'Hungry' Newton eyeing redemption

Apr 26, 2010
All the talent in the world won’t get a fighter very far if he doesn’t complement his skills with all the necessary intangibles.

Emanuel Newton is easily one of the MFC’s most-talented fighters with an incredible amount of athleticism. But what Newton has lacked at this key time in his career is the mental game plan to keep himself on the right track. That, says trainer and MFC lightweight champion Antonio McKee, is about to change.

“He has improved so much. You’re going to see the Emanuel Newton who came to the MFC and beat up David Heath. You’re going to see the real ‘Hardcore Kid,’ ” said McKee, who will be in the corner of Newton (12-6) when he takes on Dwayne Lewis (11-4) in one of the featured fights at MFC 25: Vindication on Friday, May 7 at the Northlands Expo Centre in Edmonton , Alberta . The fight will also be part of the televised card airing live on HDNet Fights.

Newton had the distinction of holding one of mixed martial arts’ longest winning streaks when he captured the victory in 11 straight bouts between 2005 and 2008. That incredible stretch, which included his decisive second-round stoppage of Heath, culminated in his five-round verdict to take the MFC light heavyweight title from Roger Hollett at MFC 19.

But things spiralled downward for Newton from that point on. In his first defense of the championship belt, the Norwalk , California , product failed to recapture the attitude that garnered him title and he dropped a five-round decision to Trevor Prangley . Newton went on to lose two more fights including a three-rounder to Ryan Jimmo at MFC 23.

That skid has left Newton in an unenviable position. Has he become a thing of the past in the MFC’s 205-pound ranks, considering the rise of Jimmo, Lewis, and others who are riding high on impressive winning streaks?

McKee figures his protégé is nowhere near the end his mission because he has made an important life transition.

“He’s been drug-free for six months and training hard. Plus he’s got a baby on the way and think that’s really giving him something to fight for,” noted McKee. “He’s been improving every day. I think he’s going to bring an exciting fight and really bring the heat.

“He’s going to be aggressive. I think he’s looked at the mistakes he’s made and … he’s just hungry.”

The Lewis-Newton matchup fits alongside the rest of the huge lineup at MFC 25: Vindication including the main event of Thales Leites versus Jesse Taylor and the co-main event of Wilson Gouveia against Ryan Jimmo . Tickets for fight card are available through the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024 and via Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.ca and charge-by-phone (780) 451-8000.
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