Emanuel Newton caught Muhammed Lawal and knocked him cold with a spinning-back fist. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
The 29-year-old Russian scored a second-round knockout of Rad Martinez in the Bellator 90 main event, disappointing a vocal pro-Martinez throng at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday night. Referee Jason Herzog stopped the bout 2:12 into the second stanza. It was the third straight stoppage victory for Shamhalaev, who earned $100,000 and a featherweight title shot against the Pat Curran-Daniel Straus winner at a later date.
“I’d like to apologize to whoever’s mood I ruined today for knocking him out,” Shamhalaev said of the West Jordan, Utah, native. “I think I showed a pretty good fight with every one of my opponents [in the 145-pound tournament]. I showed some good striking and it was a great experience for me, but I’ve got a lot more that you guys don’t know about.”
The first round was closely contested, as Shamhalaev attacked with outside low kicks and sent Martinez tumbling to the floor with a pair of counter left hooks. Martinez recovered quickly, however ,and controlled the second portion of the frame with top control after securing a takedown.
The second period belonged to the “Assassin.” Shamhalaev hurt Martinez with a head kick and continued to attack aggressively from there. An powerful overhand right sent Martinez’s head bouncing off the canvas, and the Red Fury Fight Team representative sealed the deal with one final hammerfist on the floor.
Emanuel Newton had other ideas.
The fighter known as “The Hardcore Kid” shocked Lawal (9-2, 1-1 Bellator), knocking out the former Strikeforce champion with a perfectly-timed spinning back fist 2:35 into the opening frame. With the win, Newton (20-7-1, 3-1 Bellator) moves on to face Mikhail Zayats in Bellator’s Season 8 light heavyweight tournament finals.
Newton held his own in the majority of exchanges, mixing kicks and punches while Lawal, with his lead hand held low, was mostly content to counter. The fatal exchange occurred when Lawal attempted to counter a Newton overhand right with a right hook. His guard down, Lawal crumbled slowly to the canvas once his opponent struck the decisive blow.
“I saw that Mo dropped his hands a lot and coming with big haymakers, so I figured I’d duck under it,” Newton said.
The 25-year-old Brazilian knocked out Bryan Baker with a crushing overhand right in their welterweight bout, clinching his spot opposite Ben Saunders in the finals of Bellator’s 170-pound tournament. The end came 2:34 into the opening stanza.
“I was just timing it, looking to land the right hand. I’m just glad everything worked out good,” said Lima, whose only defeat in the promotion came at the hands of reigning welterweight king Ben Askren at Bellator 64.
The matchup began slowly, with Lima stalking his foe as Baker circled on the outside. Lima attacked patiently with low kicks, while “The Beast” offered virtually nothing in the way of offense on his end. Shortly thereafter, “The Phenom” sent Baker tumbling to the canvas with the massive right hand. He needed just one follow-up punch before referee Jason Herzog intervened to halt the bout.
The Russian sambo specialist dominated from start to finish. He countered a Noe (11-2, 2-1 Bellator) leg kick with a stiff right hand, dropping his foe to the canvas in the bout’s opening moments. With Noe’s mouth bleeding from the shot, Zayats (21-6, 2-0 Bellator) methodically went to work from top position. The Rusfighters Sport Club representative eventually passed from half guard to full mount and punished Noe with a flurry of ground-and-pound.
When Noe attempted to escape from the bottom, Zayats was able to secure the armbar, roll through and get the tapout almost immediately. Zayats has now won seven straight fights overall, finishing all but one of those victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
As time goes on, what once seemed like a certain showdown between Ilima Macfarlane and Anastasia Yankova may be moving further and further away from reality.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>
The feud between unbeaten Bellator featherweight prospects A.J. McKee and James Gallagher continues to grow, and McKee has no problem throwing more fuel on the fire.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire is upset with the commission that oversaw his win over Daniel Straus. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
One of Bellator’s most recent notable signings will debut with the promotion this summer.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Newly signed Bellator fighter Valerie Letourneau announced her first fight with the promotion on Monday and laid our her timeline for retirement. read news >>
After a split-decision loss to champ Eduardo Dantas in what became a non-title affair because of his own weight miss, Leandro Higo believes his tough display proved he’s capable of hanging with Bella read news >>
The Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series will feature several MMA bouts at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race. read news >>
Before the May 20 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, there will be MMA bouts featuring regional fighters, with the main event between contestants in consideration to be signed to a multi-fight Bell read news >>
A catchweight bout between Kevin Ferguson Jr. and D.J. Griffin has been announced as a late addition to this month’s Bellator 179 lineup.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Stream or download Thursday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Michael Chandler and Josh Gross.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>