Emanuel Newton waited for the right time to unleash, landing a perfectly-thrown spinning back-fist to knock Joey Beltran out Friday night and retain his Bellator light heavyweight title at Bellator 124.
After two rounds in which the underdog Beltran appeared to be gaining momentum and confidence, Newton reached back and delivered. The 30-year-old Newton (24-7-1) did the same thing to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal the first time they met.
Newton has now won six straight since a 2012 split decision loss to Attila Vegh. He avenged that defeat by topping Vegh earlier this year and unifying the titles.
Liam McGeary earned a future light heavyweight title shot be submitting Kelly Anundson in the finals of the 205-pound tournament. McGeary (9-0) scored the submission win in the first round after securing an inverted triangle.
In early prelim action, Eric Ramirez and Sabah Homasi earned submission wins, Jason Fischer picked up a victory via unanimous decision and both Leroy Johnson and Adrian Hadribeaj scored split decision victories.
Complete results can be found below:
Emanuel Newton def. Joey Beltran via KO (spinning back fist) at 3:07 of Round 3 to retain the Bellator light heavyweight championship
Liam McGeary def. Kelly Anundson via submission (inverted triangle) at 4:47 of Round 1 to win the light heavyweight tournament
L.C. Davis def. Zeilton Rodrigues via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ryan Couture def. Tom Bagnasco via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:01 of Round 1
Adrian Hadribeaj def. Mike Hamida via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Sabah Homasi def. Eric Moon via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:07 of Round 2
Mike Hernandez def. Thomas Vasquez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Leroy Johnson def. Adrian Henderson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jason Fischer def. Tony Hervey via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Eric Ramirez def. Cortez Phelia via submission (guillotine choke) at :38 of Round 3