On Friday, October 24th Bellator MMA will hold Bellator 130: Newton vs. Vassell from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.

In the night’s main event, light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton will be looking to make his second successful title defence in this season of Bellator when he defends against Linton Vassell. Newton retained the title earlier this season when he knocked out Joey Beltran with what is becoming his signature move, the spinning back fist. Vassell is coming off of back-to-back submission victories inside the Bellator cage and has not lost in nearly four years. The winner of this bout could be set up for big things with question marks still surrounding Quinton Jackson, and fast rising Liam McGeary possibly getting the next title shot.

In the night’s co-main event TNA Wrestling heavyweight champion, Bobby Lashley, will make his second appearance for Bellator against Karl Etherington. Lashley initially made his name in pro wrestling, but has now amassed thirteen pro fights. Lashley has won four straight including submitting Josh Burns in his Bellator debut. Etherington steps onto the biggest stage of his career with a still unbeaten record. The Englishman is known as a knockout artist and none of his nine professional bouts have gone past the first round.

The final two bouts on the main card are also very intriguing. Bellator’s new women’s division makes its debut when Marloes Coenen faces Annalisa Bucci. Kicking off the main card will be the returning Dave Jansen facing off with Bellator mainstay, Rick Hawn. This will be Jansen’s first bout since winning a lightweight tournament way back in March of 2013.

The stacked main card airs live on Spike TV starting at 9 p.m. ET with the preliminary action kicking off here on The MMA Corner and Spike.com starting at 7 p.m. ET.

A recap of the main card along with full results are below.

Main Card Summary

The opening bout of the night featured Bellator Season 7 lightweight tournament winner Dave Jansen (19-2), undefeated in Bellator MMA, returning after over a year away from the cage to face former lightweight and welterweight title challenger Rick Hawn (18-3).  Jansen hadn’t fought since that tournament win, over rising Bellator star Marcin Held, who has since gone on to win a lightweight tournament himself (Season 10). Hawn, a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team in Judo, entered the night coming off a title fight loss against Douglas Lima for the vacant welterweight strap left behind by Ben Askren in April.

In a tentative first frame, Jansen led with several kicks and may have had the upper hand in a close round. Hawn began to find his range in the second, connecting a handful of times as kicks left Jansen vulnerable. Jansen continued to press forward, however, switching things up between leg kicks and upper body kicks that kept everyone, including his opponent, guessing as to where he’d target next. The third, if somewhat closer, saw more of the same, with Jansen bloodied just a little, but still setting the pace and cruising to a unanimous decision victory.

The second fight of the night brought on the debut of one of Bellator MMA’s big summer signings, Marloes Coenen (21-6), as well as the debut of its Women’s Featherweight division. The former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion took on Annalisa Bucci (7-3), ranked sixth in the featherweight division in the Unified Women’s Mixed Martial Arts rankings. Coenen entered the night having been inactive since a July 2013 loss to Cyborg Justino for the Invicta Featherweight championship.

Coenen had Bucci to the ground within mere seconds of the opening bell in the first, and quickly worked to sink in a choke. Bucci, however, managed to escape and wound up on top in Coenen’s guard. Unable to make much progress, the two wound up back on the feet, then down again, with Coenen in control — a late round attempt at an arm-bar was fruitless as the bell rang and Bucci escaped the round. Round two started out much the same as the first, and while once again, Bucci would eventually find herself in top position, she was unable to unleash much offence, and Coenen was relatively active from the bottom. As Jimmy Smith noted, it was mostly a defensive top position by Bucci from above. Come the third, however, Coenen managed to take Bucci’s back and from a rather awkward position, locked in a rear-naked choke for her first Bellator victory.

Bellator 130’s co-main event saw former WWE alum and current TNA Wrestling star Bobby Lashley (11-2) take on undefeated U.K. heavyweight prospect Karl Etherington (9-0). In a wide open heavyweight division, a win for either fighter would be a big step forward. Lashley won his Bellator debut just six weeks earlier in September at Bellator 123 when he choked out Josh Burns; a win for the crossover star could put Lashley in the title picture, while it would be a marquee win for Etherington were he to pull it off.

After an intense staredown to start things off, Lashley put Etherington against the fence and ate a low blow for his troubles, but declined to take much in the way of recovery time. The questionable decision worked out in the end however — after an accidental slip during a judo toss attempt by Etherington just moments later, Lashley took advantage, pouncing, and delivering blow after blow to the side of the English fighter’s head. With Etherington covering up and offering no intelligent defence, the ref had no choice but to stop the action (Etherington was in the process of tapping out), and Lashley took home his second win in the promotion. Who he gets next will be interesting, as he’s a big name in a thin division.

The evening’s main event featured the Hardcore Kid, Emanuel Newton (24–7–1), taking on Linton Vassell (14–3 (1)) with Newton’s light heavyweight title on the line. Newton entered the night coming off a highlight reel victory over Joey Beltran back in September, where he laid out Beltran with a spinning backfist eerily similar to his previous spinning backfist KO of King Mo Lawal. For his part, Vassell came in to the night on a nine fight win streak, with a considerable height and reach advantage over Newton. The size difference was noticeable the second the two fighters entered the cage.

Round one saw Newton throw a number of flashy kicks in Vassell’s direction, while Vassell attempted several body kicks of his own. Newton also threw a spinning backfist attempt early, and moments later nearly found himself in a standing guillotine. Once the fight hit the ground, Newton was almost caught in a rear-naked choke, and Vassell displayed a clear advantage on the ground, with solid transitions and multiple close calls. Newton’s troubles were compounded by giving up his back several times during the sequence, but he was able to move to Vassell’s back towards the end of the round and work for a choke of his own, though the frame easily went to the challenger.

The second round saw Newton attempt a takedown early and struggle with the size of Vassell, but he soon found himself on the ground, caught in a kimura and was perhaps moments from tapping. Newton escaped, but was on the ground again, on bottom eating elbows, struggling to work his way back to his feet. It was all Vassell throughout the round, and there was yet another close call for Newton with just under a minute left in the frame as he found himself in a rear naked choke. Again, however, Newton managed to escape, and finished the round on the back of Vassell, but it was too little, too late as far as the scorecards were concerned.

Round three saw Newton land a back kick to Vassell’s chest, with little effect. This was followed by a low blow, and ref Big John McCarthy broke up the action to give Vassell the necessary recovery time. Following the resumption of the action, Newton would again attempt a takedown, and again struggle bringing the larger man to the mat. He was, however, able to control from the back, while defending against a kimura attempt from Vassell on the bottom. This led to transitioning to top control, which did not last long for Newton as the challenger quickly reversed. There was little Vassell could do with under a minute to go, however, and Newton may finally have won a frame.

Entering the championship rounds, Newton had to either sweep the remaining two frames and hope for a close decision, or finish. Between rounds, his coach advised him against attempting to take Vassell down again, and called for more overhand rights. It was time to see who had the cardio and heart to go past fifteen minutes. That said, Newton once again opted to try for a takedown and landed in top control when all was said and done. This time, he managed to control from the top and land a number of strikes, with Vassell perhaps showing the first signs of fatigue. With ninety seconds to go, Newton moved to full guard, and began landing hard elbows. Vassell rolled and Newton took the back, landing blows behind the ear. Interestingly, after warning Newton against blows to the back of the head towards the end of the fourth, ref Big John warned Vassell between rounds that he was turning his head when he saw/sensed strikes coming, and that he couldn’t penalize Newton with the challenger turning his head into the blows.

The fifth saw Newton quickly take Vassell to the ground and lock in a tight rear-naked choke, and after four rounds with two going to each fighter and the fifth looking to be sudden death, the fight was over in the blink of an eye, with Vassell tapping and Newton having his second successful defence of his light heavyweight title. Following the fight, it was confirmed that Bellator 2014 Summer Series light heavyweight tournament winner Liam McGeary would be the next challenger at 205lbs, with Newton meeting him sometime in 2015.

FULL RESULTS
Emanuel Newton defeated Linton Vassell at 0:47 of the fifth round to retain the Bellator MMA light heavyweight title

Bobby Lashley defeated Karl Etherington via submission (tap out due to strikes) at 1:31 of the first round.

Marloes Coenen defeated Annalisa Bucci via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:57 of the third round.

Dave Jansen defeated Rick Hawn via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Ricky Musgrave defeated Joe Wilk via TKO (strikes) at 2:45 of the first round.

Marcio Navarro defeated Cody Carrillo via TKO (strikes) at 2:50 of the third round.

Daniel Gallemore defeated Gzim Selmani via TKO (punches) at 4:33 of the second round.

Sam Oropeza defeated Gary Tapusoa via TKO (strikes) at 2:31 of the first round.

Darrion Caldwell defeated Anthony Dizy via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Aaron Derrow defeated Nate Jolly via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Alex Huddleston defeated Derek Bohi via TKO (punches) at 4:04 of the first round.

Davi Ramos vs. David Rickels (dark match)

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.