(Like this, Stone Cold?)
MMA Weekly is reporting that former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has signed with MMA promotion Bellator Fighting Championships and professional wrestling organization Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
Lawal was fired from Strikeforce after testing positive for a banned steroid and is currently serving out a nine-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Because of that suspension, Lawal will have to wait to be able to compete under the Bellator banner — but since he’s also signed with TNA, he can conceivably begin making some money much sooner since professional wrestling is not regulated as a competitive sport by athletic commissions. Lawal signing with both organizations fuels rumors that Bellator and TNA — both of which air on Viacom-owned television channels and, starting in 2013, will appear on Spike TV — will somehow collaborate or cross-promote.
If you’ve watched MMA for any length of time, you’ve probably met at least one idiotic person who claims that the sport is “fake” like pro wrestling, meaning that the results are pre-determined. While we can’t begrudge King Mo for paying his bills in any honest way that he can, if Bellator and TNA do start mixing narratives and roster members, it could confuse viewers and set back the credibility of MMA as a sport.
Many American fighters have delved into professional wrestling for extended periods of time, including Josh Barnett, Ken Shamrock, Mark Coleman, and Bob Sapp. But Lawal’s experiment might end up being the biggest balancing act of the two that any fighter has yet attempted in the U.S.
For now, that’s all speculation. We’ll bring you more as the story develops. As it stands, we just know that King Mo is back on his feet with a j-o-b.