Turns out he had to absorb a bunch of low blows to get there, too.
Vassell took a pair of low kicks from the former Bellator light heavyweight champion and a huge low knee in the second round, the latter of which led to a point deduction. But Vassell shook off the fouls and rallied for a unanimous decision at Bellator 149, getting a pair of 29-27s and a 30-26 from the judges at Houston's Toyota Center.
Vassell (16-5) overwhelmed a listless Newton in the opening round, working him over on the ground for the bulk of the round.
In the second, Newton had his best round of the fight, showing signs of life. But the low knee midway through the round, which left Vassell doubled over on the mat for more than a minute, cost Newton a point and changed the complexion of the fight.
A renewed Vassell took the fight back over in round three, dominating the round and earning revenge for a fifth-round submission loss to then-champion Newton at Bellator 130.
The victory was the second in Vassell's past three fights. Newton (25-10-1) has lost three in a row.