Bellator 113 comes to us this coming Friday night from Mulvane, Kansas with an event headlined by Light Heavyweight champion Atilla Vegh´s title defense against Emanuel Newton. In addition, the card features the opening round of Bellator´s season 10 Lightweight tournament, with the winner getting a shot at the belt currently held by Eddie Alvarez.
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Is there a more unsung champion in all of MMA than Attila Vegh? He is 29-4-2 overall, is an undefeated 5-0 in Bellator and has a solid 9 fight winning streak going. He captured the belt last February with a win over Chruistian M’Pumbu, and has not fought since.
Since then, Bellator has added and pushed King Mo Lawal and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in the division, and Vegh has been waiting for an opponent to materialize from the Bellator tournament system. Vegh will hopefully arrive with a chip on his shoulder over the whole thing and he will be ready to come in focused. Though it was a split decision, he already owns a win over Emanuel Newton, the man who thoroughly wrecked the King Mo party by destroying him twice.
It should be a different Emanuel Newton this time around. Newton has come into his own with his double defeat of Lawal. First a fast KO, then a validation 5 round UD to capture interim gold with a win over Mikhail Zayats squeezed in between, Newton has spent 2013 transforming himself into a professional fighter. He is way better now than he was when he first fought Vegh, and Newton earned a close split decision loss on the champion back then.
Where the odds will come in this week for this fight is anyone’s guess. Considering Newton’s improvement and the long layoff for Vegh, look for the books to not give the champion too much credit and for the line to be nearly even, with perhaps Newton as the early favorite. We know newton must be pumped for the fight, as it is the culmination of a long road where few believed in him, but he may be facing an equally motivated champion who has endured disrespect as well.