Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton will not be facing Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal or even Tito Ortiz for his next title defense.
Instead, Newton will meet Joey Beltran at Bellator 124 on September 12 from Detroit, officials announced on Tuesday.
The card will also see the conclusion of the light heavyweight tournament between Liam McGeary and Kelly Anundson. The main card airs on Spike TV from the Compuware Arena.
“I’ve been wanting to get back in the cage as soon as possible so I went to Scott Coker and he made this fight happen for me,” Newton said. “Beltran is a guy that always pushes the pace and looks for the finish, which plays into my style perfectly. I know he is coming off a nice win against (Vladimir) Matyushenko, and has been in this game for a while, so I’m excited for the fight and another chance to defend my belt.”
Newton (23-7) unified the titles when he defeated Attila Vegh via split decision in March. He became the interim champion with a decision win over Lawal last year.
Beltran (15-10) snapped a two-fight losing skid by submitting Matyushenko in April. He lost to Jackson last November and Fabio Maldonado in the UFC in October.
“I’m jacked to get this shot against Newton,” Beltran said. “He’s a tough guy, but I’ve been in this sport for a while now and have fought some of the best. I’ve got some good momentum after my last fight, and were going to put on a show September 12.”
More fights will be announced in the coming weeks for the card.