Bellator 124 Play: Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (+500) vs Emanuel Newton (-900)

Emanuel Newton 2Bellator 124 Date: September 12, 2014 Arena: Compuware Arena City: Plymouth, MI Light Heavyweight title bout: Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (+500) vs Emanuel Newton (-900) Fight Breakdown: The main event for Bellator 124 will be a light heavyweight title bout between challenger Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran and champion Emanuel Newton. Beltran is a massive underdog at the sportsbooks at +500 ($100 to win $500) and the champ is the big betting favorite at -900 ($900 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (15-10-1 NC MMA, 1-1 Bellator) is coming off an impressive, come-from-behind third round submission victory over the veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko at Bellator 116 five months ago. He was down two rounds heading into the third, and when the fight hit the mat, he found himself in superior position and took full advantage, locking up a north-south choke to earn the tap from the Belarusian, sending him into retirement. “The Mexicutioner” is a solid boxer with a great chin who is always willing to take two just to land one. He is powerful, and does a good job of controlling his opponents, especially against the cage. He can hold them either down on the mat or against the cage and pepper them with shots, especially since he has more of a power advantage at 205-pounds than he did at heavyweight. He used to weigh in around 245 lbs for the heavyweight division, but now meets the 205 lb limit for light heavyweight. The 32-year old is well-versed in the submission game, as he owns a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is evident of his submission of the veteran Matyushenko. That said, he certainly prefers to keep his fights on the feet and always looks to put his opponents away. In fact, 11 of his 15 professional mixed martial arts career victories come by way of knockout. Training out of Alliance MMA in San Diego, CA, “The Mexicutioner” has excellent cardio and should be able to go the full 25-minutes of action, but it’s questionable whether he could keep up with Newton’s volume of output. Emanuel Newton (23-7 MMA, 6-1 Bellator) is one of the best light heavyweight strikers outside of the UFC. He is currently on a five-fight winning streak, which would have been 11, had he not dropped a controversial split decision to Atilla Vegh at Bellator 72. He last saw action at Bellator 113, where he got the chance to get revenge on Vegh, defeating him via split decision. Two bouts, two split decisions; the difference is the last one was a five-rounder for the promotion’s 205-pound title, and it was Newton who walked away with the gold. The 34-year old has tremendous takedown defense and does a great job of keeping his fights on the feet, where he showcases the many, many weapons he possesses in his striking arsenal. He is very technical on the feet, and in my opinion, one of the best technical strikers in all of mixed martial arts. Newton is not just a striker, though, as he is well-versed in all aspects of mixed martial arts, including the submission game, as is evident by the fact that eight of his 23 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of tapout. Splitting time between Reign MMA in Orange County and Kings MMA in Los Angeles, Newton is a very well-conditioned athlete who will be able to go all 25-minutes of action against Beltran should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards. Gabe’s Thoughts: Simply put, I think Newton is going to keep this fight on the feet and use his superior striking and speed advantage to cruise to a comfortable unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I won’t be surprised to see him finish Beltran, but ‘The Mexicutioner’ is tough and hard to put away. That combined with the fact that Newton is more of a technical fighter than a finisher makes me favor the ‘over’ in this spot. I think going five rounds here will be a personal victory and think there’s a good chance he makes it all five rounds. I love Newton here but I don’t love him for a play at his current betting line of -900. However, I do like the Over 4.5 rounds for a small play at -140 . Gabe’s Call: Newton by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 4.5 rounds (-140) 1.75u to win 1.25u

Written by Gabe Killian

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