Looking back over his loss to Liam McGeary at Bellator 134 in February, which cost him his light-heavyweight championship, Emanuel “Hardcore Kid” Newton admits that mistakes were made at all levels heading into the fight and during it that cost him the bout.
“I wasn’t worthy of winning that fight because of my life decisions,” Newton told MMAWeekly.com. “I was smoking weed, for which I tested positive. I wasn’t putting in the hard training camp. I only trained for two weeks for that fight.
“I also took (McGeary) down, which wasn’t the smartest thing to do with him being really good off his back, and especially with him being hesitant to strike. I just didn’t fight a smart fight. I let my pride and ego take advantage of me.”
In preparations for his upcoming bout at Bellator 142 (aka Dynamite), Newton is confident he has fixed the problems that hindered him versus McGeary.
“I’ve put in a tough training camp, I stepped away from smoking weed and I got away from the things that were hindering me,” said Newton. “I brought in a Joey Davis, who was a three-time national wrestling champion and was the best wrestler I’ve ever had to deal with in my life.
“I made sure that I was working on my takedown defense, and if I do get taken down, that I cannot make mistakes. Just making sure that I’ll be on point and do the best I can do and get the W.”
The extensive work Newton (25-8-1) did on his ground game will come in to play in a big way on Saturday when he takes on UFC veteran Phil Davis (13-3, 1NC) in the first round of the Bellator light-heavyweight title contender tournament in San Jose, Calif.
“I’ve just got to make sure that I’m the aggressor and I don’t let him get on top. Phil tends to have those fights where he grinds people out a decision – I can’t let that happen – I won’t let that happen.”
Having been able to rebound off of losses in the past and go on big winning streaks, Newton is confident he can get back on track against Davis and keep it going right through to reclaiming his title.
“That’s what I tend to do in my career,” said Newton. “All of my losses, I just wasn’t worthy of victory, so I saw what I did to get to that point, I break myself down, and then I revamp and regroup and become something new and different.”