It was a semifinal bout of the Bellator season eight light heavyweight tournament and the former Strikeforce 205-pound champion was a commanding favorite to not just win the tourney but also to become the Bellator champ at light heavyweight.
Obviously, that didn't happen and "King Mo" drew some criticism for keeping his hands too low during the fight, as Newton was repeatedly landing strikes before he scored the emphatic finish. But in a recent interview with Fight Hype, Lawal explains that the placement of his hands had nothing to do with his shocking upset defeat:
"I will be just fine. Emanuel did what he had to do and he caught me. I didn't even see the shot. A lot of people saying that I was fighting cocky and with my hands down, but if you watch it, when he missed with his right hand, I threw a right hand and then he came with the spinning backfist so he kind of caught me in the act of punching, but no excuses, I'm good, and I will be back and hopefully I get to fight him again in the future. It was the first time I had been knocked out, and the good thing is I came to pretty quick. When I saw the ref standing over me, I just said, 'Damn!'"
Lawal will be back, obviously. Bellator wouldn't have held a media conference call or given him a 30 minute special on Spike TV if the promotion and network didn't have big plans for the powerful wrestler.
Bellator made Lawal's loss its "Moment of the Week" which you can view below:
Who's side are you on in the debate?