"Rampage" Jackson wouldn’t accept to fight Emanuel Newton for the Bellator light heavyweight championship, so the promotion decided to go with another UFC veteran in the next match-up for the 205-pound title.
Bellator announced Tuesday that Joey Beltran, who submitted Vladimir Matyushenko to earn his first win under the promotion banner in April, will face off Newton in the main event of Bellator 124 in Plymouth Township, Michigan, on Sept. 12.
"I’ve been wanting to get back in the cage as soon as possible so I went to Scott Coker and he made this fight happen for me," Newton said in a release. "Beltran is a guy that always pushes the pace and looks for the finish, which plays into my style perfectly. I know he is coming off a nice win against Matyushenko, and has been in this game for a while, so I’m excited for the fight and another chance to defend my belt."
Newton became the light heavyweight interim champion with a win over "King Mo" Lawal in November, and unified the belts with a split decision victory over Attila Vegh in March.
Beltran is 1-1 in Bellator with a win over Matyushenko and a first-round loss to "Rampage" Jackson. He failed to win a bout in his second run in the UFC, going 0-3 and one no-contest in four bouts inside the Octagon.
"I'm jacked to get this shot against Newton," Beltran said. "He's a tough guy, but I've been in this sport for a while now and have fought some of the best. I've got some good momentum after my last fight, and we’re going to put on a show September 12th."