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Bellator 130 results: Emanuel Newton retains belt with fifth-round choke

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Emanuel Newton came back from an apparent two-round deficit to get a choke at 47 seconds of the fifth round to retain his Bellator light heavyweight title over Linton Vassell in a match featuring  non-stop takedowns, attempted submissions, escapes, scrambles and reversals.

Newton (25-7-1), with two five-round fights under his belt, came back in rounds three and four of an entertaining battle on the ground. The fight appeared to be up for grabs as the fifth round started. Newton quickly got behind Vassell (14-4) on the ground, and clamped on a choke to end Vassell's title hopes.

In the first two rounds, Vassell was in control most of the way, but Newton ended up with back position and throwing punches in both rounds. In the third round, it was reversed, as it was Newton's round, but it ended with Vassell on top in the mount landing punches.

"I've been there before," said Newton about the championship rounds. "I knew if we went into the deep waters my cardio would prevail, and I'd get the victory."

The Friday night show was the end of an era of sorts, as the old Bellator model of weekly shows came to a close at the Kansas Coliseum, just outside of Wichita. Starting in 2015, the company will run one show most months and two shows per month a few times a year.

In the co-feature, Bobby "The Destroyer" Lashley (12-2), the TNA pro wrestling star, took only 1:31 to end the formerly perfect record of British judoka Karl Etherington (9-1).

The 258-pound Etherington went for a judo hip toss, slipped and went down. Lashley, a three-time NAIA wrestling champion and Olympic hopeful in wrestling before his pro wrestling days, jumped on Etherington's back and threw rapid fire punches until Etherington tapped out just as the bout was going to be stopped. Etherington had come into the fight with nine consecutive first-round stoppage wins.

"That's what this sport is about," said the 38-year-old Lashley, who was TNA's world champion in pro wrestling until a few weeks ago, but that's supposed to be a secret since the match where he lost the title hasn't aired on television. "You don't want to stay too long because you risk the chance of getting hit back. As soon as I had that opportunity, I went a little nuts."

Former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen (22-6) dominated Annalisa Bucci (7-4) on the ground in the first fight in Bellator's women's featherweight division. Coenen, the first legitimate women's MMA star dating back to being the star of the Japanese scene 14 years ago, had ground control and worked for submissions for the first two rounds. In round three, she finally got the submission with a choke at :57.

In the television opener, Dave Jansen (20-2) used a consistent attack of low kicks to take a 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 decision over former judo Olympian Rick Hawn (18-4) in a lightweight bout.

After winning, Jansen issued a challenge for the lightweight championship, noting he's got a 7-0 record since joining Bellator. That title is up for grabs on Nov. 15 when interim champion Will Brooks faces Michael Chandler in Bellator's final event of 2014 in San Diego..