Emanuel Newton is set to defend his Bellator light heavyweight championship for the first time, and it will be against a rather surprising opponent, “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (15-10, 1 NC).
The title fight will main event Bellator 124 on September 12th in Michigan at the Michigan Compuware Arena.
While there was a Season 10 light heavyweight tournament to determine Newton’s next opponent, the winner of said tournament, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson expressed his desire to not compete against his training partner, Newton.
Therefore, Beltran has been picked by the Bellator brass to compete for the title. The 32 year old joined Bellator in 2013 following a 10-fight stint in the UFC where he went 3-6 with 1 no-contest. Joey Beltran lost his Bellator debut to Rampage Jackson by 1st round TKO, but later bounced back with a 3rd round submission victory over Vladimir Matyushenko at Bellator 116 in April.
Emanuel “The Hardcore Kid” Newton (23-7-1) became the official 3rd light heavyweight champion in Bellator history when he unified the interim title in March; defeating then champion, Attila Vegh and avenging his only loss in Bellator. Newton (6-1 in Bellator) won the season 8 light heavyweight tournament over King Mo Lawal and Mikhail Zayats and then went on to win the interim title with a victory over King Mo in a rematch. Newton takes a 5-fight win streak into his first title defense.
Also announced for the card is a co-main event that will determine the next contender in line for the light heavyweight title. The summer series light heavyweight tournament final between Liam McGeary and Kelly Anundson–both earning their spot in the finals by winning at Bellator 122.