Bellator 90 Picks: Muhammed Lawal (-505) vs. Emanuel Newton (+335)

Bellator-90 Bellator 90 Maverik Center, Salt Lake City, Utah Thursday, February 21, 2013 Light Heavyweight Semifinal:┬áMuhammed Lawal (-505) vs. Emanuel Newton (+335) Fight Breakdown: The Bellator Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament continues with No. 1 seed Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal taking on veteran Emanuel Newton. Lawal opened as a big -505 favorite (bet $505 to win $100), while the comeback on Newton is +355 (bet $100 to win $355). Lawal (9-1) opened up the tournament with a knockout win over Przemyslaw Mysiala in what was his official Bellator debut. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Lawal is an excellent wrestler with very big power in his hands, and is definitely the most talented fighter in the entire eight-man field. The question here is does Lawal take Newton seriously, or does he take him lightly? If he comes in this fight prepared for three rounds, then he should win this no problem, but if he looks past Newton he could be in trouble. Newton (19-7) picked up a submission win over Atantas Djambazov in the quarterfinals to get his crack at Lawal. A long-time veteran of the sport, Newton is a pretty well-rounded fighter who has seen eight of his victories come by way of submission. This is a tough matchup for him and no one is giving him much of a chance, but he’s a better fighter than the betting line indicates. Still, he’ll need to implement some sort of gameplan if he’s able to defeat Lawal, because charging forward and swinging for the fences against a guy like Lawal is a bad idea. Fight Prediction: Newton isn’t a bad fighter by any means but Lawal is a star. I think he can win this fight any way he wants it, really, but I expect him to be able to land some sort of powerful combination midway through the fight that puts Newton down on the canvas and out cold. Adam’s Pick: Muhammed Lawal via TKO (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: When Lawal opened at -505 he had some value. But the public has come in on him hard and he’s currently sitting as a ridiculous -1200 favorite. He should win this fight, but I do not recommend a bet on him at that price, not even as a parlay padder.

Written by Adam Martin.

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