The first was a rematch between current Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and the recently re-signed Eddie Alvarez. The latest, announced Thursday, is another rematch, this one between Emanuel Newton and King Mo Lawal.
Neither Newton nor Lawal currently holds a Bellator title, but with light heavyweight champion Attila Vegh sidelined with a shoulder injury, the promotion decided to make Newton vs. Lawal 2 for an interim 205-pound belt.
“Rampage vs. Tito” will be held at Southern California’s Long Beach Arena on Saturday, Nov. 2. It will be the promotion’s first pay-per-view offering.
“The energy in the arena when Newton dropped Mo with that spinning back fist was simply awesome,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said, recounting the first fight between Newton and Lawal. “And, to be able to have this rematch take place on our first PPV is something we couldn’t pass up. With Mo and Emanuel winning our previous two Light Heavyweight Tournaments, the timing was perfect for this rematch add another incredible intriguing storyline to this huge night of fights.”
Lawal bounced back from the loss to Newton by entering and winning the Bellator Summer Series four-man light heavyweight tournament with stoppages of Seth Petruzelli and Jacob Noe.
“Listen, I’m going to be real honest about this. Emanuel is fake as hell,” Lawal said. “He runs his mouth about being a black skinhead or something, and likes to act real hard. He’s as hard as baby shit. I’m going to destroy this guy. He landed a shot on me in our first fight, nothing more than that. I’m better than him in every facet of the game. I didn’t even shoot on him that first fight. I can take this fight anywhere I want it, and I will. It’s over. I’m taking that belt in Long Beach, bringing it back to Las Vegas, and no one is getting it back; not Vegh, not Rampage, not Tito, not anyone. It’s mine. Payback is bitch, Emanuel.”
Newton was relatively unknown when he joined the Bellator roster, but after upsetting Lawal in the Season 8 tournament, he went on to defeat Mikhail Zayats in the finals. With Vegh sidelined, Newton will still get a shot at a belt, he’ll just have to do it against the man he beat to put himself in this position in the first place.
“I’m not going to spout off and trash Mo, I don’t have to do that,” Newton proclaimed. “I know Mo is going to run his mouth and try to sell his game, but I don’t have anything to prove. I’m the one that knocked him out, and he’s the one that has to deal with that loss on his record, not me. I did it once, and I’m going to do it again, this time on an even bigger stage. History likes to repeat itself, and Nov. 2 Mo’s going to have to deal with another big loss on his record.”