On paper, 2015 did not appear to be a good year for former Bellator light-heavyweight champion Emanuel “Hardcore Kid” Newton.
Losses to Liam McGeary and Phil Davis marked the first time in six years that Newton had dropped back-to-back bouts. Still, Newton feels the year had a positive impact on his career and is looking forward to using what he learned as he starts his 2016 campaign.
“Last year I felt was a huge growing year for me,” Newton told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s been my whole career: I lose a couple and win a bunch, then I lose a couple more and win a bunch. I always come back a better person, a better man, with a deeper understanding of myself and everything that I am.
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“I don’t feel I did anything wrong. Things happened as they were supposed to. I learned there are certain things I cannot do and certain things I should not do, and with that learning, I should have a better year this year.”
Newton (25-9-1) will look to get back in the win column when he returns at Bellator 149 on Feb. 19 in Houston, Texas, in a rematch from with Linton Vassell (16-5) in a main card light heavyweight bout. Newton won their first match-up, which occurred in late 2014.
“I’m sure a lot can change in that time,” said Newton facing Vassell over a year later. “From what I saw in Linton’s last fight, he looked a lot the same, but I know he’s getting a lot stronger and more seasoned. I definitely know he’s grown as a fighter, but his style really hasn’t changed much since we fought last time.
“In the last fight, we ….View full article