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

Bellator MMA Officially Announces Signing of Rory MacDonald

  • 29 days ago
  • 31 views

The news leaked out earlier this week, but Bellator MMA made it official on Friday during the Bellator 160 broadcast. The fight promotion has inked a deal with welterweight Rory MacDonald. read news >>

Bellator 160 Results: Benson Henderson Earns Title Shot Against Michael Chandler

  • 29 days ago
  • 121 views

Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull took place on Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and the main event ended in bizarre fashion. read news >>

Bellator 160 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Henderson vs. Pitbull Card

  • 29 days ago
  • 103 views

Benson Henderson got his first win with Bellator on Friday night against Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, but it didn't happen the way most would have wanted. During the second round, Pitbull suffered a ri read news >>

Third Time’s a Charm? Michael Page vs. Fernando Gonzalez Booked for Bellator in November

  • 27 days ago
  • 11 views

After originally being slated for Bellator 151 and Bellator 158, Michael “Venom” Page has again been booked to fight Fernando Gonzalez, this time in November. read news >>

Former Champ Alexander Shlemenko Returns to Headline Bellator 162

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

Former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko and WWE Superstar Bobby Lashley return to action at Bellator 162 in October. read news >>

Georges St-Pierre Believes Rory MacDonald ‘Chose the Best Option’ by Signing with Bellator

  • 26 days ago
  • 69 views

Former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre believes his friend, Rory MacDonald, made the right move, signing with rival promotion Bellator MMA. read news >>

After Grisly Skull Fracture, Bellator Should Say No to Return of Cyborg Santos

  • 26 days ago
  • 38 views

In the MMA world Monday, the figure holding the scale between integrity and lucre looked less like a blindfolded woman and more like Scott Coker. The same day, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, a 38-year- read news >>

Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull Main Card Fight Highlights

  • 26 days ago
  • 46 views

Bellator's return to SoCal came with some amazing finishes by rising star AJ McKee and Georgi Karakhanyan, while Derek Anderson continued his win streak. read news >>

UFC Signs Former Bellator Lightweight Title Contender Marcin Held

  • 25 days ago
  • 11 views

On the heels of Bellator inking a deal with former UFC welterweight contender Rory MacDonald, the UFC has signed former Bellator tournament winner Marcin Held. read news >>

Moving from UFC to Bellator, Rory MacDonald Begins His Vision Quest

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

After 21 violent minutes, Rory MacDonald's arsenal was spent. Beyond his last breath, the Canadian contender had nothing left to give as he lay shattered on the Octagon canvas. Few people realized it read news >>