Emanuel Newton thought Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal didn’t take him serious in their Bellator 90 encounter, resulting in the shocking knockout. Newton used a spinning back fist to hand Lawal his first knockout loss and advanced to the finals of the Season 8 light heavyweight tournament.
“I think it was cockiness more than anything,” said Newton on MMA Junkie Radio. “I’m not going to say [he was] full of himself, but in his mind there was no way I was going to beat him.”
Lawal has taken criticism by some who said he kept his hands low, which allowed Newton to take the first round win. Lawal has denied those reports and said he simply wasn’t the better fighter that night.
The win places Newton in the finals against Mikhail Zayats. They have believed to meet at Bellator 95, the final card for Season 8. That date hasn’t been made official by Bellator officials.