier this week Bellator announced it had patched things up with former champion Eddie Alvarez
, who will rematch champ Michael Chandler
for the title on the main card.
"King Mo" has won back-to-back fights after his shocking knockout upset loss to Newton in Bellator's Season 8 light heavyweight tournament semifinals. Newton hit Lawal with a spinning back fist in February and shut him down. Lawal was a 10-to-1 favorite in the fight.
But since then, the former Strikeforce champion has gone through Seth Petruzelli
with a first-round knockout in the "Summer Series" 4-man tournament semifinals, then Jacob Noe
with a third-round TKO in July to win the tourney.
Lawal's tournament win put him in line behind Newton in the light heavyweight pecking order. But with champion Attila Vegh
sidelined with a shoulder injury, Bellator will have an interim belt contested for the first time.
"Listen, I'm going to be real honest about this," Lawal stated. "Emanuel is fake as hell. He runs his mouth about being a black skinhead or something, and likes to act real hard. He's as hard as baby s--t. I'm going to destroy this guy. He landed a shot on me in our first fight, nothing more than that. I'm better than him in every facet of the game. I didn't even shoot on him that first fight. I can take this fight anywhere I want it, and I will. It's over. I'm taking that belt in Long Beach, bringing it back to Las Vegas, and no one is getting it back. Not Vegh, Not 'Rampage.' Not Tito. Not anyone. It's mine. Payback is a b---h, Emanuel."
Newton took a six-fight win streak into a 2012 "Summer Series" tournament semifinal against Vegh and dropped a split decision. But since then, the Reign Training Center product and former Maxiumum Fighting Championship titleholder has won three straight, all in the Season 8 tourney.
Newton submitted Atanas Djambazov
in January, scored a strong candidate for "Upset of the Year" when he dropped Lawal in February, then won the tournament with a unanimous decision win over Mikhail Zayats
in March. Now he gets a chance to prove his first win over Lawal was no fluke.
"I'm not going to spout off and trash 'Mo' – I don't have to do that," Newton stated. "I know 'Mo' is going to run his mouth and try to sell his game, but I don't have anything to prove. I'm the one that knocked him out, and he's the one that has to deal with that loss on his record, not me. I did it once, and I'm going to do it again, this time on an even bigger stage. History likes to repeat itself, and Nov. 2, Mo's going to have to deal with another big loss on his record."
Rebney this past week said Bellator would be trying to stack the pay-per-view's main card with a lot of five-round title fights, and after Chandler-Alvarez at lightweight, this is the second.
"The energy in the arena when Newton dropped 'Mo' with that spinning back fist was simply awesome," Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. "To be able to have this rematch take place on our first pay-per-view is something we couldn't pass up. With 'Mo' and Emanuel winning our previous two light heavyweight tournaments, the timing was perfect for this rematch to add another incredibly intriguing storyline to this huge night of fights."
For more on "Bellator 106: Rampage vs. Tito
," stay tuned to the MMA Rumors
section of the site.