Wednesday September 23, 2015– Muhammed Lawal was born on January 11, 1981, in Murfreesboro Tennessee. But the rest of the world knows him as King Mo, the MMA and professional wrestling superstar. King Mo started his MMA career as a wrestler in high school were in his junior year he won state in the Greco-Roman category, and the following year he went undefeated as a senior and took the state championship home. Mo attended The University of Central Oklahoma were he continued to wrestle, after three years King Mo transferred to the University of Oklahoma State. After wrestling in college King Mo took his shot at being a free style wrestler. Were he was a three-time freestyle US wrestling champion. Working his way through a couple of fighting industries such as World Victory Road, and M1 Global Mo found himself in one of the top companies in MMA, Strikeforce. After going 4-0 in World Victory Road and 1-0 in M1 Global Mo was in Strikeforce and ready to take on the MMA world. After winning his first fight in strike force improving his perfect record to 5-0, Mo got his shot at the Light Heavyweight Title. Going up against Gegard Mousasi, Mo won the title by unanimous decision. Losing the title in his next fight, Mo saw his time in Strikeforce coming to an end with his last 2 fights ending in KO and a No Contest. After his deal with Strikeforce was up Mo signed a deal to fight for Scott Coker and Bellator MMA. In his first 5 fight in Bellator Mo won three of them, and two of them were losses to Emanuel Newton. While also competing in Bellator, Mo began to pursue one of his true dreams in professional wrestling. Signing with TNA Impact Wrestling King Mo was living out one of his dreams, being a professional wrestler was something that Mo has always wanted to do. Growing up watching guys that he looked up to such as Ric Flair, Booker T, Arn Anderson who in his own words is “The most underrated professional wrestler of all time” really gave him a chance to see what else is out here besides MMA.
In Bellator King Mo didn’t just stay in the Light Heavyweight division, he took his shot at the heavy weights as well. When asked what weight he prefers he stated “I don’t care I just want to fight doesn’t matter who or what weight I just wanna fight”. King Mo is a KO artist with 11 of his 16 wins coming by way of KO, Mo has certified himself as one of top contenders not only in Bellator but in all the MMA world. Bellator last big event recently took place at Dynamite1 in San Jose California, were the main event of the evening was McGeary Vs Ortiz for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship. In the co headliner was the one night Light Heavyweight contender tournament, the contenders were King Mo, Phil Davis, Emanuel Newton, and Linton Vassell. King Mo’s opponent was Vassell, a guy who Mo knew he could beat. When it came down to preparing for this fight, Mo who trains in Coconut Creek Florida with American Top Team was stretching out his work outs to 2 sessions a day knowing that he has to prepare himself not just physically but mentally for the possibility that he will have to fight twice in one night. I asked the former champion if he has any kind of different training routine or diet from this camp or any other camp he said “I don’t ever change my diet or my workouts I prepare for everyone the same.” When he entered this fight Mo knew that he was a favorite to win this tournament, but also knew in the back of his mind that he might have to face top free agent accusation Phil Davis or the man that he has lost to twice in the past former champion Emanuel Newton. First he had to get through the versatile Linton Vassell, as the fight began Mo came out swinging fast and heavy. Landing almost everything he threw Vassell was already on the defense “I knew I was BUST’EN him up and doing it with my counters”. Early in the first round Mo slipped twice on the mat early which threw him off as he was looking for the early finish. After the first round came to an end and the second round began Linton weathered the storm and started to calm himself down and got some clean shot to the body of Mo. Mo finished off the fight with a dominant victory, and found himself moving on to the finals. When Mo returned to his locker room to start to prepare for his next opponent, the pain started to set in and after getting checked out by the doctors Mo had a broken lower left rib. The injury wouldn’t let him throw a punch or go through any of his movements like stretching with being in pain. “I couldn’t punch or do anything that involved my torso. I knew everyone thought I was faking it but that was no joke I was in Pain. I have fought with a torn ACL before and many injures, but when you can’t use your torso your useless”. He went on to tell me that he didn’t get to see the last 2 fights do to the fact that he was taken to the hospital to get the official diagnoses on his ribs.
Now recovering from his broken ribs King Mo knows that he has a tough road of recovery ahead of him, 6-8 weeks is the recovery time before he can get back in the gym and start training. When I asked who he would rather face Davis or McGeary the former champion stated “I would rather face Davis first, but you know me ill fight anybody anytime so McGeary or Davis doesn’t matter to me”. One of the realist fighters you will ever meet, a guy who will lay it down right on the line for you. When I asked Mo what he thinks about going to another brand like UFC he said “No man I’m all Bellator I don’t care about brands. I mean were fighters we fight! Real fighters don’t care about brands they care about fighting”. I asked him just how big of a WWE fan he was and as we began to talk about the works and classic moments of pro wrestling I began to think to myself I could sit here and talk wrestling with this dude all day. Then that got me thinking to what fighting really means to someone who busts their ass day in and day out, Getting an opportunity to fight with a Bellator or the UFC or any other brand in MMA is a blessing. King Mo shows just how hard work pays off and that even if you work your way up the ladder you will reach your goal. King Mo is a former champion and in most eyes is the number 1 contender right behind Phil Davis will get another crack at being a champion. When that day comes I am sure that King Mo’s court will be ready to crown its king and I hope for myself I will be there in the crowd.
By: Rick San Bartolome
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