Last Night in Utah, Bellator 90 went down with tournament semi finals in the Light Heavyweight and Welterweight divisions, as well as a Featherweight tournament final that all had really exciting matches with a lot of KO finishes. The big buzz coming out of Bellator 90 is the spectacular one spinning back fist KO of Light Heavyweight tournament favorite ‘King’ Mo Lawal by Emanuel Newton. This will go down as one of the biggest upsets in MMA memory at the sports books!
Right around fight time, the books had Lawal as a -1175 favorite, with the comeback on Newton at +975. So if you happen to have thrown a hundred bucks at Newton, you got $975 back. Considering the books opened the line favoring Lawal at -505 and the return on Newton was +335, it almost doubled, meaning there was almost no one that gave Newton a chance.
Lawal was heavily favored to win the tournament, as he has a lot of hype behind him in his short career in MMA. He was cut by the Strikeforce company due to controversy surrounding a failed drug test and suspension, and Bellator signed him to a big deal involving SPIKE and Pro Wrestling co promotions. Perhaps he let some of the hype go to his head.
Lawal came out very confident, and there was banter among the announcers about his boxing with professionals and how he worked on his hands. But if you look at the ending sequence, Lawal ate a punch and he marched forward with his hands down, and Newton threw the back fist that caught ‘King’ Mo on the chin, sending him to the floor scrambled.
Lawal didn’t give Newton credit where he deserved. Newton is a pro approaching 30 fights. He has a solid 19-7 record heading into the fight, and he developed a bag of tricks. And Mo Lawal and the promotion that had put a lot of eggs in his basket now get to pick up the pieces.
In the other Light Heavyweight semi final, Mikhail Zayats was extremely impressive in taking out Jacob Noe with an assault of punches standing and on the ground, precision positioning on the ground and finally submission.
So the tournament that was supposed to be Renato Sobral vs King Mo in the finals has a final of Mikhail Zayats taking on Emanuel Newton. It is a shame for Newton, as he will likely be the underdog against the hyper aggressive Russian, and beating Lawal in the semi finals will not be a sweet for Newton without that tournament check.