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

After split over Santos, Bellator's undefeated Brent Primus wants big name like Freire

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Brent Primus was this close to seeing the first loss of his pro MMA career this past Friday against Gleristone Santos. But after surviving with a split decision, now he wants a big name like Patricky read news >>

After shutout of Henderson, Coker thinks Bellator's Andrey Koreshkov is in 170's top 3

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

After his dominant title defense over former UFC champ Benson Henderson this past Friday, Andrey Koreshkov’s stock took a major upswing.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Benson Henderson's Bellator Debut Lands with a Thud, but There Is a Bright Side

  • 28 days ago
  • 44 views

In every sport with free agency, there are distinct schools of thought regarding its effectiveness. Is it better to pay huge sums of money to someone and risk him losing his edge due to complacency o read news >>

UFC and Bellator Veteran Lavar Johnson Sentenced to Five Years for Domestic Violence

  • 24 days ago
  • 93 views

Former UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce fighter Lavar Johnson was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for domestic violence. read news >>

Bellator Confirms Hit-and-Run Incident that Cost Jordan Parson’s His Leg

  • 23 days ago
  • 209 views

Bellator confirms hit-and-run incident that reportedly forced the amputation of part of Jordan Parsons' right leg. read news >>

Josh Thomson Injury Forces Cancellation of Bellator 154 Bout with Michael Chandler

  • 22 days ago
  • 14 views

The highly anticipated co-main event of “Bellator 154: Davis vs. King Mo” between Josh Thomson and Michael Chandler has been cancelled. read news >>

Kimbo Slice Negotiates Steroid Settlement for Failed Drug Test in Texas

  • 22 days ago
  • 21 views

Kimbo Slice and his camp negotiated a lesser punishment with Texas for his Bellator 149 drug test that revealed steroids in his system. read news >>

Bellator Signs Three-Time All-American Wrestler Jarod Trice

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

Bellator MMA is proud to announce the signing of three-time All American wrestling prospect Jarod Trice to an exclusive, multi-fight contract. read news >>

Bellator's Jordan Parsons Has Full Leg Amputated After Hit-and-Run Collision

  • 22 days ago
  • 38 views

Jordan Parsons, 25, a fighter competing in Bellator MMA's featherweight division, has lost his entire right leg after falling victim to a hit-and-run vehicle collision early Sunday morning in Florida read news >>

Bellator Fighter Jordan Parsons, 25, Dies Following Hit-and-Run Incident

  • 20 days ago
  • 73 views

Bellator featherweight fighter Jordan Parsons, a victim of a hit-and-run incident on Sunday, passed away on Wednesday. read news >>