Emanuel Newton is on a quest to regain the Bellator 205-pound title. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Emanuel Newton doesn’t seem to have a sense of urgency in his voice, but his calm demeanor is a deceiving one.
The former Bellator light heavyweight champion has his sights on eventually reclaiming his lost title, but his entire life hasn’t been engulfed in that quest. Rather, his attitude is laid back, almost nonchalant, and that might be the most scary part about him.
Newton is among four combatants who will compete Saturday in Bellator’s same-day tournament to decide the promotion’s No. 1 challenger to current champion Liam McGeary, who is headlining the event against former UFC king Tito Ortiz. There is a chance “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” will steal Liam’s title, but Newton doesn’t care one way or the other.
“Personally, it’s not that big a deal to me,” Newton told Sherdog.com. “My only concern is performing well so I can continue to provide for my family. I know I’m prepared for anything that happens I’ll just do what I do and that’s to be the best fighter I can be. Whether Tito wins the title or Liam keeps it, it doesn’t matter to me who has it.”
But before Newton is to do anything against whomever holds the title, he must first get past former UFC fighter Phil Davis, the favorite to win the tournament. Newton is aware of his underdog status, but he laughs it off. Rather than get defensive, he simply points to his resume.
“The last guy people thought that about was ‘King Mo’ and you saw what happened to him,” Newton scoffed. “It’s no coincidence that Phil and Mo are both wrestlers and they have this mindset. And if [Davis] thinks that, then more power to him but he’ll come out on the wrong end of what he wants. He’s not going to steamroll me.”
Newton admitted that he is unsure as to how Davis will approach the fight, but considering they only have two five-minute rounds instead of three, “The Hardcore Kid” he thinks that Davis might try and score some early takedowns and hold on to conserve energy.
“I’m not going to allow that to happen,” he said. “I’m prepared to go hard the entire time and I will. He’s not going to be able to sit there and try and grind out a decision.”
The X-factor surrounding the tournament, though, is possibly having a grueling opening match and being completely sapped of energy for the second match. Or even worse: suffering an injury and being unable to compete in the finals. Newton, on the other hand, said he hasn’t even thought about either potential pitfall.
“I have no concerns at all,” he said. “I decided to be a part of this tournament and I take everything as it comes. I’m not a guy who looks to the future or lives in the past. I live day by day so when I get there I’ll deal with it.”