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Bellator 124: Newton, McGeary Wins Set Up Title Fight

McGeary Anundson Bellator 124PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Emmanuel “The Hardcore Kid” Newton (24-7) and light heavyweight tournament winner Liam McGeary (9-0) set up a future title fight after impressive wins at Bellator 124 on Friday. On the night, Newton retained his title with a third round knockout and McGeary closed out the tournament with a first round submission to make the fight possible.

Newton faced the challenge brought on by a driven Joey Beltran (15-11) in the main event. Beltran opened the match with the intention of sticking to his game plan of pushing himself instide on Newton to eliminate the distance Newton needs for his knockout power in his unconventional striking game. “The Mexicutioner” forced the fight immediately to the cage and tried to pressure Newton into a takedown. Newton reversed the position and made a takedown of his own but Beltran was able to recover quickly to his feet.

The duo exchanged a couple of combinations to finish out the first round. Beltran continued to press the attack and controlled the center of the octagon, keeping the champion on the move, and getting the better of the exchanges between the two. Newton would land strikes while retreating in the octagon, but Beltran kept coming forward. This continued into round three as Newton attempted several retreating spinning strikes at Beltran as he came even. Eventually a spinning left backfist caught Beltran on his left jaw and crumpled him to the mat for the knockout.

In the previous fight, McGeary brought the light heavyweight tournament to a close with an amazing submission finish of Kelly “Crossface” Anundson (9-3). After an opening salvo between the fighters, Annundson completes a takedown and manages to work that for control for the remainder of the fight. Anundson escaped several submission attempts from the bottom by McGeary while unleashing a ground and pound from his dominant position. McGeary was able to catch Anundson in a reverse arm-in triangle that left “Crossface” unable to do anything but tap.

The tournament win gets McGeary a title shot in an upcoming Bellator event against Newton.