Every sport is physical, and every athlete strives to be as physically prepared as possible. Athletes can always condition their bodies to lift a certain amount of weight, contort their bodies in a variety of manners, and exercise their minds to focus on what lies ahead, but few can connect to the universe in ways that allow for them to channel their various energies in a positive manner during the heat of competition.

Very few people in the mixed martial arts world understand the subtle body like Bellator light-heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton. An educated thinker with a vivid range of in-cage creativity and a wealth of knowledge outside of the fight game, Newton never questions the universe or the ways he differs from the people in it. In fact, Newton himself will be the first to admit that he embraces it.

“When watching me, [fans] expect to see something different,” Newton told The MMA Corner, “not just in the way I fight, but in the way I think, the way I move, and my aura and energy is going to be different.”

In an era of modern MMA where some focus heavily on skill-sets, it may actually feel refreshing to see someone like Newton, who taps into the non-physical part of himself to help get him in the zone. After all, while any two humans can certainly concur on opinions and beliefs, they don’t necessarily move in the same way. Newton’s movement, in regards to his MMA techniques and the way he implements them in the heat of battle, does not look anything like what an MMA fan would expect from the typical MMA light-heavyweight. The typical 205’er usually blends in wrestling with a more boxing-based striking game with only an occasional assortment of leg kicks, but Newton operates differently from the norm. He not only accepts the fact that he brings a different style, but he embraces the difference that he sees between himself and everyone else in the division.

“We are meant for greater things, but we’re programmed not to pay attention to those greater things. We’re programmed not to pay attention to our true dreams. We’re programmed to want to be a certain way, think a certain way, listen to a certain music, and eat a certain food, and to try and keep the one-percenter richer. We’re meant to be different, everybody, so pay attention to that and know that we all have different fingerprints for a reason, because we are all meant to think differently, connect differently, and have different success and different things.”

Newton defends his title in a quick turnaround against Linton Vassell, who has not lost in close to four years. Though originally linked to a defense against undefeated Liam McGeary, Newton accepted Vassell for two reasons. First, he embraced the challenge that Vassell brings, as Vassell is a rangy, well-rounded competitor who does cut a lot of weight to make 205, but always comes ready to fight when the cage door closes. Second, Newton expressed a desire to fight more often, and with a variety of weapons at his disposal, Newton feels confident that he will prevail on Friday night.

“Watch what I’m capable of when I truly put my mind to something, and watch what I do when I truly connect to the atoms that dwell beside me, just like the same atoms that dwell behind our sun. It doesn’t matter what he brings to the cage, it’s my belt. It’s my time, and he’s not going to leave with a victory. I’m going to leave with the victory because that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to win.

“When you watch me [on Friday], expect a different kind of style, a different kind of entrance, a different kind of celebration after the fight is done. Expect ‘different’ because I am different.”

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.