Newton: ‘King Mo’ was being cocky

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

At last Thursday’s Bellator event, Emanual Newton shocked almost everyone, knocking out Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal with a spinning backfist. Newton was a huge underdog to Lawal, who was actually a favorite to win the tournament. King Mo recently spoke to Fightline and claimed it wasn’t cockiness that led to his loss, but Newton disagrees:

“I think it was cockiness more than anything,” Newton told Radio ( “He was so – I’m not going to say full of himself – buthe in his mind, there was no way I was going to beat him.”

Lawal had just finished throwing a right hand when Newton spun and hit him with a spinning backfist (watch it below). Lawal wound up in Newton’s arms as he toppled to the mat, where the referee immediately stopped the bout.

“It’s just a part of my arsenal,” Newton said. “I throw the spinning backfist from an awkward position, like a retreating move.”

Critics say Lawal wasn’t defending himself properly throughout the bout and exposed himself to counters by keeping his hands low. Newton said the boxing-influenced style works for the ex-Strikeforce champ, but it was a bad fit for his taekwondo-inflected moves.

“The (Floyd) Mayweather style, I think that he’s long, so I feel that it really works for him,” he said. “But when we would exchange and he backed up, his hands were down. And I was even thinking, ‘Man, I’m either going to throw a spinning backfist or a spinning hook kick, and it’s going to land.’ It just happened that the spinning backfist came first.

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