Emanuel Newton-BellatorWhile incremental increases in a fighter’s game is to be expected over time, for Bellator light-heavyweight tournament participant Emanuel Newton, his game has undergone a huge leap forward just in the past couple months.

“I think I really discovered who I am and what’s my style and what works for me and makes me hard to deal with when I’m inside the cage for sure over the past couple of years, but the past two months I really think my game has taken off, especially on the feet,” said Newton.

“Working at the Wild Card gym, my stand-up has completely changed, especially in the realm of my hands and my movement.”

Newton’s improved striking helped pay a part in his two recent tournament wins, and more so in his KO victory over Mo Lawal in February.

“Before the Mo fight I wasn’t with my trainers for very long, so that’s why you saw a night and day difference in my striking in my fight against Mo as opposed to my fight against Atanas (Djambazov),” said Newton. “Everything is coming together and I want to keep it going.”

After falling short in last year’s light-heavyweight tournament in a controversial split-decision loss to Attila Vegh in the semi-finals, Newton now has a chance to redeem himself this Thursday night in Tampa, Florida, against Mikhail Zayats for this season’s 205-pound tournament title.

“He’s a very tough fighter who is very awkward striking and has good on the ground, especially off his back, but I fill I’m better in all areas of the game,” said Newton of Zayats.

“Not to take anything away from him, he’s a very tough fighter and it’s going to be a very good fight, but with my wrestling and my newfound striking skills it’s going to be hard for him to deal with me.”

While Newton feels Bellator has always taken good care of him, he told MMAWeekly.com that he knows he wasn’t the tournament favorite, but because of the format, anyone can make their way to glory.

“I know that they were expecting Mo and Babalu (Sobral) to be the two top dogs, but the tournament gives everybody the opportunity to make their own destiny,” said Newton. “It’s not about who talks the most on Twitter or has the most Twitter followers, it’s about who truly deserves the opportunity to be in there.

“That’s one thing I really enjoy about Bellator, anybody can showcase their skills and earn their opportunity to get the belt.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

‘Baby Slice’ Faces Jonathan Tomasian in Pro Debut at Bellator 160

  • 28 days ago
  • 15 views

“Baby Slice” Kevin Ferguson Jr.'s Bellator arrival was trending on social media for two-straight days. On Monday, Bellator confirmed his first challenge. read news >>

Bellator 160 Adds Female Flyweight Bout to Main Card

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

A flyweight matchup pitting Lena Ovchynnikova against Jaimelene Nievera has been added to the main card of Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull. read news >>

Melvin Guillard Fined and Suspended by Kansas Commission for Banned Non-PED

  • 24 days ago
  • 38 views

Bellator fighter Melvin Guillard was suspended by the Kansas Athletic Commission on Friday for a positive drug test result for a non-performance-enhancing substance. read news >>

Chinzo Machida Makes Promotional Debut at Bellator 160

  • 21 days ago
  • 229 views

Chinzo Machida, brother of former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, will make his promotional debut at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” read news >>

Former Champ Joe Warren Faces Sirwan Kakai in Bellator 161 Co-Main Event

  • 19 days ago
  • 3 views

A bantamweight showdown pitting Joe Warren against Sirwan Kakai has been added to the main card of Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson. read news >>

Bellator 161 Main Card Complete with Addition of Derek Campos vs. Djamil Chan

  • 18 days ago
  • 8 views

A lightweight bout pitting Derek Campos against knockout specialist Djamil Chan has been added to the SPIKE-televised portion of “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson." read news >>

UFC Declines to Match Offer, Rory MacDonald Likely Headed to Bellator

  • 5 days ago
  • 63 views

Former UFC welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald appears to be headed to Bellator MMA. read news >>

Bubba Jenkins Looking to Avenge Loss to Georgi Karakhanyan in Bellator 160 Rematch

  • 5 days ago
  • 6 views

On August 26 in Anaheim, Calif., Bubba Jenkins gets his long-awaited rematch with Georgi Karakhanyan in a main card 145-pound bout at Belltor 160. read news >>

UFC Loses Top Welterweight Rory MacDonald to Bellator: Big Deal or Nah?

  • 5 days ago
  • 47 views

The Red King has gone in search of a greener fiefdom. Rory MacDonald’s UFC exit on Wednesday was that rare case of “breaking news” that had been in the works for months. Fans have known since a May a read news >>

Saad Awad Eyeing Title Shot if He Defeats Derek Anderson at Bellator 160

  • 4 days ago
  • 8 views

Initially Saad Awad was hoping a title shot would come his way, but instead he’ll be facing fellow longtime 155-pound fighter Derek Anderson at Bellator 160. read news >>