LONG BEACH, Calif. -- This time, "King Mo" Lawal was ready for Emanuel Newton's spinning back fist.
Newton threw it three times during their Bellator interim light heavyweight title fight Saturday night, and all three times Lawal ducked and followed with a takedown.
Lawal didn't appear ready for much else at Long Beach Arena, though. With a spinning kick-happy offense, Newton never let Lawal get untracked as he scored a unanimous-decision victory. The judges' scores were 49-46 across the board.
"I can't describe the feeling I have right now," said Newton (22-7-1), who has won 10 of his past 11 fights.
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Lawal, looking to avenge his spinning back-fist KO loss in February, had his strongest round in the first. Lawal's wrestling was most effective during this round, as Newton scored multiple takedowns, including Newton's first attempted backfist.
Newton, though, rebounded in the second round, and scored the biggest blow of the fight by connecting on a head kick, which knocked him to the mat.
Lawal got back to his feet, but his confidence looked questionable from that point on. Wary of Newton's kicking onslaught, he stayed at distance and didn't often get in close enough to attempt takedowns.
Both fighters slowed down noticeably during the championship rounds, but it was more of the same, with Newton keeping Lawal at distance with his kicks and Newton mostly sprawling Newton's infrequent takedown attempts.
Newton (11-3, 1 NC) will next meet champion Attila Vegh to unify the titles.
"After dealing with King Mo, I'm ready for Atilla Vegh," said Newton. "I'm bringing it to you baby."