Newton, 24, managed to keep Hollett at bay with punches and body kicks throughout the fight as the champion stalked the challenger around the ring. However, it was Newton who landed on the charging Hollett and managed to score a few takedowns en route to being declared the victor via scores of 50-45 (twice) and 49-46.
The initial two rounds were a feeling-out process, with both competitors showing a clear respect for the strengths of the other. The third round saw Hollett pursue Newton more aggressively, but any momentum the Canadian gained was taken away by Newton in the fourth round. The Anotnio KcKee pupil landed a couple of takedowns and exerted solid ground control for the clear-cut victory.
"I came out and did what I wanted to do which was circle," said Newton, who stretched his win streak to nine. "I wish I could have landed some more punches but he was a strong guy. I didn’t think his cardio was going to be there. I usually fight guys who are more technical and Roger would just come in swinging. I just tried to stay out of the way of his punches."
The crowd was restless throughout the fight, booing the fighters at the completion of each round. Hollett came forward as per usual for him, but seemed hesitant to throw combos when he got close. Newton was only able to land one or two punches at a time while trying to avoid Hollett’s advances – a style of fight that did not adhere to the majority of those in attendance.
"In some ways the crowd reaction affects you,” said Hollett. “I wanted to finish it for them, but in the end I wanted the money and the championship first and foremost."
In the main attraction for most, Paul Daley made a spectacular MFC debut over veteran fighter John Alessio, finishing him with a trio of punches midway through the second round.
In the second set, Alessio failed with an ankle pick, which left him wide open for Daley to connect with three huge left hands that crumpled Alessio on the ropes. Referee Jon Braak called a halt to the action 2:18 into the second round.
"I saw from his fight with Thiago Alves that leg kicks could work on him so I went with them right from the start -- mostly low but I threw a few high ones as well," said the 25-year-old Daley. "I knew he was going to strike for a bit to set up the takedown so I used that to my advantage."
Daley, who missed weight by four pounds the day before and had to forfeit 25 percent of his purse, said his next bout will be in January -- either for Sengoku or Affliction.
While Daley said he would like to return to the MFC someday, he conceded that "20 hours on a plane is brutal. I hate these long flights to North America."
Derrick Noble and Ariel Sexton put on the most entertaining fight of the evening, as both fighters exchanged barrages of heavy leather throughout their lightweight contest. In the first, each fighter had their opponent on the verge of defeat from heavy blows, but both managed to survive their respective onslaughts.
In the second round, Noble finally managed to get the fight to the ground after a Sexton takedown attempt failed, and Noble took advantage by slapping on a fight-ending guillotine choke at 90 seconds into the round.
Kyle Sandford picked up his seventh consecutive victory with a split decision victory over Joey Gorczynski. Both fighters were cautious and respective of their opponent’s arsenal in a bout that was slowed by a couple of unintentional groin strikes to both fighters. In the end, the judges saw it 29-28 (twice) and 28-29 for the Halifax-based fighter.
Fireworks were expected in the second meeting between Jason Kuchera and Aaron Lofton, but this was not to be, as Lofton finished the rematch in only 44 seconds via a guillotine choke. Seven months earlier, their initial meeting became the leading candidate for MFC fight of the year.
In other bouts:
Ryan Machan def. Mike Sorenson - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 4:54 R1
Josh Russell def. Colby Snyder - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 1:44 R1
Gavin Neil def. Alain Hernandez - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 2:44 R1
Jessie Clarke def. Nolan Clark - TKO (Punches) 4:07 R1
Ryan McGillivray def. Elliott Duff - Submission (Heelhook) 1:33 R1