Former Light Heavyweight Champion Emanuel Newton (25-9) is looking to get himself back into the title picture next Friday at Bellator 149. Coming off of back to back losses, he takes on a dangerous opponent in Linton Vassell (15-5), who he’s beaten previously.
Newton earned the Light Heavyweight belt in March of 2014 when he took on Attila Veigh in a rematch and went on to defend the title twice before losing a decision to Liam Geary. His last successful title defense was actually against Vassell, but it was not an easy fight and Emmanuel Newton is not taking his opponent lightly.
MMA Latest News caught up with The Hardcore Kid as he prepared for the February 19 bout.
Emanuel “The Hardcore Kid” Newton, how the hell are you man? How’s your weight? How you feeling?
It’s going good. Ready to get this on next Friday. And weight’s actually fine man, I got down to 209 last night right after practice. I ate real good yesterday and I’ll probably get a workout in and get something to eat right after I get off the phone with you. I’m feeling good.
Bellator seems to have really turned a corner now that Scott Coker is at the helm. How’s life in Bellator?
It’s going good man. Bellator’s always climbing, constantly getting better, signing new talent and always putting on amazing shows and keeping the fighters busy. I’m very excited to be a part of Bellator MMA.
“I really didn’t fight too much as a kid. I was never the kind of person that looks for trouble.” – Emanuel Newton
You have a very unorthodox style, you seem to thrive in times of adversity and rely on gritty toughness. Did you have to fight a lot as a kid? How did you get into martial arts?
I really didn’t fight too much as a kid. I was never the kind of person that looks for trouble. I’ve always been into martial arts. I did a little Kenpo when I was a kid and then you know, watched ninja turtles, haha. I was always really flexible and kind of agile and athletic for my size. I wrestled in high school and then right out of high school I ended up meeting Tito [Ortiz] and I went over to Team Punishment when he was champion in the UFC. I started training with him and, I don’t know, after maybe 30 days I went out there and had my first fight.
It’s interesting that you bring that up. Looking at your record, I noticed you actually lost your first 2 pro fights. How does one lose their debut and follow-up fight without getting discouraged?
Back when I first started fighting the only real pro organization was [the] UFC. Everything else was underground. There was no amateur circuit there wasn’t a commission. It was an amazing experience. It wasn’t even MMA back then, it was NHB (No Holds Barred) haha. Back then the world of MMA was just so different.
I think my first two losses… one was in Mexico and one was against Brian Ebersole, he was my second fight and he already had like 20 fights. Then my next opponent had like 14 fights. I was just a kid. I was doing it because it was easy money and I just love being a martial artist. As for my first fight, I actually won it but that wasn’t put up on Sherdog, it was just a different world back when I first started, that was in 2002.
“I still love Hatebreed. They’re still one of the best hardcore metal bands to walk the face of the planet. I just don’t want to be wearing something that says hate, because I don’t hate anybody.” – Emanuel Newton
One thing about you that has always intrigued me is your love of heavy music. As a metal head myself it’s nice to see people like yourself representing the metal community in MMA. I noticed you were sponsored by Hatewear [Hatebreed lead singer Jamey Jasta’s clothing line] with the likes of Chris Camozzi and Matt Brown. Is that still going on?
No, because with all of my spiritual growth, representing the word ‘hate’ just kind of gets to me. I still love Hatebreed. They’re still one of the best hardcore metal bands to walk the face of the planet. I just don’t want to be wearing something that says hate, because I don’t hate anybody. I still get hit up on Twitter sometimes by Jamey and Hatebreed, and they still show me some love.
It’s good that Bellator still allows you to have sponsors of your choice and gives fighters the opportunity to earn the kind of living you deserve.
I think that’s why UFC is losing a lot of good fighters and a lot more guys are going to start coming over to Bellator because they can have those sponsors. UFC is still the top company and that’s where it all started so, nothing but love to them. But it’s at a point where people have to start doing what’s best for them and their family. It’s not just about taking care of yourself but also the people around you, that’s why it’s important that we have every avenue possible to generate income and make money.
“I’m just going to go in there and impose my will and push the pace and just be mean.” – Emanuel Newton
Linton Vassell doesn’t have a lot of losses on his record, but you are one of them. How do you see the victory?
I’m just going to go in there and impose my will and push the pace and just be mean. I haven’t been as mean as I could be in my past couple of fights. I’ve got to have that mentality this time, kind of like the old school me when I was going non-stop full speed ahead.
Bellator 149 airs on Spike TV on this February 19th.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
Aaron Chalmers vs. Ash Griffiths Added to Bellator 200
A reality television star finally gets his shot and it couldn’t be on much bigger of a stage. Scott Coker and the Bellator promotion announced almost two weeks ago, the organizations milestone event, Bellator 200, would take place in London, England. In the weeks and days following the initial news, fights such as Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop, and Phil Davis vs. Linton Vassell became post-humorous additions. Today, promotion officials announced Aaron Chalmers makes a highly anticipated return when he takes on Ash Griffiths, in his promotional debut at the milestone event.
Along with the initial announcement of the event, Bellator officials also announced the first two fights booked to Bellator 200. The first of which matches Gegard Mousasi against Middleweight champion, Rafael Carvalho. Mousasi, formerly of the UFC, made a high-profile exit from his former employers to sign with Scott Coker (former Strikeforce CEO) and Bellator. His opponent, Rafael Carvalho, is the 3x defending Bellator Middleweight champion. Carvalho defeated fighters such as, Melvin Manhoef (2x), Brandon Halsey, and Alessio Sakara during his reign claiming and defending the title. The second match up includes British star, Michael ‘Venom’ Paige, as he makes his return to the Bellator cage against David Rickels.
With the addition of Aaron Chalmers to Bellator 200, two British stars now grace the card. Two British stars in two different avenues. Michael ‘Venom’ Paige is one of the biggest fighting stars in the country. Of course, Heavyweight Boxing champion, Anthony Joshua tops the list of famous fighters but Paige is on similar career trajectory, as his star only continues to grow. For Aaron Chalmers, his fighting talent did not give rise to the nature of his celebrity.
Before his professional career even began, Aaron Chalmers was cast to and appeared on the 8th season of the British reality television show, Geordie Shore. In case of ignorance to the English reality television scene, Geordie Shore is a reality television series based on the American reality series, Jersey Shore. The plot of which is essentially; Fit, and outgoing young adults move into a home in the city of Newcastle together for the Summer. As bland as that may seem, Aaron Chalmers is a recurring cast-member of the ongoing MTV show.
Chalmers professional MMA career began nearly one year ago. His first pro bout came in May of 2017, at BAMMA 29. At the event, he faced Greg Jenkins whom he defeated via submission by Americana, 2:12 into the opening round. Overall, Chalmers fought three times professionally, winning each contest. Largely, the reality television start hasn’t spent much time in the cage as a pro. His first win, took him deeper into the fight than the two following match-ups. His second and third bouts, (both for BAMMA) ended by KO/TKO inside the first minute of the opening round. At BAMMA 31, Chalmers defeated Alex Thompson by KO in 30 seconds. While his most recent bout against Karl Donaldson at BAMMA 33, also ended by KO/TKO. This time the referee ended the action 43 seconds into the fight.
Chalmers opponent, Ash Griffiths, had a much different path to this point. Griffiths followed a traditional journey as he did not supplant his training for appearances on a large reality TV network. While he remained focused on MMA, it did not translate into recent success. The British fighter currently finds himself in the midst of four consecutive loses, including his Bellator debut. This streak comes after he started his pro career successfully, etching a record of 4-2. Currently, his record sits slightly under a .500 win percentage at 4-6. A win for Griffiths seems necessary in order to stay within the ranks of the Bellator roster.
Bellator 200 takes place at the historic SSE Arena (Formerly known as the Wembley Arena) on May 25th. SSE Arena is the second largest indoor venue in London, holding 12,500 seats.
Report: Bellator plans Rome event for July
With the news of Bellator 200, turning a bit stale being nearly a week old, comes more international event news for the promotion. According to a report by Raphael Marinho of Combate, Bellator scheduled its third international event of 2018. In the report, it states the promotion booked July 14th as a date for a Rome, Italy event.
It will be the first event held by Bellator in the historic city of Rome, Italy. The first in Rome, but the fifth Bellator event in Italy. Previously, the promotion made stops in Torino and Florence, Italy, holding two events in each location. It also marks the 23rd international held by Bellator. 23 events across 10 cities, and 5 countries.
The previous four Italian events held a mixture of combat sports. Each of the events had a Kickboxing card, serving as the main event and an MMA card, which acted as a main card. News of an accompanying Kickboxing card, most likely, would come following a formal announcement of the event.
Also included in the report, the promotion is working to make Alessio Sakara the headliner of evening. Sakara spent nine years with the UFC (Oct. 2005 – Oct. 2013). Over that span, he earned a record of 6-8. He was cut following four consecutive loses. Before signing with Bellator, Sakara signed with Final Fight Championship, where he went 1-0, 1 NC. His final fight with FFC (Final Fight Championship) was a 1:32 KO of his opponent.
The Italian athlete, Sakara, fought on three of the four previous Italy held Bellator events. Sakara headlined Bellator 190 & 168, while begin the co-main event for Bellator 152. Interestingly, the Middleweights only Bellator competition took place in his home country of Italy. He is 2-1 with the promotion, defeating Brian Rogers and Joey Beltran, respectively, while losing to Middleweight champion, Rafael Carvalho, most recently.
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