Daniel Dahlback - The MMA Report

Former Bellator champion Emanuel Newton views 2015 as a huge year of growing

Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton will look to snap a two fight losing streak tonight in Houston, Texas when he has a rematch with Linton Vassell at Bellator 149.

The initial fight between the two light heavyweight fighters took place in 2014 when Newton was the Bellator champion. Ultimately, Newton would score a submission victory in the final round to score the second latest stoppage in Bellator title fight history.

Since their initial meeting, Newton lost the Bellator title to current champion Liam McGeary and was submitted by Phil Davis in the one-night, four-man light heavyweight tournament in September. While things did not go his way last year, Newton told The MMA Report that 2015 was a huge year of growth for him and it showed him that he needed to get closer to god.

“It was a huge year of growing,” Newton explained. “Huge year of learning and coming into a deeper understanding of myself and my relationship with the creator of heaven and earth.”

“I am not a super hero. I have to grow closer to god in order to understand the things I can and can not do,” he continued. “I have to be in the gym and not take away from my training. Any god can take anything away at any time to prove a point. And to bring to a deeper understanding and I feel that is what he did to me the last year.”

Newton (25-9-1) will look to get back on track tonight when he attempts to score his second victory against Vassell. With his mindset being different heading into this fight, he knows what he needs to go to accomplish a victory but understands the challenge that will be in front of him tonight at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

“I know that Linton is a different fighter now than he was,” Newton stated. “We actually gave him some tips on how to cut weight and also the last fight was five rounds. That is why I had to put in a hard camp this time. I had to get it in. I am going in there with the mindset knowing that I did beat him and I am sure he is going in with the mindset that he lost to me. That is something that is always going to be on a man’s heart no matter what.”

“I was victorious and that he lost. But I know that he is a very tough fighter. He has no quit in him. He is a very hard worker so I just have to put in the hard work equally. Like I said, I have deeper into scripture and deeper in understanding myself knowing I am going in there with the edge because I have beaten him. And because I have seen what he brings into the ring.”

For “The Hardcore Kid” to get the win tonight, he knows that he has to get in the face of Vassell and make him fight his fight. If that happens and Newton walks away with a victory, he would likely be another win or two away from getting an opportunity to reclaim the Bellator light heavyweight title.