With big names on either side of the bracket, Bellator officials likely expected a season eight light heavyweight tournament final consisting of Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. Instead, they got Mikhail Zayats vs. Emanuel Newton.
Zayats (21-6), the man who knocked out Sobral to extend a seven-fight win streak, and Newton (20-7-1), the journeymen whose stunning spinning back fist KO of Lawal shocked the MMA community, will collide on March 28, 2013, at the University of South Florida's Sun Dome in Tampa Bay, FL, on the main card of Bellator 94.
"I shocked the world once, and I'll do it again March 28th," Newton said in a press release. "After this tournament, everyone is going to know who Emanuel Newton is, and I'm going to be coming for that belt."
The winner will be awarded $100,000 along with a title shot against Bellator light heavyweight champion Attila Vegh.
In addition, the main card will see surprise finalist Saad Awad meet Bellator veteran David "The Caveman" Rickels to decide season eight's lightweight tournament winner.
"I've got all the respect in the world for Saad," said Rickels. "The guy has two huge knockouts in this tournament, but not too many men have been able to stand with the Caveman, and that's not going to change March 28th."
Similar to the light heavyweight finals, the winner of Awad vs. Rickels will be awarded a $100,000 grand prize along with a title shot against reigning Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler.