Emanuel Newton retained his Bellator light heavyweight title, submitting Linton Vassell in the fifth round at Bellator 130 on Friday evening.
Newton was down early, being dominated on the ground, but he rebounded in the later rounds and slapped on a rear-naked choke at the 0:47 mark of the fifth round.
Newton found himself in trouble early, giving up his back in the first round. Vassell worked to get a rear-naked choke, and transitioned to full mount when Newton tried to escape. Towards the end of the opening round, Newton escaped from mount and secured his opponent’s back, but was unable to further put Vassell in a compromising hold before time expired.
Vassell again worked for a submission in the second round, attempting a keylock once he was able to secure full mount on the ground. Despite Newton’s attempts to escape, Vassell largely remained in top position for the round, again working to secure submissions. Newton finally reversed position towards the end of the round, landing punches from behind as Vassell exposed the back.
Newton gained steam in the third and fourth rounds, not giving up on the efforts to bring the fight to the ground. He found himself in top position more than he did in the first two rounds. But it was the final round where Newton found his opportunity, securing his opponent’s back and sinking in the rear-naked choke en route the tap out.
With the win, Newton successfully defended his Bellator light heavyweight title, extending his win streak to seven.
In the co-main event, Bobby Lashley improved to 2-0 in Bellator with a first-round submission of Karl Etherington.
When his opponent attempted a throw and slipped, Lashley pursued him to the ground and began dropping heavy punches. Etherington covered up and didn’t offer anything back in terms of offense, having no choice but to tap out due to strikes at the 1:31 mark of the opening round.
The win improves Lashley’s MMA record to 10-2, and is his sixth consecutive victory.
In earlier action, Marloes Coenen defeated Annalisa Bucci with a rear-naked choke, earning the submission at 0:57 of the third round.
Dave Jansen opened up the main card with a win over Rick Hawn by unanimous decision. Judges scored the bout 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.