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Muhammed Lawal
Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion
Lawal
Nickname "King Mo"
Listed height 6 ft 0 in
Listed weight 205 lb
Reach 79 in
Division Light Heavyweight
Style Wrestling, Boxing
Born January 11, 1981 (1981-01-11) (age 36)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States
Nationality U.S Flag American
Fighting out of San Jose, California, United States
Trained by Javier Mendez, Bob Cook, Leandro Vieira
Team American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)
Organization Bellator MMA
Years active 2008-present

Muhammed Lawal is an American mixed martial artist currently signed to Bellator MMA. He is a former three-time U.S. Senior National Wrestling Champion, a former NCAA National collegiate wrestling Champion with Central Oklahoma, a Texas State Wrestling Champion with Plano East, as well as a decorated international competitor. Lawal is 12-3-1 in his MMA career, earning wins over veterans Travis Wiuff, Mark Kerr, Mike Whitehead, Gegard Mousasi and Seth Petruzelli. Lawal is a former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion.

In the Mixed Martial Arts world Lawal goes by the name of "King Mo" which has made him very popular with the Japanese MMA fans. He got the name "King Mo" from his friend Kami Barzini who told Lawal, "once you do what you gotta do, you'll be a king" and the name has stuck ever since.[1]

WrestlingEdit

After finishing with an NCAA Division 2 National Championship in 2002, Mo moved on to Division 1 for his senior year of college. Lawal became a Big 12 Conference champion and Division 1 All-American in 2003 for Oklahoma State,where he finished in third place for the 197 pound division. He was also the University Freestyle National Champion at 185 pounds this year.

After college Lawal moved on to enter the newly formed Real Pro Wrestling league and became the champion of the 184 pound weight class in 2004. He also moved on to become the Senior U.S. National Champion in freestyle wrestling three times, 2005, 2006 and 2008. For over three years, Lawal was the number 1 ranked wrestler in the United States in the 84 kilogram division.[2]

After narrowly missing entrance to the 2008 Olympics, for which he was favored a spot, Lawal decided to enter the world of Mixed Martial Arts.[3][4]

Mixed Martial ArtsEdit

Lawal made his MMA debut for the Japanese World Victory Road promotion on their Sengoku 5 event. A late replacement for the injured Roger Gracie, Lawal surprised many with his quick TKO victory over veteran Travis Wiuff. He returned to competition just over a month later, securing a TKO victory over Fabio Silva and was victorious in January 2009 against Yukiya Naito. Lawal defeated the current Light Heavyweight King of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura at Sengoku on March 20, 2009 even after suffering an ACL tear in the first round. It was Lawal's only fight so far in his career to go to decision.[5][6]

M-1 GlobalEdit

On August 28, 2009, Lawal made his United States MMA debut and M-1 Global debut at M-1 Global Presents Breakthrough. Lawal's fight was the main event of the main card where he faced "The Smashing Machine" Mark Kerr, instead of the originally planned match up with Mixed Martial Arts legend Don Frye.[7] Lawal quickly scored a takedown and pounded Kerr unconscious, winning the fight (and sending Kerr's mouthpiece flying across the ring) twenty five seconds in the first round. Lawal recently became a member of "Team Thirsty" and "Team GDP" with professional fighters Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier but has since still trained more so with team "Kingdom Of Mayhem" for his more recent fights.

StrikeforceEdit

On October 13, 2009, it was announced that Lawal had signed a multi-fight contract with U.S. based promotion Strikeforce. The contract allows him to continue fighting in the Japanese circuit where he has gained his notoriety.[8]

On December 19th at Strikeforce: Evolution Lawal fought Mike Whitehead, beating him three minutes and eight seconds into round one. Lawal came in showing relaxed hands and strong counter punching and caught Whitehead with a strong right which dropped him. Lawal followed up with three punches causing the referee to stop the fight at three minutes eight seconds awarding Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal the win by KO (Punches).[9]

On April 17, 2010, Lawal defeated Gegard Mousasi by unanimous decision to win the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.[10]

Lawal lost the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship in Houston Texas, on August 21, against Rafael Cavalcante by TKO due to punches and elbows at 1:14 of round 3.[11]

Lawal was out of action until mid 2011 after undergoing surgery to repair a knee injury. Lawal was scheduled to fight Roger Gracie at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson on July 30, 2011. Gracie, however, withdrew from the bout in late June, due to an injury.[12] The fight was rescheduled for Strikeforce World Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov on Sept. 10, 2011, and Lawal won via KO in the first round.[13][14]

Lawal garnered his second straight victory, defeating previously unbeaten Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine via second round KO.[15] However, Lawal tested positive for anabolic steroids (Drostanolone) and as a result of the banned substance, the fight's result has been changed to a no contest while Lawal will have his license suspended for one year.[16] After meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on March 27, 2012 his suspension was reduced to nine months.[17]

Lawal was released from Strikeforce following comments he made on Twitter regarding Pat Lundvall after his hearing for his drug test. Lawal said, "She asked if I did research for my training. I didn't get what she meant by the question, and she rolled her eyes and asked, 'Do you speak English? Can you read?' I felt I was disrespected by the woman's comments. How are you going to ask a college educated, well traveled man if he can speak or read English? I'm speaking English right in front of you and I've been speaking English right in front of you for the past 15 minutes." After the release, Lawal issued an apology to Lundvall, stating, "I was out of line for calling the woman the b-word and I was wrong for that. I was kind of mad about the comments, I was offended by the comments made towards me and I was out of line. I was too emotional. I apologize for that. With that being said, I still feel that I was offended, but I'm in the wrong for what I said.".[18]

Bellator MMAEdit

On May 10, 2012, it was reported that Lawal had signed a contract with Bellator MMA, Bellator is connected through the Spike television channel.[19]

Lawal made his Bellator debut at Bellator 86 in the Bellator Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarter-Final Round against Przemyslaw Mysiala. Lawal defeated Mysiala via knockout due to a right hook at 3:52 in round 1.[20]

In the semi-finals, Lawal faced Emanuel Newton at Bellator 90. Despite being a considerable favorite, he lost via KO (spinning back fist) in a surprising upset.[21]

The following June, Lawal participated in the 4-man Bellator 2013 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarter-Final, defeating Seth Petruzelli via KO in the first round at Bellator 96.[22]

Lawal followed up with a TKO win over Jacob Noe in the finals of the tournament in the third round, earning a title shot.[23]

Lawal faced Emanuel Newton for the Interim Bellator Light Heavyweight championship because champion Attila Vegh was injured. He lost a five round unanimous decision.[24]

"King Mo" then participated in a 4-man Light Heavyweight tournament, he faced Mikhail Zayats in the tournament semi-finals. He won a unanimous decision.[25] Lawal is now expected to face Quinton Jackson (who defeated Christian M'Pumbu on the other side of the bracket) in the finals at Bellator MMA's very first PPV on May 17, 2014.[26]

Personal lifeEdit

Lawal's parents are immigrants from Nigeria. Lawal was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He has a younger brother named Abdullah and a younger sister named Aminat. The three were raised by a single mother, "My mom [Nike Rosseau] pretty much raised us all. My dad was never around." Muhammed's father committed suicide when Lawal was twenty years old.[27]

After his fight with Larkins, Lawal was diagnosed with Staphylococcus obtained from knee surgery. Lawal had a fever of 103 degrees, and the infection ate away at parts of his hip and legs, "I had this moment where I was like, man, I can see my hip bone. I was ripped still. I had an eight-pack. But there's my hip bone. I looked at my leg, and it looked like those zombies from The Walking Dead. I feel like I looked death in the face, and I survived."[28][29]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed Martial ArtsEdit

WrestlingEdit

Amateur wrestlingEdit

  • International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
    • 2007 Hargobind International Tournament Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2007 Alexander Medved International Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
    • 2007 Pan American Championships Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2007 World Cup Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
    • 2007 Takhti Cup Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2006 Golden Grand Prix Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist
    • 2006 Uzbekistan Independence Cup Golden Grand Prix Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2006 Yasar Dogu International Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2006 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2005 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
    • 2004 Clan International Championships Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
    • 2004 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist
    • 2004 FILA Manitoba Open Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
    • 2003 Sunkist Kids International Open Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist
  • USA Wrestling
    • USA Senior Freestyle National Championship (2005, 2006, 2008)
    • USA University Freestyle National Championship (2003)
    • 2006 NYAC Christmas Championships Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2005 FILA World Team Trials Senior Freestyle Winner
    • 2004 NYAC Christmas Championships Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 12-3 (1) Mikhail Zayats Decision (unanimous) Bellator 110 02014-
February
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
February 28, 2014
3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Bellator Season 10 Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals.
Loss 11–3 (1) Emanuel Newton Decision (unanimous) Bellator 106 02013-
November
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
November 2, 2013
5 5:00 Long Beach, California, United States For Interim Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship
Win 11–2 (1) Jacob Noe TKO (retirement) Bellator 97 02013-
July
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
July 31, 2013
3 2:51 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States Bellator 2013 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Final
Win 10–2 (1) Seth Petruzelli KO (punch) Bellator 96 02013-
June
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
June 19, 2013
1 1:35 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States Bellator 2013 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal
Loss 9–2 (1) Emanuel Newton KO (spinning back fist) Bellator 90 02013-
February
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
February 21, 2013
1 2:35 West Valley City, Utah, United States Bellator Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal
Win 9–1 (1) Przemyslaw Mysiala KO (punch) Bellator 86 02013-
January
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
January 24, 2013
1 3:52 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States Bellator Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal
N.C 8–1 (1) Lorenz Larkin No Contest Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine 02012-
January
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
January 7, 2012
2 1:32 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Original KO win; result overturned after Lawal tested positive for Drostanolone
Win 8–1 Roger Gracie KO (punches) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov 02011-
September
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
September 10, 2011
1 4:37 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Loss 7–1 Rafael Cavalcante TKO (punches and elbows) Strikeforce: Houston 02010-
August
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
August 21, 2010
3 1:14 Houston, Texas, United States Lost Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship
Win 7–0 Gegard Mousasi Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Nashville 02010-
April
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
April 17, 2010
5 5:00 Nashville, Tennessee, United States Won Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship
Win 6–0 Mike Whitehead KO (punches) Strikeforce: Evolution 02009-
December
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
December 19, 2009
1 3:08 San Jose, California, United States Strikeforce Debut
Win 5–0 Mark Kerr KO (punches) M-1 Global: Breakthrough 02009-
August
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
August 28, 2009
1 0:25 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Heavyweight bout
Win 4–0 Ryo Kawamura Decision (unanimous) Sengoku 7 02009-
March
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
March 20, 2009
3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 3–0 Yukiya Naito TKO (punches) Sengoku no Ran 2009 02009-
January
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
January 4, 2009
1 3:54 Saitama, Japan
Win 2–0 Fabio Silva TKO (punches) Sengoku 6 02008-
November
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
November 1, 2008
3 0:41 Saitama, Japan Heavyweight bout
Win 1–0 Travis Wiuff TKO (punches) Sengoku 5 02008-
September
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
  21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
-Template:0expr
September 28, 2008
1 2:11 Tokyo, Japan Heavyweight bout

ReferencesEdit

  1. reference video
  2. http://www.mmalinker.com/wiki/index.php/Muhammed_Lawal#Wrestling
  3. Template:Cite news
  4. http://www.tapology.com/fightcenter/fighters/muhammed-lawal-king-mo
  5. Bolduc, Justin (February 23, 2009). Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal - Sengoku VII. PunchDrunkGamer.com. Retrieved on March 1, 2009.
  6. http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/sengoku-notebook-king-mo-breaks-hand-16670
  7. |url=http://mmamania.com/2009/08/10/m-1-global-breakthrough-mark-kerr-replaces-don-frye-against-king-mo-on-aug-28/
  8. Mo-town: Strikeforce signs Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal. mmamania.com. Retrieved on October 14, 2009.
  9. Strikeforce 'Evolution' Results & Play-by-Play. sherdog.com. Retrieved on December 19, 2009.
  10. Strikeforce Nashville: King Mo Lawal Beats Gegard Mousasi. mmafighting.com. Retrieved on April 17, 2010.
  11. Night of upsets at Strikeforce: 'King Mo' loses title to 'Feijao'. sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  12. Roger Gracie Pulls Out Of King Mo Fight At Strikeforce: Fedor Vs Henderson. fightofthenight.com. Retrieved on June 25, 2011.
  13. 'King Mo' Lawal vs Roger Gracie fight rescheduled for Sept. 10 Strikeforce event. mmamania.com. Retrieved on June 29, 2011.
  14. King Mo Knocks Out Roger Gracie. mmafighting.com. Retrieved on September 10, 2011.
  15. Strikeforce results: Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal knocks out Lorenz Larkin. mmamania.com. Retrieved on January 7, 2012.
  16. Strikeforce's 'King Mo' Lawal tests positive for anabolic steroid, fighter denies use. mmajunkie.com. Retrieved on anuary 17, 2012.
  17. Nevada Commission Hands ‘King Mo’ 9-Month Suspension, Changes Jan. 7 Victory to No Contest. sherdog.com. Retrieved on March 27, 2012.
  18. http://www.heavy.com/mma/mma-news/2012/03/muhammed-king-mo-lawal-released-by-zuffa-after-nsac-suspension-twitter-rant/
  19. King Mo Signs on With Bellator and TNA Wrestling. mmafrenzy.com. Retrieved on May 10, 2012.
  20. Bellator results, recap, gifs: Askren stops Amoussou, King Mo wins in debut. bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved on January 25, 2013.
  21. Bellator 90 results: Shamhalaev upsets Martinez, Newton KOs 'King Mo' Lawal. mmajunkie.com. Retrieved on February 22, 2013.
  22. Bellator 96 Results: Play-by-Play & Updates. sherdog.com. Retrieved on June 19, 2013.
  23. Bellator 97 Results: King Mo Lawal Stops Jacob Noe to Earn Title Shot. bleacherreport.com. Retrieved on July 31, 2013.
  24. Emanuel Newton Defeats “King Mo” Lawal Again to Win the Interim Bellator Light Heavyweight Title. mmaweekly.com. Retrieved on November 2, 2013.
  25. cite web|url=http://mmajunkie.com/2014/02/bellator-110-live-results%7Ctitle=Bellator 110 results: 'Rampage,' 'King Mo' advance to 205 tourney final|publisher=mmajunkie.com|accessdate=February 28, 2014}}
  26. cite web|url=https://www.mmaweekly.com/rampage-jackson-vs-king-mo-lawal-tournament-final-featured-on-bellators-may-17-pay-per-view%7Ctitle=Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo Lawal Tournament Final Featured on Bellator’s May 17 Pay-Per-View|publisher=mmaweekly.com|accessdate=March 11, 2014}}
  27. http://www.fightmagazine.com/mma-magazine/mma-article.asp?aid=513&issid=36
  28. http://www.mmamania.com/2012/2/20/2812628/king-mo-life-threatening-staph-infection-health-scare-mma
  29. http://www.thescore.com/mma/articles/216746-strikeforce-king-mo-lawal-to-undergo-knee-surgery

External linksEdit

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