Much of the pre-fight coverage heading into tonight’s rematch between “King Mo” Lawal and Emanuel Newton, has been tied to the pretty sizeable rivalry the two have formed over the past months. Ever since Newton knocked out Lawal with a now much discussed, spinning backfist at Bellator 90, the two have exchanged more than a few verbal shots. When you also consider both men are well rounded fighters and tonight’s fight is for the interim light-heavyweight belt, chances are you’re excited it’s going to be live and free on SPIKE.
While Bellator and hardcore MMA fans may be excited about tonight’s card, as it also features Chandler-Alvarez II in the headliner, not everyone is a fan of the promotion. In addition, some observers view Bellator’s decision to axe the pay-per-view, after Tito Ortiz withdrew due to an injury, as a sign the promotion is on shaky ground. Well, at a media workout this week to promote Bellator 106, here is some of what Lawal had to say about what the card means for the fighters and the organization (comment via MMA Junkie.com).
“It’s about guys trying to come up and be respected within an organization that a lot of people out there, UFC groupies, they downplay the whole card. I’ve seen people on Twitter saying, ‘Bellator failed because it’s (not) on pay-per-view.’ Why are you complaining about fights falling through when there are still fights left. Be happy you’re seeing fights for free. Don’t bash organizations because they have shortcomings. They’re fights. If you want to see lesser fights, go to a bar, get two people drunk, and then instigate a fight between them. You can watch a fight for free then. But if you want to see high-level competition, tune in to Spike TV Nov. 2 and watch this fight.”
“I feel like the theme of this whole card is people trying to come up. Newton trying to make a name for himself. I’m trying to beat Newton to get revenge. (Daniel) Straus and (Pat) Curran are both trying to make names for themselves, and … (Eddie) Alvarez is trying to get back in the spotlight, and Chandler’s like, ‘I’m the champ. You’re not getting your belt back.’
It’s also worth noting that Lawal relayed he doesn’t care for the “dumb-ass headlines” and “stuff” the MMA media reports most of the time. He also argued that the coverage is “almost spectacle and entertainment” rather than stories that one normally finds with other sports.