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Tag: King Mo Lawal

What the Hell Do We Make of Bellator 120?


(Because Getty had no images from last night. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney didn’t give out the gate numbers at the post-fight presser, even when asked (which probably means they were bad). And it’s still too early to know how Bellator 120 performed at the box office. So, financially, Bellator’s first PPV can’t definitively be called a success or a failure.

Regarding entertainment value, however, Bellator 120 was a success. There were some pacing issues, yes, but overall the card delivered.

In the first fight, Michael Page did his best Anderson Silva impression, knocking out Ricky Rainey (who’s name was hilariously spelled wrong at the post-fight presser) after taunting him mercilessly. In the next bout, former Bellator heavyweight champ Alexander Volkov scored an upset submission win over Blagoi Ivanov.

Then came Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko. Ortiz was the laughing stock of this card, without a doubt. He was a relic from a bygone era who hadn’t won a fight in three years. His ridiculous pre-fight promos (he promised to make Shlemenko “literally shit himself”) only made him look worse. Shlemenko, on the other hand, was Bellator’s middleweight champ and a stern Russian killer. He’d have no problem with Ortiz despite the considerable size difference, or so the world thought. But Ortiz won the fight. He submitted Shlemenko with an arm-triangle choke in the very first round. Then he gave the worst post-fight interview of all time; he pretended to be Hulk Hogan.

As crazy as Ortiz-Shlemenko was, it wasn’t the emotional high point of the PPV, nor was Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks. Chandler-Brooks was not a particularly anticipated match. In fact, the entire Bellator PPV was centered around the rubber match between Chandler and Eddie Alvarez. When Alvarez withdrew due to a concussion, many thought it meant death for Bellator 120. Will Brooks was thrown in against Chandler, but it was a squash match—or at least that’s what conventional wisdom held. But Brooks upended fans and pundits, beating Chandler via split decision. He was made of sterner stuff than we all gave him credit for.

Then we had the main event, Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo. The fight itself was banal. Mo dominated Rampage with wrestling while Rampage landed a couple of decent shots throughout the fight. It seemed like a pretty easy decision win for King Mo, but the judges didn’t see it that way; they awarded Rampage with a unanimous decision. What happened after the fight was the real draw though. King Mo and Rampage started jaw-jacking. During the Spike TV portion of the broadcast, King Mo accused Bjorn Rebney of “dick riding” Rampage. He didn’t hold in such feelings in his post-fight speech, nor did he silence himself at the post-fight presser. Him and Rampage yelled at each other while the presser stream intermittently died possibly due to the sheer volume of viewers.

So what’s the fallout?

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So Here’s a Video of the (Definitely Staged) Scuffle Between Rampage Jackson and King Mo Lawal at Bellator 110


(Uh-oh, looks like someone fell off the Rockstar wagon. GET OUT OF THE STREETS!!)

We don’t know why this is coming as a surprise to some people, but allegedly, Rampage Jackson and King Mo‘s scuffle at Bellator 110 *might* have been pre-planned. And by “might have,” we of course mean without the slightest hint of doubt whatsoever.

In the main event of what was a pretty decent night of fights at Bellator 110 last Friday, Jackson defeated former Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu by first round knockout, then proceeded to chug 14 cases of Red Bull off camera (again, allegedly) before conducting his post-fight interview. Old habits die hard, indeed. By the time Jimmy Smith got to Jackson, the electrolytes had already amplified Page’s inherent rage tenfold, causing the former UFC champ to once again blackout and lose his goddamned mind.

After screaming about being “a monster” — although given his history, I think “demigod” would have been more appropriate (*ducks beer bottle*) — Jackson told King Mo, who I believe had been brought into the cage with the Honest-to-God intention of complimenting Jackson on his performance and possibly washing his feet, that he “was next.” For whatever reason, King Mo took offense to Jackson’s correct understanding of a tournament format and engaged Jackson in a sort-of shoving match that was quickly separated by no less than 20 people.

A Nashville brawl it was not, and honestly, the funniest part of the entire incident was watching Jimmy Smith smirk and half-heartedly attempt to hold back Rampage. Unfortunately, like Sonnen vs. Wandy on the TUF set before it, it appears that Page and Mo’s scuffle was all but rehearsed.

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Rampage Jackson and King Mo Lawal Entered in Bellator’s Completely Unbiased 10th Season LHW Tournament


(Ah, memories.) 

As part of their ongoing effort to forcibly establish a marketable champion introduce new contenders to their LHW division repeatedly cycle through their apparently limited stable of noteworthy fighters (while making sure to book as many rematches in the process as possible), Bellator unveiled their season 10 light heavyweight tournament last night, and surprise surprise, all of the fighters competing in said tournament have either a) already lost a previous tournament b) recently lost the LHW title or c) are Rampage Jackson. Although in the case of King Mo Lawal, who is also entered in the tournament, it’s a little bit of a and b.

The four-man tournament* will kick off at Bellator 110 on Feb. 28 from the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, and will feature Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Christian M’Pumbu on one side of the “bracket” and  Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Mikhail Zayats on the other. What, you didn’t think King Mo and Rampage would actually be paired against one another in the opening round, did you? Anyway, Rampage spoke with select members of the media during a conference call yesterday and brought his usual mix of faux-enthusiasm and borderline incomprehensible syntax to the proceedings, stating:

I’m very excited to do my first tournament in years. I’m in it, and I’m in it to win it. I’m going to win this tournament by everybody going to sleep.

Ah, the Ben Askren strategy. Interesting to see Rampage switching up game plans this late in his career.

Seriously though, who does Bellator think they’re fooling with this tournament? It’s become increasingly obvious as of late that the organization is willing to do whatever it must to fast-track its marketable faces to title shots (see: Mo Lawal, King or Curran, Pat) at the expense of its actual champions. Look no further than their treatment of Attila Vegh if you don’t believe me. While the UFC may be struggling to create new stars, Bellator seems content to betray its own mission statement in order to force the few stars they have into power. Call me crazy, but the latter strategy seems a lot more risky to one’s credibility than the former.

Let’s look at the facts here:

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Attila Vegh Returns From “Injury,” Faces Emanuel Newton at Bellator 113 in March


(Little did Attila know that he’d be wrapping his dead dog in that banner within a year’s time. Photo via Sherdog.)

Like the hopes and dreams of so many financially struggling, relatively unknown fighters before him, Attila Vegh was swept under the rug by Bellator last year, forced to sit out with a phony injury while the promotion attempted to overthrow his regime in favor of King Mo to no avail. Or at least, that’s what he’ll tell you. Bellator has since refuted Vegh’s claims, but given its history of sketchiness when it comes to its fighters (as well as the misdated medical report the promotion released as “evidence”), this doesn’t exactly boil down to “he said, she said.”

In any case, it seems Vegh has been “cleared” by his “doctor” to compete again, as he has been booked to rematch interim champion Emanuel Newton with the belt on the line at Bellator 113 on March 21st.

The pair last collided at in the 2012 Summer Series tournament final at Bellator 72, with Vegh emerging victorious via an ultra-thin split decision. In the time since, Vegh has posted victories over Travis Wiuff and Christian M’Pumbu, whereas Newton has scored wins over Atanas Djambazov (at Bellator 85), Mikhail Zayats (Bellator 94) and a pair of upset W’s over King Mo Lawal.

Who do you like to win this, the latest in Bellator’s rematch-heavy agenda (not that we’re complaining this time), Nation? While you think about it, check out the current lineup of Bellator 113 after the jump.

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Rematch Alert: Bellator to Give King Mo Another Chance to Defeat Emanuel Newton on November 2nd PPV


(Let’s just say that Mo’s reaction to referee Rob Hinds’ magic trick didn’t subvert any stereotypes.) 

Quick hypothetical: You’re the #2 MMA promotion in the world, desperately trying to separate your brand from the #1 promotion while simultaneously trying to draw in their audience. So you sign a relatively big name to this pro-wrestling double deal thingamajig and what does he do? Get knocked the fudge out by a relative unknown. Thankfully, you manage to shoehorn him back into your LHW tournament and he scores a couple solid victories, but how do expedite him into the title picture ASAP? YOU REMATCH HIM WITH THE NO-NAMER FOR AN INTERIM TITLE, THAT’S HOW.

Clearly, the folks over at Bellator follow this line of reasoning, as they have recently booked Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and Emanuel Newton in an interim-title rematch set for their November 2nd pay-per-view extravaganza (which the UFC doesn’t even plan on counter-programming, BTW). It also appears that King Mo has learned his lesson about arrogantly shit-talking his opponent this time around, recently complimenting Newton for being “as hard as baby s–t.” So by the associative property, I guess that makes Mo a calf’s nut sack, then?

While some of you naysayers out there will surely argue that this matchup is a steaming crock of bullshit stew, citing such “facts” as “Emanuel Newton already won the LHW tournament *and* beat King Mo, so why isn’t he fighting for the title?” you should first know that 1) LHW champ Attila Vegh is injured and 2) well, that’s pretty much it.

Featuring a lightweight title rematch between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler as well as a headlining bout between whatever is left of Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson, Bellator: Reruns and Rematches goes down from the Long Beach Arena on November 2nd. Anyone see Newton capturing lightning in a bottle again?

-J. Jones

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FYI: Bellator 97 Goes Down Tonight Featuring Two Title Fights, King Mo

Just a heads up to you non Zuffa-zombies out there: Bellator 97′s preliminary card is already underway on Spike.com (“Come for the fights, stay to watch some drunk, gay club owner order his bartender to play Janet Jackson”). And at 7 p.m. EST, the Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque will play host to one hell of a free card to cap off Bellator’s Summer Series. Featuring two title fights in Ben Askren (LET ME FINISH) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (welterweight) and Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels (lightweight) as well as the heavyweight and light heavyweight tournament finals, Bellator 97 is all but guaranteed to deliver its usual blend of carnage and controversy. It is truly the Grand Theft Auto of MMA promotions.

Of course, the main spotlight will be on that of King Mo Lawal, who faces Jacob Noe in the aforementioned LHW finals. On the heels of a brutal, retirement-inducing KO of Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 95, Mo is only a couple wins away from become the first ever light heavyweight and tag team champion in MMA/professional wrestling history. The time of legitimacy and mainstream acceptance is truly upon us, nation.

Bellator 97′s full lineup is after the jump.

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And Now He’s Retired: Seth Petruzelli Hangs Up the Gloves After Vicious KO Loss to King Mo at Bellator 96


(“You’re lucky enough to be different, never change.” – Taylor Swift.)

We can’t remember the last time a card produced such brutal outcomes that it resulted in two longtime veterans of the sport calling it quits, but such appears to be the case with Bellator 96. After Babalu Sobral announced his retirement from the sport following a third round TKO loss to Jacob Noe on Wednesday, fellow UFC veteran and one-half of MMA’s Ambiguously Gay Duo, Seth Petruzelli, has decided to hang up the gloves as well. He took to his Facebook page to make the announcement:

I want to thank my family, friends, fiancée and fans for being by my side these past 13 years plus of my MMA career. Every time I fought it was to please and excite you but most of all make you proud of me. Up until a couple years ago it pleased and excited me as well. That is where I went wrong, for the past couple years I have been fighting for the wrong reasons, I don’t have the desire or drive to fight like I used to and the past couple fights have shown it. So at this point in my life I would like to officially announce my retirement from the sport of MMA. Competing has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old, now I would like to put more of an effort into seeing my students/fighters do the same and making my gym grow and flourish. MMA has taken me around the world, let me meet the best and worst of people and made me feel like the brightest star but also like a black hole at times … and I have no regrets because I did it all my way. 

Petruzelli retires with an overall record of 14-8 and one of the greatest upset victories of all time. Farewell, good soldier. We won’t ask, you won’t tell.

After the jump: We take a look back at “The Silverback’s” aforementioned upset of Kimbo Slice (ROCKY! ROCKY IS HERE!) as well as another personal favorite of ours.

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Michael Chandler vs. Dave Jansen Lightweight Title Fight Officially Booked for Bellator 96 in June


(“Don’t worry, Mo, we’re pretty sure your belt just got lost in the mail.”)

On the heels of his first successful title defense over Rick Hawn at Bellator 85, Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler has officially been booked to take on his next challenger at Bellator 96, which goes down from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma on June 19th.

Chandler will face grappling savant Dave “The Fugitive” Jansen, a 19-2 (6-0 Bellator) product out of Oregon who earned his shot at Chandler with a unanimous decision victory over Marcin Held at Bellator 93 in March.

Undefeated in his mixed martial arts career, Chandler has won eight straight fights under the Bellator banner, including victories over Akihiro Gono, Patricky Freire, and a 4th round submission over Eddie Alvarez in an absolute war back in November of 2011 that secured him the title.

Also set for the June 19th card will be a clash between former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal and UFC/EliteXC veteran Seth Petruzelli that will in no way draw comparisons to Petruzelli’s infamous knockout of Kimbo Slice, we assure you (ROCKY! ROCKY IS HERE!! THE MOST INCREDIBLE…VICTORY…IN THE HISTORY OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS!).

And barring any arrests, War Machine will be there too. Should be fun.

-J. Jones

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[VIDEO] This Bellator on Spike Commercial is a Surprisingly Poignant Display of Violence

Maybe I’m just a sucker for slow motion and piano ballads (except for Coldplay. F*ck Coldplay.), but I must admit that the first advertisement for Bellator’s move to Spike TV in 2013 is a surprisingly well made and dare I say poignant bit of filmmaking coming from the network behind such subtle, highbrow programming as Manswers, 1000 Ways to Die, and those endless goddamn CSI reruns. I get it, Grissom, you’re f*cking smarter than everyone else and can figure out any mystery in twenty minutes, now please stop f*cking showboating SO I CAN TRY TO CATCH A GLIMPSE OF GAP TOOTH’S OR GINGER LADY’S TITS ALREADY!!

Anyway, back to the ad. Featuring such familiar faces as lightweight champion Michael Chandler, light heavyweight/TNA superstar King Mo Lawal, and former Strikeforce LHW champ Babalu Sobral among others, the 30 second clip succeeds in getting me amped up for a promotion I have literally been aware of for years now, so a kudos is in order to the gentlemen over at Spike.

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Exclusive: Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Talks Women’s MMA, Fighter Insurance, Impact Wrestling and More

I managed to catch up with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney after Bellator 69 at the L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Friday night. Bjorn touched on issues such as fighters who stuck out on the undercard, why the Asplund vs. Sparks fight didn’t happen, MMA in New York and much more. Come inside after the jump for the full interview, as well as fight videos from the fighters that Bjorn Rebney mentions.

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