Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal might want to give Emanuel Newton that crown he so proudly sports.
It'll match nicely with the shiny gold belt Newton will wear out of the arena.
The heavy underdog Newton proved that his first tangle with the "King" inside the Bellator cage was no fluke, as he toppled the charismatic Lawal once again at Bellator 106, this time via unanimous decision.
After an opening round that saw Lawal work his wrestling game with great success, Newton caught his foe with a left head kick in Round 2, and the course of the fight was permanently altered.
From there on, King Mo repeatedly failed on his takedown attempts, and he appeared a step behind Newton on the feet.
Utilizing a variety of spinning attacks, Newton kept King Mo at bay and racked up the points on the judges' cards.
For some inexplicable reason, King Mo continued to fight with his hands down, and that game plan doomed him in this bout. Unable to finish his takedown attempts, King Mo's dome became easy target practice for Newton, and the fight's finish was written by Round 3.
At this point, it is clear that King Mo is just not a premier talent in the sport of MMA. His wrestling is phenomenal on paper, but it does not translate perfectly to the cage, and, as exhibited in this fight with Newton, it is easily shut down by a prepared opponent.
On top of that, his striking has not evolved much from his days as a Strikeforce champion despite plenty of talk about his dedication to his boxing. Add in his pathetic cardio, and it becomes obvious that King Mo's career has peaked unless he makes a drastic change to his training regimen.
This win is huge for Newton's career, but, as I just mentioned, King Mo was hardly perfect throughout the bout. While Newton took the decision, there is still plenty to work on when he gets home and begins preparation for his title unification bout against Attila Vegh.
Newton looked slow and sloppy, and his cardio, like King Mo's, was shot by the end of Round 2. He threw a variety of spinning attacks throughout the fight, but none were even remotely close to landing. Against Vegh, he will need to be sharper and quicker if he wishes to retain his title.
Still, Newton absolutely deserves immense praise for his second win over Lawal. Nearly everybody wrote him off after his shocking upset in their first bout, and he again proved them wrong by outclassing Mo for five rounds.
Well done, Mr. Newton. Enjoy that new piece of hardware.
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