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Tag: Muhammad Lawal

Bellator 90 Recap: ‘King Mo’ Dethroned Via Spinning Backfist, Ben Saunders Adds Head Kick KO to Highlight Reel


(The Emanuel Newton vs. King Mo spinning-backfist falling-tree knockout, via RockOwnsPunk.)

When you’re watching a Bellator event, you can only hope that a memorable finish or two will make up for the general lack of star power compared to those other guys. And oh man, did last night’s Bellator 90 event in West Valley City, Utah, deliver the goods, with all four fights on the Spike TV main card ending within the first two rounds, and three more stoppages featured on the prelims.

But the card’s generous helping of violence was a mixed blessing, since the list of victims included Bellator’s light-heavyweight marquee attraction, and their marketable featherweight inspirational figure. If you didn’t tune in last night, here’s what you missed:

Season 8 Welterweight Semi-Finals: Ben Saunders faced Raul Amaya for the second time in his Bellator stint, and while Killa B completely dominated their first meeting en route to a unanimous decision win, he didn’t even let Amaya out of the first round this time. Amaya was aggressive from the opening bell, but wasn’t able to find his range against the lanky Saunders, who landed counter-punches and body-kicks at will, before putting Amaya’s lights out with a left high kick. (GIF here, via ZombieProphet/BloodyElbow)

The fight on the other side of the 170-bracket was just as quick and one-sided. Douglas Lima didn’t give Bryan Baker a chance to get in the fight, abusing Baker’s legs with low kicks for a couple minutes, then firing a devastating right hand that crumpled “The Beast” to the mat. Lima will now face Saunders in the Season 8 Welterweight Tournament Final at Bellator 93, in a rematch of their Season 5 Welterweight Tournament Final in November 2011, which Lima won by knockout.

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Bellator 90 Pre-Fight Interview: King Mo Discusses His Successful Return to the Cage, Tonight’s LHW Semi-Final Against Emanuel Newton


(Lawal and Newton square off at yesterday’s weigh-ins. Photo via Sherdog)

By Elias Cepeda

After a year marked by a steroid suspension, a life-threatening staph infection, a firing from Zuffa, and then a quick hire by Bellator, Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal finally got back in the ring in January. The former amateur collegiate and international wrestler fought and beat the aggressive (and consonant-heavy) Przemyslaw Mysiala at Bellator 86, ending the match by first-round KO.

Lawal is back in action tonight at Bellator 90, where he and Emanuel Newton will meet in the semi-finals of the promotion’s Season 8 light-heavyweight tournament. We caught up with Mo recently to discuss getting back in the ring and his training for the peculiar tournament structure. Check out our conversation below, and be sure to tune in to the Spike TV broadcast of Bellator 90 at 10 p.m. ET, which will also feature the Season 8 welterweight tournament finals, and the delayed featherweight tournament final between Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Rad Martinez.

CagePotato: What was it like getting back in the cage last month after such a long layoff?

Muhammed Lawal: The weird thing is. It didn’t feel any different. I had [agent] Mike Kogan, my brother Bull who is fighting in Legacy Fighting Championships in April and Jeff Mayweather with me like usual. I had all my friends and family and coaches around me, so it felt normal.

But I also felt relieved and I felt rejuvenated to see blood and sweat on you, to step into the cage. Seeing my opponent on the other side made me realize what I really missed. It’s like when you are dating a girl. When she’s gone you think, ‘damn, I really miss this or that about her.’

I wanted to get a feel for things in the cage when I got in there but the dude [Mysiala] came forward with haymakers and I knew this might happen, so luckily Jeff Mayweahter trained me well. He trained me to slip, slip, catch, block and roll, and that’s what I tried to do. I hit him with a check hook while he was trying to land a big shot.

CP: Your semi-final fight is just four weeks after the last one. Do you have any injuries left over that you’ll have to fight with?

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Bellator 86 Recap: Askren Finishes (!) Amoussou, King Mo Squashes Other Dude, Fancy Flips Can’t Save Zaromskis


(Sorry Ben, I don’t think we can count those as “significant strikes.” GIF via ZombieProphet/BloodyElbow)

For the first time since his controversial technical submission of Ryan Thomas during his Bellator debut three years ago, Ben Askren has finished an opponent. Sure, it was one of those sort-of-assisted finishes where the doctor steps in between rounds to wave the fight off, but let’s not take anything anything away from Funky Ben, here: The undefeated Bellator welterweight champion smashed the living dog-poop out of Karl Amoussou for three full rounds last night, and might have permanently injured him had the fight gone on any longer.

It was a prototypical performance from Askren, who spent most of the fight on top of Amoussou, throwing down punches and elbows. Still, there seemed to be a greater sense of urgency from the champ in this fight, a little more intention with his strikes. He slashed open a cut above Amoussou’s eye with an elbow in the first round, and by the end of round three, Amoussou’s left eye was swollen shut and his face was a wet canvas of blood. The fight was mercifully stopped before the fourth round could begin, giving Askren a well-deserved TKO victory.

“I told you guys that it was just a matter of time before my hands got some power in them,” Askren said after the fight. “I dominate positionally, and my hands [have] power too. Welterweights anywhere in the world better watch out, I’m coming.” Askren’s next challenge will likely be the winner of this season’s welterweight tournament, which produced four semifinalists last night…

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Exclusive: ‘King Mo’ Looks to Regain His Crown After Year-Long Exile



By Elias Cepeda

With how often former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal talks about money, one might think it is his only motivation. He can go on and on about how cash motivates him during fights and how he invests wisely so as not to have to depend solely on professional fighting for income.

Lawal’s financial focus fits in well with the namesake of the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, where Lawal does much of his training these days. (San Jose, CA, the home of the American Kickboxing Academy where he has previously trained during fight camps, got “too expensive,” according to Mo.) But just as with Floyd Mayweather Jr., there is a lot more substance behind the former wrestler’s style and talk.

The fighter known as “King Mo” has not been able to fight professionally for over a year because of a suspension stemming from a positive steroid test after his last fight against Lorenz Larkin. So, for the past year Mo has not gotten paid a red cent to fight — yet he says his motivation to train hard never waned.

“I never had a problem [staying motivated]. Never,” he tells CagePotato. “I love being in the gym, I love working out. My mind is always on fighting of some sort.”

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Friday Link Dump: The Complete Oral History of Strikeforce, King Mo Wants to Box Kimbo Slice, The 50 Dirtiest Athletes Ever + More


(Seems like oooooold times…” / Photo via allelbows)

- The Rise and Fall of the Pepsi to UFC’s Coke: A Strikeforce Oral History (BleacherReport)

- Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones Official For UFC 159 in New Jersey (FightDay)

Gegard Mousasi and the Frustration of ‘Overrated’ (MMAFighting)

King Mo Lawal Has Boxing Clause in His Contract, Would Like a Fight With Kimbo Slice (BloodyElbow)

- Cub Swanson Says Fight With Dennis Siver Is #1 Featherweight Contender Match (Fightline)

The 50 Dirtiest Athletes in Sports History (Complex)

Review: Brian J. D’Souza’s “Pound for Pound” MMA book Is Top-Class Reading (FightOpinion)

- Photo of the day: Ed O’Neill chokes out Royce Gracie on the set of ‘Modern Family’ (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

Steven Seagal Owns a Bullet-Proof Kimono. This Is Not a Joke. (FilmDrunk)

If You’ve Never Seen American Psycho, This Rory MacDonald Comic Will Not Make Sense (MiddleEasy)

10 Reasons You’re Not Getting Laid (MensFitness)

- Honest Trailers: Inception (ScreenJunkies)

17 Gifts for People You Hate (EgoTV)

- A Gallery of White People Acting Extremely White (WorldWideInterweb)

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Bellator Confirms Stacked Lineup for Jan. 17 Spike TV Premiere, Debut Date for King Mo and ‘Babalu’

Bellator’s first event on Spike TV will take place Thursday, January 17th, at the University of California’s Bren Center in Irvine, California, and will be headlined by a pair of title fights. The promotion confirmed the news today, revealing that undefeated phenom Michael Chandler will make his first official lightweight title defense at the event (aka Bellator 85) against Rick Hawn, the 14-1 Olympic judoka who won the Season 5 lightweight tournament earlier this year.

Also on the card, featherweight champion Pat Curran — who’s 4-0 since dropping to 145 and is coming off his near-murder of Joe Warren — will be putting his belt on the line against explosive contender Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Though Freire won all three of his fights in 2011, winning the Season 4 featherweight tournament, he wasn’t able to compete in 2012, partly due to injuries.

And that’s not all. During a Bellator/Spike TV conference call held earlier today, many more details about Bellator 85 and the promotion’s upcoming eighth season were announced. For instance…

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TNA Wrestler King Mo Crosses Over to the Dark Side, Calls MMA a ‘Joke’


(“I don’t give a damn about some Bellator fighter that goes by the name of King Mo.” Well, that makes two of you. Video via TNAWrestling)

When Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal signed a dual-contract with Bellator and TNA Wrestling earlier this year, fans wondered how he’d be able to straddle the often-opposing worlds of real fighting and show fighting — a rare trick to pull off outside of Japan. But Lawal’s one-year suspension for steroids has allowed him to focus the majority of his energies on learning the pro wrestling game, and we’re starting to get the feeling that we might lose him altogether. Call it hunch, based on the fact that Mo thinks MMA is a fad, and can’t stand you people. Here’s what he told BleacherReport in an interview published yesterday:

It starts with the way the fans don’t think for themselves,” Lawal stated. “They have to look to certain people for approval on how they think. They bash the fighters and think fighting is easier than it really is. A lot of people didn’t grow up fighting. They grew up playing football and basketball. So they can relate to missing a pass, a layup, free throws and dropping a pass, an interception or kicking a field goal.

MMA fans never grew up fighting. They just put on their Affliction or Tapout shirts and say, ‘Hey I’m a fighter or hey I’m going to a fight.’ To me, its a joke. It is a certain demographic that’s involved and I’m not with that.

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Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal Signs With Bellator and TNA Wrestling


(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.

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club: GSP’s Japanese Adventure, Hendo Hates on Rampage, Tim Sylvia Angling for UFC Return + More


(Incredible falling tree knockout of the day, via Reddit MMA)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere…

UFC on FX 2 Open Media Workout Photos Gallery for ‘Alves vs. Kampmann’ in Australia (MMA Mania)

Manager: Frankie Edgar Wants Ben Henderson Rematch, Not A Move To Featherweight (MMA Convert)

Georges St-Pierre Gets Schooled in Japanese Martial Arts (The Fight Nerd)

Forgotten Champion: Tim Sylvia’s Desperate Ploy to Get Back in the UFC Octagon (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

King Mo Back In The Hospital In Severe Condition (FightLine)

Dan Henderson Has Harsh Words for Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson (5th Round)

Todd Duffee vs. Neil Grove Booked for Super Fight League 2 (MiddleEasy)

- UFC Japan: A Wonderful Show & A Pyrrhic Victory? (Fight Opinion)

Pat Healy: The Road to Columbus (Five Ounces of Pain)

Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey: Greatest Hits (Lowkick.Blitzcorner.com)

- UFC 144: Payout Perspective (MMA Payout)

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Exclusive: ‘King Mo’ Talks Injury, Staph Infection Scare and Clears Up the Rumors About His Supposed Financial Troubles

By Crooklyn


(C’mon, son.You don’t watch Breaking Bad or SOA?)

Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal — avid Twitterer, occasional forum poster and all around social media force, has been noticeably absent from the ever-probing eye of the MMA world. Recently, it came to light that Lawal had some life threatening health concerns, and had been in the hospital for an extended period of time. A call to action has been issued on his behalf via concerned fans on various forums and Twitter. Prayer groups, emergency PayPal funding and several other good intentions have been proposed as possibilities for fans to render their own brand of help and good will. In an exclusive interview yesterday that will put your worried minds at ease, Mo gave us the 411 on his injuries, current health and financial status, and even an update of what shows he’s currently watching.

Check out the interview after the jump.

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