Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Emanuel Newton fought once before at Bellator 90 on Feb. 21 of this year, and Newton came out the victor by way of a spectacular spinning backfist knockout.
Lawal had choice words for Newton afterward, saying the fight was a fluke and claiming that Newton’s spinning backfist knockout was ‘feminine.’
Lawal also recently said in an interview, “F*** him [Newton], f*** him and everyone that rides with him. I am going to f*** him up.”
Newton was set to compete against current Bellator champion Attila Vegh at Saturday’s Bellator 106 event, but an injury to the champ set up the rematch between King Mo and Newton for the interim title.
Fist-Ta-Cuff radio sat down with Bellator season eight light heavyweight tournament champion and former MFC light heavyweight champion Newton, and discussed his upcoming rematch with Lawal, and how his life has changed since becoming the Bellator tournament champion.
Host: How have things been since winning the Bellator tournament?
Emanuel Newton: Awesome, I have just been continuing to train hard, get better, and I am getting ready to go out there and get this victory again.
Host: Have you seen things change since winning the Bellator tournament? Do you feel like your name is getting out there more to the casual fan?
Emanuel Newton: Yeah for sure, I am starting to notice people coming up to me and saying ‘hey, you’re Emanuel Newton,’ and it feels good. … I will just continue to win, and continue to get more fans, because that is what I am here to do.
Host: You went through this tournament and have already beat King Mo. It almost felt as if when Mo was brought into this tournament, Bellator had almost banked on King Mo versus [Renato] Babalu [Sobral] for the tournament finale. Is it bittersweet for you to have to fight King Mo again, and this time it is for a title when you already went through and won the tournament, and he [King Mo] got a fast track to come back and fight for this title?
Emanuel Newton: I had a feeling after the first time I beat King Mo … I knew they had planned on Mo being the golden boy and climbing to the top and being like the Jon Jones of Bellator. I know that is what they were expecting, so after I beat him … [I thought], well this is probably going to happen again, because they weren’t planning for this to happen, and I know they invested a lot of money and a lot of marketing into Mo. I was ready for it to happen. … Bittersweet is right, and it kinda sucks because I did earn my place and earn my way. … I fought my way through all that to get the actual title shot, and now it is for the interim shot, but I am a strong believer in God and I believe that God put Mo in my path again to prove a point.
Host: If you could go back and change anything, would you change the way that fight was finished, would you maybe finish it out with a clean straight right down the pipe to knock him out, some ground and pound, or do you think the spinning back fist was the perfect way for that fight to end?
Emanuel Newton: Perfect way man. … This is MMA. This isn’t boxing, this isn’t kickboxing, this isn’t muay thai. This is MMA, and I have technical strikes that nobody throws that I am going to put on display this Saturday. … I am an awkward striker. I can throw heavy strikes from any position. I can have my back to you and knock you out with a spinning hook kick, or a 360 round kick. … Or a spinning back fist! It doesn’t matter, I am explosive enough, and I am learning that now even more as I continue to go through my training that I am awkward, and I am hard to deal with. I think for my opponents I am very confusing. … A lot of guys that I have fought before have said ‘man, he really knocked me off my game plan because he is really awkward and I don’t know what the hell he is gonna do.” I love that spinning back fist man. It was right on his chin and he went out, and I caught him in midair. I think it was beautiful. There was nothing feminine about it, you [King Mo] were sleeping, so how was that feminine, you know?
Host: Do you ever go back and watch it [the fight] at all?
Emanuel Newton: For the first four or five months, yeah I watched it a lot, you know, to get me hyped. Especially because Mo does talk so much trash… When you hit a man like that right in the mouth and put him out, you’re not talking anymore. I definitely did [watch the fight] but now I am just moving on to the next fight, looking forward to this Saturday, and it is all behind me now. I have the task in front of me, which is to go and finish him again. I am not trying to go in there for five rounds. I am trying to put a stamp on this. … I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve that nobody in MMA, let alone in my weight class throws. My style is ever-continuously growing, and I am going to go in there and show it on Saturday night. … I have God in my corner too, and if he is with me, nobody can stand against me. Especially a self-proclaimed “king” who is a cocky and arrogant man like Mo, that will be his downfall. I am ready to roll.
Host: Do you feel like your awkward style is a humongous advantage for you that people aren’t talking about, and do you think that no matter what he is doing, you are going to be throwing everything you have at him in this fight?
Emanuel Newton: Oh for sure. I am definitely looking to keep him on his toes. I am one of those guys that even if I do get taken down, I always get right back up. … I know Mo is an amazing wrestler, I know Mo is going to be looking to shoot and take me down, but I’m ready. I’m ready to get back on my feet. … Whatever situations I get put in, I am going to take advantage of whatever mistakes he makes. I am just looking to get in there, and get it done.
Host: For you and looking back on your career, what would it mean to you at this point in your career to become the Bellator champ?
Emanuel Newton: Everything. … The last fight against Mo was my biggest test, and now, this will be my biggest accomplishment. Knocking out Mo was a huge accomplishment for me, but it was more of a test, to prove to the fans and to myself that I am able to compete with top ten guys without having an issue. … I was peppering up Mo before I even knocked him out. This would definitely be the biggest accomplishment for me in my career, and it will definitely push me to further my crazy unorthodox style and further my way of thinking when it comes down to training and getting in the gym and continuing to get better.Tags: "King" Mo Lawal, Babalu, Babalu Sobral, Bellator, bellator 106, bellator news, emanuel newton, king mo, mma, MMA NEWS, Muhammed Lawal, renato sobral