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Emanuel Newton: Back To Get “His” Belt

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There are plenty of good reasons to watch Bellator 142: Dynamite. I’m going to give you five and they’re all about “The Hardcore Kid” Emanuel Newton. The former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champ has a background in wrestling but I think he would best be described as a freestyle fighter. Newton has great cardio so it seems like he gets better as the fight goes on but it is really just his ability to fight harder for longer than his opponents.

Here are my five reasons to watch Emanuel Newton:

1 – Creative striking. He has described his style as Bruce Lee-esque, stating that his opponents never know what to expect. I’ll say that he is creative. His hands are quick and he keeps them low to draw his opponent in. He also has a lot of different kicks. But most important is the spinning back fists. He has two, count’em, two spinning back fist KOs. These knock outs didn’t come against inexperienced, unranked fighters either. They were against top-level competitors, former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and UFC veteran Joey Beltran.

2 – Newton has basically laid waste to the division. Even though he lost the title in his last fight by decision, he had top control throughout the fight. Liam McGeary attempted the most submissions in Bellator light heavyweight history but couldn’t put Newton away. Basically every other big name in Bellator’s light heavyweight division has fallen victim to Newton.

3 – Great wrestling. Every though he doesn’t have all the amateur credentials some may possess he has got the skill and determination of a champion. He worked over Division 1 All American King Mo for five rounds and can pull a body lock takedown on anyone. This should make his first round fight against Phil Davis very entertaining.

4 – Incredible escapes. As I mentioned earlier, McGeary, who is a high level BJJ practitioner attempted the most submissions in Bellator LHW history. The keyword being attempted. Newton escaped every time. Watch his title defense against Vassell. Newton slid back door out of full mount twice. In 33 fights Newton has only been submitted twice, the last time was in 2009.

5 – His killer instinct. When Newton Ko’ed Lawal with the spinning back fist, King Mo was out on his feet swaying back and forth like a scene from a movie, Newton closed in and was locking on a rear naked choke before the ref could step in or King Mo could hit the floor.

After his title loss to current champion Liam McGeary, Newton tested positive for marijuana use, and admitted to smoking three days before the fight. While discussing his suspension, Newton took responsibility for his actions and said he would use the opportunity as a chance to begin approaching mixed martial arts with a more professional attitude.

The possibility of fighting twice in one night will work to Newton’s advantage. If he gets past Davis in his first fight he will face the winner of Lawal versus Vassell, both of whom he has beaten in the past. Another victory against either of those men would give Newton his second light heavyweight tournament win and a shot a regaining the title he still calls his.

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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