A shift off pay-per-view hasn't caused the rematch between Emanuel Newton and Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal to lose any steam. The two rivals are still set to lock horns on November 2 at Bellator 106, where the Bellator interim light heavyweight title will be on line, and there's been no love lost since Newton stunned Lawal with a first-round spinning backfist KO earlier this year.
Speaking on a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Lawal lobbed several profanity laced tirades Newton's way, including one particular rant that ended with Lawal proclaiming, "F-- him. F--- him and f--- everybody else that rides with him. I'm going to f--- him up."
On Monday, Newton appeared as a guest on The MMA Hour to defend himself from Lawal's fiery words and offer his own response.
"I've never said anything bad about this man," Newton said. "Anything that I've said, it's been relevant and true. I said he's cocky. He is cocky. I said he's arrogant. He is arrogant. I said he's a self-proclaimed king. He is a self proclaimed king.
"It's not like there were a city or state or country of people who voted you to be the king. This isn't England. You're a self-proclaimed king," continued Newton.
"He's talking a lot of crap, but that's just Mo. That's how he gets himself hyped. He's never been knocked out like that before, so I'm sure at the same time a lot of it is, he's a little confused by me, by my style of fighting, by the way I live my life, my personality. I don't think he understands it, especially with me being a black gentleman. I'm not into rap and I don't walk around with big headphones on my head. I don't run my mouth."
Among the horde of insults Lawal recently directed towards Newton was the accusation that the spinning backfist which dropped Lawal in February was "feminine."
Lawal later clarified that he didn't mean feminine in the literal sense, but rather, that Newton threw the technique "scared," as a method to push Lawal away.
"If I threw it running away, how did I catch you in midair?" Newton shot back. "If I'm running, obviously he would've fell flat on his face, or on the side of his head, or however he would've landed. But I caught him. It nothing to do it. I threw the overhand right, he threw his hook. I saw where his hip was out of the corner of my eye. I'm like, hey, this is the time to throw it. So I threw it, and he was there. I knew. I looked in his eyes when it landed. I put the picture on my Twitter, I was looking directly into his eyes when I threw it."
Despite all of the trash talk, in Newton's opinion, the most egregious affront came when he was told about a story recounted by Lawal, in which Lawal accused Newton of approaching him in a sauna with the racially charged statement, "N----, I'm coming for you."
"That hurts me right there, man. That really does," Newton responded after a long pause. "I don't use (that kind of language). I don't. Even when I see super ghetto individuals.
"Why would he even say that? I remember we were in the sauna, and I just said... I don't even remember what I said. But I never said, ‘N-word, I'm coming for you.' Maybe I said something like, ‘Oh, it's going to be a fight,' but all respect."
A clearly upset Newton defended himself and his actions for several minutes, eventually reaching a resolute conclusion.
"There's just a lot of things that are coming into play right now, just with signs that I'm getting and visions that I'm getting," Newton said.
"I truly believe that I'm ordained for this. I truly believe that God put Mo on my path again to prove a point. And, one, that he would say, ‘F--- me,' it's just, I don't understand why when I haven't said anything bad about the man. Everybody's saying Mo is saying this, Mo is saying that. I still say the same thing: he's cocky, he's arrogant, and he's the self-proclaimed king. And now he's delusional. But these are all things that everyone else can see. It's not like I'm just talking out of my ass."
That seemed to be the end of it, as Newton wrapped up his interview by promising to hand Lawal another loss on Saturday, then the show moved onto its next guest.
However, it wouldn't be long before the feud picked up right where it left off, as Lawal subsequently requested to appear on The MMA Hour as a surprise guest. His first order of business: defending himself from Newton's accusations of being ‘cocky, arrogant and a self-proclaimed king.'
"Here's the thing, right? I never gave myself the name ‘King Mo,'" Lawal explained. "My brother Kami Barzini did, the wrestling coach at American Top Team, just for the fact that when I used to wrestle overseas, the crowd loved me. He said, ‘You're the king of the crowd.' I said, cool I'll run with that instead of going to Japan and saying I'm a drug dealer, because that's what they wanted me to do.
"Two, I'm arrogant and cocky? Na, I am a little bit arrogant and cocky, because when it comes down to it, when we train hard and it's time to fight, you have to be arrogant and cocky. You're not going in there saying, ‘Hey, I'm going to give it my all.' No one's like that. No fighter is like that. Fighters, when it's time to go and fight in the cage, you're arrogant and cocky, self-centered, because everything is around you. You train hard. You take time for yourself. The team is built around you. So for him to say that, that's cool. He's the same way."
Lawal's biggest point of contention, though, was Newton's denial of the threat in the sauna.
"He said, ‘I'm comin' for you, n----,'" Lawal fumed.
"The dude can't lie. I'll put it on my dead daddy, on my whole family, on everything, that's what he said. He can try to stunt and cap, but if you want you can call my brother up. He was in the sauna with me."
At this point things had already escalated to a startling degree, but the discussion didn't end there, as a remorseful Newton called back into the show to speak to Lawal personally and settle the matter.
"You're right, Mo. I apologize," Newton acknowledged. "I said it more in a joking way, brother. I didn't say it in any disrespectful way, but you're right."
"It's not a bad thing you said it," Lawal countered. "It's cool. But I'm just saying, you said you're coming for me. You got me. That's all."
"No, you're right," Newton replied. "I did say that. I accept that. I did say I'm coming for you, but it didn't recollect it because it wasn't in, like, a mean way.
"I've never told (manager Mike) Kogan that you were overrated. I think you're an amazing fighter, brother. I think your wrestling is top level, your hands, your style. I'm ready for a good fight, brother. I never said you're overrated. I never said anything bad about you.
"Kogan was the one talking s--t," Newton hurriedly continued. "I'd never say anything bad about you, brother. You know we chilled in the airport before, when we were going to the summit in Florida. We had our nachos, we did our thing. I have no disrespect for you.
"We're just different personalities but I have nothing against you, Mo. And when we get down on Saturday, it's all going to be business. I don't want it to be any animosity at the weigh-ins. I don't want it to be any animosity when we go in the ring. Obviously we're going to be trying to take each other's heads off, but not in a bad way. It's all business, brother. I have no disrespect for you. I have nothing but good feelings for you, bro, and I wish you the best of luck on Saturday night."
By that point Newton had been speaking briskly for several minutes. When he finished, even a taken aback Lawal, who surely hadn't expected that kind of response, wasn't quite sure how to reply.
"I don't even know, man, because really it don't even matter," Lawal concluded. "I play like this. To me, it's definitely going down November 2, and I'm not going to take my words back. You're a black skinhead, dog. Skinheads are motherf--kers that like punk rock and hardcore. You're a black skinhead, so I'm not taking what I said back. November 2, it's definitely going down."