Lawal will return to the Bellator cage on Feb. 21, when “King
Mo” faces Emanuel
Newton in a Season 8 light heavyweight tournament semifinal at
Bellator announced the pairing Tuesday, revealing that the
205-pound contest will join the Spike TV broadcast alongside a
featherweight headliner between Season 7 finalists Rad
Martinez and Shahbulat
Shamhalaev. Bellator 90 takes place at Maverik Center in Salt
Lake City and marks the promotion’s inaugural trip to the state of
Lawal performed impressively in his Bellator debut last Thursday
against Polish talent Przemyslaw
Mysiala, finishing his opponent with a beautiful right hook
just 3:52 into the first frame. Widely regarded as a heavy favorite
to win Bellator’s Season 8 tournament, the former Strikeforce
champion has tasted defeat just once in 10 pro outings and has
stopped seven of his nine career victims by way of knockout.
Newton advanced to the tournament semifinals by submitting Atanas
Djambazov with a second-round rear-naked choke on Jan. 17. This
marks the Californian’s second run at capturing Bellator gold, as
he was previously ousted in the Summer Series semis by eventual
tournament winner Attila Vegh.
A former Maximum Fighting Championship titlist, Newton has won
seven of his last eight fights and owns eight submission victories
to his credit in nine years of competition.