Newton's win over Lawal was easily one of the biggest upsets of the year, as no one could have predicted that the "King" would get knocked out of the Bellator MMA season 8 tournament before the finals.
Just one year ago, Lawal was near-death due to a severe staph infection.
“I felt helpless, because I could do nothing,” Lawal recently told Sherdog.com. “All I could do was wait. I started eating more food and putting weight back on, and I’d just get sicker. I didn’t know what to do, man. I was trying to give up. I was like, I’m going to quit taking my meds. I’m done. If I die, then I die. I had to see results to keep moving forward. I can’t lie.”
Lawal survived the infection, but he couldn't survive Newton's spinning back fist.
“With solid guys, you never know where you could have an advantage. It could be anywhere,” said Lawal. “He excels as far as his patience, and he knows my style. He can find someone to try to mimic my style. As far as finding somebody to mimic his style, it’s kind of hard to find somebody who can do that. I’m a student of the game, so I’ve picked up some things that he does. Come fight time, you’ll see.”
With the win, Newton advances to fight Mikhail Zayats for $100,000 and the right to fight for Bellator's 205-pound strap.