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Video: King Mo Gets Emotional After Winning Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Title


If you assumed that Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal could only function on cocky trash-talker mode, you need to watch this video taken Saturday night, in which Mo is so emotionally vulnerable after defeating Gegard Mousasi in Nashville that he can’t even give Ariel Helwani an interview while standing up. Lawal credits his victory to his trainers, and to the fact that most MMA fighters don’t have good takedown defense. But overall, he wasn’t too impressed with his performance: "I got lazy a few times. I took [Mousasi] for granted because I didn’t respect his skills all too much because I knew I could beat him. I should have taken him more serious, I couldn’t even finish him…I didn’t want it to go five rounds, I wanted to leave him sleeping, but he’s tough, man, he’s seasoned."

And now, let’s all take a moment to reflect on that fact that King Mo is the light-heavyweight champion of a major MMA organization after just seven bouts — only three of which were actually contested at light-heavyweight. While some may interpret that as a triumph of style over substance, or as a symbol of how thin Strikeforce’s 205-pound division is, I just see a guy who did everything right — a fighter whose brief career should be studied by every young scrapper trying to get into the game.

Lawal developed tremendous wrestling credentials before even considering a career in MMA, then seized on an opportunity to make his professional debut in Sengoku against an opponent with 65 fights under his belt. Most transitioning wrestlers with limited striking training would probably pass on the offer, but Mo accepted, and made his presence known. In Japan, Lawal acted like a star before he was one, crafting an outsized persona that audiences immediately responded to. By the time he started competing in the U.S., he was already known by hardcore fans, and began calling out big names to draw attention. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a title fight against Gegard Mousasi, a Top 10 pound-for-pound fighter who was supposed to chew King Mo up. Instead, Mo exploited his vast advantages in wrestling, and made a lot of us eat our words.

There are fighters with two or three times as many fights as Lawal who continue to toil in obscurity while King Mo’s MMA celebrity grows. If you think that’s unfair, then you don’t fully appreciate Lawal’s talent, personality, and good sense to be at the right place at the right time. To put it in Mo’s words, "Eff the haters."


Cagepotato Comments

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Sneaky Pete- April 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm
There's no crying in MMA! There may be occasional spooning, but there's no crying. lol.
ReX13- April 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm
When do we get an interview with Aoki?

i want tears, dammit.
ghostboner- April 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm
When do we get an interview with Mousasi?
ghostboner- April 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm
@Kimbo's Bread - Well played.

I agree Mousasi could have just as easily gotten the decision as Mo. Mo never came close to finishing, and got beat up way more. I think if you fail to do any damage, the top is no longer a dominant position. I'm not saying Gegard shouldn't work on some takedown defense, but I would not have complained if he had gotten the nod.
Charming Charlie- April 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm
Ariel Helwani, centerfold.

I imagine him walking into his apartment, tossing the keys into a dish, and loosening his tie. After a long night of interviewing crying Mo' and cadet Nate "Fuck You Know" Diaz, he wonders how many more years he can keep this up.
Robocop Didnt Tap- April 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm
@Clyde I dunno...I think the UFC could make an award-winning "Boring Fights" DVD full of Jon Fitch and Sean Sherk fights.
Kimbos Bread- April 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm
Thank you Jimbo.

@ Danomite

Agree with you there.
Mr_Misanthropy- April 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm
After watching this video I had a sudden epiphany- Ken Moe's a lover, not a fighter. Thats why he brings dem hoes and an umbrella to every match. I love the way his coach scooches a little closer when he sniffles, just to give him the security of a comforting touch. There there big fella, that bad man can't hurt you anymore and you get to have his big shiny belt.
Harry Russo- April 19, 2010 at 12:36 pm
King Boring
JCVD as Timecop- April 19, 2010 at 11:52 am
"And now, let's all take a moment to reflect on that fact that King Mo is the light-heavyweight champion of a major MMA organization after just seven bouts — only three of which were actually contested at light-heavyweight. While some may interpret that as a triumph of style over substance, or as a symbol of how thin Strikeforce's 205-pound division is"

Please review Brock Lesnar's MMA resume and get back to me.
Get Off Me- April 19, 2010 at 11:24 am
I have been lobbying for the whole takedown scoring review for quite sometime.
Again, Mousasi looked to comfortable on the bottom, large in part due to the strikes he was landing, nice shots as Shamrock kept pointing out to the audience. I kept mumbling under my breath that he was still losing the fight in the judges eyes in spite of his offense from the back. I think a takedown should count, but if you are getting hit in the face over and over again, I fail to see how that does not count against you.......At any rate I think takedowns should be scored when the fighter is able to move to side control, full mount or gain control of the oppenents back, otherwise it should be taken into consideration as much as an oppenent landing a jab or leg kick in a fight. All too often you see fighters who are taken down and try to use BJJ from the back offensively and it is almost never rewarded by the judges i.e. Sanchez v. Guida, that fight was scored way to close for what it actually was, all because Guida was generating "takedowns", but when down Guida was trying to fend off kimura's galore, guillontine's etc.... And don't get me started on the fighters who like to pull guard against their oppenent, do the judges know that they are not being taken down when they do that.....
Clyde- April 19, 2010 at 11:18 am
I wansn't surprised Mo won, but sweet and sassy didn't seem as sassy as usual. He looked tired after the second round and just never seemed to be that interested. I was thinking "fair enough if your plan is to tire him out, but that does require having better cardio than him".

Mo did slow down a lot in the later rounds so Mousassi needed to keep moving and make him keep working. A dissapointing start to what was probably the most dissapointing event in the history of MMA. If the UFC ever released a DVD of "ultimate boring unanimous decisions" it would be hard pushed to find many in their vaults to outdo nashvilles main card.
SofaKingNyce- April 19, 2010 at 11:15 am
Jeez - people are still arguing on how Mo shouldn't of won?
He clearly dominated Mousasi, easily.
He exploited a weakness and won, point blank period.

Although, i don't see Mo as a champ for too long; depending on who's thrown at him.

He gassed way to quick..
Buuuttt, i do think the only reason he didn't have a damaging GnP, is because of him being gassed.

But time will tell - depending on how this win goes to his head, it may affect his training. April 19, 2010 at 11:08 am
my buddies' article on sportsbore says it all about this event...

"MMA is the greatest blend of excitement and sportsmanship in athletics today, unfortunately Saturday night there was neither. Sorry if you sat through it."

danomite- April 19, 2010 at 11:02 am
Am I the only one who thinks Gegard should have won the fight? Using the judging criteria we have now I think Mo definitely won but if we are deciding a winner based on who actually did more damage or even using Stockton rules where winners are chosen based on who looks more fucked up, I think Gegard should have definitely won.

I think that's the main thing that needs to be changed with MMA scoring. People need to stop getting credit for takedowns or having dominant positions and they should instead be used more like tiebreakers when there is a close round. Judging should come down to who landed the most strikes in the round, who did the most damage, and who was trying to finish with submissions.
jimbonics- April 19, 2010 at 11:01 am
+1 for Kimbo.
WILLIEX- April 19, 2010 at 10:53 am
i agree with RwilsonR... the talent pool in strike force isnt all that... with the exeption of Diaz, Miller, and Shields
Kimbos Bread- April 19, 2010 at 10:39 am
You just watched a decent conversation between a Jew and a Muslim.

The end is neigh.
RwilsonR- April 19, 2010 at 10:36 am
Say what you want about TUF, but I think Ryan Bader looked much better in destroying Keith Jardine than King Mo did in blanketing Mousasi.
Smitty- April 19, 2010 at 10:32 am
King Mo, showed a lot of heart.
I kinda agree with superflat. GM didn't quite seem his usual self.
Robocop Didnt Tap- April 19, 2010 at 10:30 am
I think Mousasi's ground skills begin and end at the upkick. He got lucky against Jacare with it and that's pretty much all he tried to do against King Mo. You can't beat the Moneyweight champion with an upkick playa!
Almost North- April 19, 2010 at 10:17 am
My bad. Maybe he can get arrested for not doing those things?
One Two- April 19, 2010 at 10:01 am
Lay n pray wrestler with no skills Gegard wooped his ass from the bottom i wasn't impressed. mousassi will kill him in a rematch.
superflat- April 19, 2010 at 10:01 am
Is it just me or did Mousasi look like he was sick? Takedown defense or know, he lacked his usual aggression, and I just don't see a healthy Mousasi getting out-striked on the feet by King Mo.
justscrappin- April 19, 2010 at 9:44 am
I think King Mo..should probably move up to HW for the rest of his fights in might be interesting to see him fight Overeem...or Silva or Rogers.