mikhail-zayats.jpgMikhail Zayats has been doing some scouting, and he likes the way things are lined up in front of him.

Zayats (21-6 MMA, 2-0 BFC) on Thursday meets Emanuel Newton (20-7-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC) in Bellator’s Season 8 light heavyweight tournament final. He’s seen what Newton brings to the table, and if he gets past Newton, he knows what a title fight brings to the table, too.

Bellator 94 takes place Thursday at Sun Dome at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The main card, including Zayats-Newton, airs on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com.

“Emanuel Newton is unorthodox and tough, and he’s proven that you can’t underestimate him,” Zayats told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “He is also kind of awkward in everything he does in the fight. He’s unpredictable. He throws punches and kicks in weird trajectories. And he’s very tough.”

Zayats was cage side to watch Newton pull off the year’s biggest MMA upset when he knocked out Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal this past month. But Zayats said the way Lawal was fighting, that knockout didn’t surprise him at all.

So how much, really, can he take from that Newton performance, other than he has some power? He thinks he might be able to finish him.

“During Emanuel Newton’s fight with ‘King Mo,’ we sat next to (Bellator CEO) Bjorn (Rebney) and we told him that if Mo would keep fighting like he was – he was way too relaxed – that he would have problems,” Zayats said. “I think my ground game will be a major advantage over Newton. I also I think I can fight smarter than him. He relies on his instincts too much.”

Of course, his instinct is in part what led to his spinning backfist knockout of Lawal.

Zayats, from Russia, is banking on the tournament win to help him buy a house for his wife and two children. The winner, of course, gets $100,000 in total tournament prize money. But he also gets a shot at light heavyweight champion Attila Vegh, who beat Christian M’Pumbu for the title.

Zayats was in the prediction game when he fought Jacob Noe in the semifinals. He stopped Noe with a first-round submission giving him seven straight wins and back-to-back Bellator stoppages in the United States.

“When I fought Jacob Noe in the semifinals, I thought I would be able to finish him in the first or second round,” he said. “My team and I analyzed what he does in the fight, and we saw a lot of gaps in his game and prepared for them in training. That’s why I was confident that I would be able to submit him.”

Vegh has been where Zayats is trying to go, which is a tournament title. But once he finally got that fight with M’Pumbu, which was delayed multiple times, Zayats fails to see how he was super impressive.

Zayats is nothing if not confident, even though one of his goals as a fighter is to “try to be simple and humble.”

“Attila Vegh is a good, tough fighter, and one whom I would like to beat,” he said. “I was not really impressed with Vegh’s victory over Christian M’Pumbu to become the champion. M’Pumbu fought in a strange way. I don’t know – maybe he had a reason to fight like that. Maybe he was sick or injured. But he didn’t try to do anything in that fight.

“I feel confident that I will beat Attila Vegh if we get to fight.”

For more on Bellator 94, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator Light Heavyweight tournament pairs Linton Vassell vs King Mo, Phil Davis vs Emanuel Newton

  • a day ago
  • 2 views

Fans and fighters alike have waited a long time to hear who the four men in Bellator MMA's 205-pound tournament would be paired off against on Sept. 19, 2015. At long last, we now have our answer. Wh read news >>

Jacare open to UFC title fight at 205 pounds, expects fight against Romero next

  • 20 days ago
  • 14 views

UFC middleweight contender Ronaldo Souza is confident that he will soon hold a UFC belt, regardless of the weight class. Currently riding an eight-fight winning streak, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza might o read news >>

Beneil Dariush, Michael Johnson react to controversial co-main at UFC Fight Night 73

  • 21 days ago
  • 26 views

NASHVILLE – Neither Beneil Dariush nor Michael Johnson were confident of victory after three rounds together in UFC Fight Night 73’s co-main event. Both thought the judges’ scores could go either way read news >>

Glory featherweight title fight added to 'Bellator MMA: Dynamite' event

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 views

Another title will be at stake in the "Bellator MMA: Dynamite" card in San Jose. The hybrid MMA and kickboxing event on Sept. 19 will feature another Glory title fight as featherweight champion Gabri read news >>

Bellator MMA: 'Dynamite 1' card adds Gabriel Varga vs Serhiy Adamchuk GLORY featherweight title fight

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 views

Another GLORY title fight has been announced for the Bellator MMA: "Dynamite" card on Sept. 19, 2015. GLORY Featherweight Champion Gabriel Varga will defend his title against Serhiy Adamchuk in the k read news >>

Latest Bellator 141 fight card and rumors for 'Guillard vs Girtz' on Spike TV

  • 24 days ago
  • 9 views

Two Lightweights collide in the main event of Bellator 141: "Guillard vs. Girtz," which is scheduled to go down inside Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif., on Aug. 28, 2015. The Spike TV-tel read news >>

Anderson Silva confident testing inconsistencies will help clear name

  • 24 days ago
  • 16 views

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva believes that testing irregularities will help clear his name. After months of inexplicable delays, Anderson Silva will finally determine whether he wi read news >>

Ilima Macfarlane Moves Past 'Soccer Mom' Viral Video with New Bellator Contract

  • 25 days ago
  • 49 views

The crazy part about the way it all ended up going down is that Ilima Macfarlane just wanted a fight. She'd fought six times as an amateur. At Team Hurricane Awesome, Macfarlane's San Diego-based gym read news >>

Ronda Rousey Losing UFC Fans' Interest, Claims Confident Miesha Tate

  • 26 days ago
  • 40 views

Ronda Rousey’s punishing displays in the Octagon may have made her instantly recognisable for casual sports fans across the globe, but according to Miesha Tate, a lot of UFC fanatics are becoming a l read news >>

Bellator 141 Fight Card Complete with the Addition of Four New Bouts

  • 27 days ago
  • 11 views

August 28's Bellator 141: Guillard vs. Girtz is now complete with the addition of four new bouts which will take place during the preliminary card. read news >>