The MMA world was pretty much in a state of shock when Emanuel Newton laid a spinning backfist on Muhammed Lawal’s chin. But with “King Mo” out on the canvas, Newton wasn’t surprised at all.

In fact, he said, he pretty much planned on it. Maybe he didn’t envision a spinning backfist, but he certainly planned on walking away with his hand raised.

WIth that semifinal highlight-reel win at Bellator 90 out of the way, Newton (20-7-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC) now meets Mikhail Zayats (21-6 MMA, 2-0 BFC) on Thursday at Bellator 94 in the finals of the Season 8 light heavyweight tournament. Oddsmakers have the fight just about down the middle, a stark contrast to his 10-to-1 underdog status against Lawal.

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

“(For) ‘Mo,’ I was ready mentally and physically,” Newton told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “Before I even stepped out there, I knew I was going to finish the fight, and I knew it was going to be in spectacular fashion – and I knew it was going to be early, too. Yeah, (Bellator is) the toughest tournament. But I was ready.

“All this happening in my life is meant to happen, and I truly believe it’s my time to go out there and shine.”

Newton believes hooking up with a new trainer at Wild Card MMA has helped him turn the corner. He wasn’t with Arnold Chon before his opening-round win over Atanas Djambazov. But a few short weeks before the Lawal fight, he started working with Chon – and everything changed.

Newton gives Chon the bulk of the credit for his win over Lawal, and what he expects to be the biggest win of his career on Thursday. And one gets the sense he’s not just saying it because Chon is next to him in their rental car.

“I try to be as awkward and as unorthodox as I can be,” Newton said. “I think that’s one thing that really helps my style – being unorthodox, but being athletic and explosive. I was only with (Chon) for two and a half weeks before the ‘King Mo’ fight, and my hands look like night and day. I’ve had another month with the man, so I think I’m twice the fighter as when I fought ‘Mo.’”

That could spell trouble for Zayats, whose two wins in the tournament have been first-round stoppages of Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Jacob Noe.

But the Russian with a seven-fight win streak has proven to be plenty dangerous, himself, and Newton knows it.

“Mikhail is Russian – and Russians are very, very tough,” he said. “They bring everything to the table. I’m definitely very impressed with Mikhail and I’m not looking past him whatsoever. I know it’s going to be a good fight.”

But Zayats doesn’t have what Newton believes is the turning point for him, and that’s Chon. And that could bean a $100,000 tournament win and a title shot.

“I’m definitely ready for it to be done and over, but I’m ready,” Newton said. “I’ve been training hard and I’m not going to have any ring rust. I’m ready to get in there and do work. I’m definitely excited about winning that money, too. God knows I need it, so let’s do it.

“I just feel like a different fighter completely since getting with Arnold and the ‘Mo’ fight. I’m just ready to go, whether it’s a title fight or a tournament final fight. I’m ready to show the world, truly, who Emanuel Newton is.”

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

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Related News

Rampage Jackson and King Mo Squabble Over Rematch (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 49 views

After Bellator announced that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson would rematch Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, the two held a contentious press conference. read news >>

Shannon Knapp Recaps Invicta FC 21, Reveals New Invicta Ventures for 2017 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 19 views

Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp recaps the promotion's recent event, and reveals new ventures for Invicta in boxing and grappling. read news >>

Bellator 173 adds Gallagher-Medvedovsky, Kavanagh-Razafiarison and BAMMA 28 bouts

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

The fight card is taking shape for Bellator 173, which is a co-promotion with the BAMMA 28 card.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator and BAMMA Join Forces Again for Belfast Doubleheader | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

Bellator and BAMMA combine forces once more to bring Belfast a show of Titanic proportions. read news >>

Video: 'King Mo' roasted an amused 'Rampage' prior to their rematch at Bellator 175

  • 29 days ago
  • 29 views

Quinton Jackson is usually the one dishing out insults in hopes of getting a laugh. At the recent Bellator 175 kickoff press conference, though, Muhammad Lawal essentially made it a roast of his upco read news >>

Tito Ortiz's Final Fight was Third Most-Watched Event in Bellator History | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

Tito Ortiz's final fight accounted for the third-most watched event in Bellator history. read news >>

David Rickels Says He's Better Than Bellator 171 Opponent in 'a Lot of Places' | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

David Rickels (17-4) will look to make things right for himself when he takes on Aaron Derrow (14-8) in a main card 155-pound bout at Bellator 171 on Friday. read news >>

AJ McKee Looking to Pick Brandon Phillips Apart at Bellator 171 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

AJ McKee (6-0) will seek to keep his winning ways going when he takes on Brandon Phillips (6-2) in a main card 145-pound bout at Bellator 171 on Friday. read news >>

Bellator 171's David Rickels rested, rejuvenated and ready to put training mode into cage

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

With 17 Bellator fights in a little more than five years, David Rickels needed a break following his knockout at the hands of Melvin Guillard at Bellator 159 in July.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET): Bellator 170 winner Tito Ortiz, Eric Nicksick

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Tito Ortiz and Eric Nicksick.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>