On Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, Bellator MMA heads to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. for Bellator 134: The British Invasion.

While this fight card is stacked with interesting bouts between American and British fighters and the bout, everyone is looking forward to is the light heavyweight title fight between champion Emanuel Newton and challenger Liam McGeary.

Since losing to Attila Vegh in the semifinals of the Bellator 2012 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament, Newton has gone 7-0 in the Bellator cage. On Friday night, Newton will be looking to defend his title for the third time.

McGeary on the other hand heads into this bout on the heels of Bellator 2014 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament win. McGeary is undefeated as a pro and he has won all nine of his pro bouts by stoppage.

Striking

Even though Newton is the Bellator light heavyweight champion, he is still overlooked as being an elite fighter. But make no mistake, he is as tough as they come and he is sneaky good on the feet. Newton doesn’t have the most technical striking game, but his ability to mix in the unexpected makes him dangerous.

McGeary is the more technically sound striker and he will also have the pure power advantage. Even though Newton’s unpredictability makes him dangerous McGeary will get the better of the striking exchanges.

Advantage: McGeary

Grappling

Training at Renzo Gracie’s academy and the American Kickboxing Academy, you know that McGeary can hold his own when it comes to grappling. But Newton has been grappling longer and against better competition. While Newton is far from being the best pure wrestler, his functional wrestling is excellent. Newton knows how and when to utilize his wrestling and he knows how to win grappling exchanges.

Advantage: Newton

Submissions

Even though Newton has twice the amount of submission victories than his opponent, McGeary’s submission game is just a little bit better than Newton’s. In his last bout, McGeary submitted Kelly Anundson with an inverted triangle choke. If an opponent leaves an opening Newton has the tools to make them tap, but McGeary can force them to make that mistake rather than just capitalizing on it.

Advantage: McGeary

X-Factors

McGeary: McGeary’s ability to finish fights is his biggest advantage heading into Friday. Newton has been finished three times in his career, and while he hasn’t been finished in almost six years, McGeary has the tools to test his mettle.

Newton: For Newton his biggest advantage heading into Friday night is his experience. Not only has Newton faced tougher competition, but he has also ventured into the deep waters of title fights. Newton knows what to expect in the third, fourth and fifth rounds of title fights.

Prediction: Newton by Unanimous Decision

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.