Bellator 124 Fight Breakdown: Emanuel Newton vs. Joey Beltran

Joey Beltran The main event of Bellator 124 is a five-round title fight between Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton and Joey Beltran. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Newton is a -900 favorite (bet $900 to win $100) while Beltran is a +500 underdog (bet $100 to win $500). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened Newton at -705 and Beltran at +435, and so far action has come in on the big favorite Newton. I’m picking Newton to beat Beltran and understand why the betting public is giving “The Mexecutioner” no credit in this matchup. Here’s why. Newton (23-7-1) is the Bellator light heavyweight champion and one of the most underrated 205lb-ers in the world. The 30-year-old American is 6-1 overall in the Bellator cage with two huge wins over King Mo as well as notable victories over Mikhail Zayats and Attila Vegh. He also holds earlier career wins over James McSweeney and Ilir Latifi. He has won 11 of his past 12 fights overall, including his last five in a row in the Bellator cage. Newton is primarily a striker. He has an unorthodox standup game where he likes to throw a lot of side kicks and he also has a spinning back fist in his arsenal, which is how he knocked out King Mo in their first fight. Some will say he doesn’t have knockout power, but he proved he does when he fought King Mo. He also has solid takedown defence, underrated submissions on the ground, and from what we’ve seen a pretty good chin. One thing he could stand to do is be more aggressive in his bouts, but so far his tactical style has worked out well for him, especially in Bellator, where he won the light heavyweight tournament and then the light heavyweight title. Newton was a guy that everyone in the MMA world slept on for a long time but after taking out King Mo not once, but twice, he is finally earning the respect of the betting public, and he enters this fight against Beltran as a big favorite. Beltran (15-10, 1 NC) is primarily a brawler although he’s changed his style over the years to turn into more of a fence grinder. At 32 years of age, Beltran is finally getting his crack at a world title, although it’s not exactly deserved. Yes, he’s coming off of an impressive submission win over Vladimir Matyushenko, but overall he’s just 1-1 in Bellator and 3-7, 1 NC over his last 10 fights including the No Contest, a win over Igor Pokrajac that was overturned because Beltran tested positive for PEDs. He used to be a fan favorite for his chin down, hands flying style, but in recent years he’s become a bit more boring, and he’s tried to win his fights by pushing his opponents into the fence. It hasn’t worked out too well for him as of late as you can tell by his record, but his style is smarter now and it will let him fight for longer in his career. But overall he’s just a very limited fighter. His boxing is ok, not great, his ground game is ok, not great, and his wrestling — likewise — is ok but not great. His chin is still decent but definitely not what it once was either, although he does have decent cardio. Still, he’s such a flawed fighter that going up against someone as polished as Newton is, it makes sense he’s the underdog. For this fight I am expecting Newton to stop any of Beltran’s takedown attempts, keep the fight standing, and use his unorthodox striking attack to outpoint Beltran and win a clear-cut decision. That being said, -900 seems a bit crazy to me — I mean, Rampage Jackson is a superior fighter to Newton and even he wasn’t that high against Beltran. So while I do think Newton wins, I don’t see any value in the line and don’t see much of a reason to bet it. If anything, OVER 4.5 rounds at -160 could be the right bet to make here as I don’t see Newton stopping Beltran, although the fact Beltran has never been 25 minutes before is a bit worrisome. Still, considering the difference in juice, OVER seems like a better play. But overall I think there’s better fights to pick and choose for bets this weekend in MMA.

Written by Adam Martin.

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