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Muhammed Lawal

Muhammed Lawal


Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is an American
mixed martial artist. He is signed with Bellator as an MMA fighter, Lawal is the
former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, and has also competed for
World Victory Road and M-1 Global. He is also known for his time in Total Nonstop
Action Wrestling as a professional wrestler.
Background Lawal was raised along with his siblings
by a single Muslim mother. Growing up Lawal was a fan of professional
wrestling and began competing in wrestling at Plano East Senior High
School in Plano, Texas. As a junior Lawal won a state title in the
Greco-Roman category and also finished as a state runner-up. During his senior
season Lawal went undefeated and became a state champion. Lawal also competed in
football, earning All-District honors as a linebacker during his junior season
and as a wide receiver in his senior season. Lawal also lettered in track and
field. Lawal went on to compete in NCAA
Division II wrestling at the University of Central Oklahoma. He finished in 2nd
place in the nation in 2001 and was a national champion in 2002. For his
senior year Lawal moved on to Division I at Oklahoma State University. Lawal
became a Big 12 Conference Champion and Division I All-American in 2003 for
Oklahoma State, where he finished in third place for the 197 pound division.
Lawal was also the university freestyle national champion at 185 pounds this
year. After college Lawal continued his wrestling career at the senior level,
and also competed in the newly formed Real Pro Wrestling league and became the
champion of the 184 pound weight class in 2004.
He won the Senior U.S. national championship in freestyle wrestling
three times – in 2005, 2006 and 2008. He also represented the U.S. at the 2005
World Wrestling Championships, where he finished in 7th place. He
controversially lost his match to Sazhid Sazhidov when he was penalized a point
for passivity with 1 second remaining in a match he was winning, giving Sazhidov
the win. Revaz Mindorashvili would be the gold medalist at these games, a
wrestler Lawal has defeated. For over three years, Lawal was the
number one ranked wrestler in the United States in the 84 kilogram division.
After narrowly missing entrance to the 2008 Olympics, for which he was favored
a spot, Lawal decided to enter the world of mixed martial arts.
World Championships Matches Mixed martial arts career
=World Victory Road=In his 2008 mixed martial arts debut at
Sengoku 5, Lawal fought Travis Wiuff, a veteran of 66 fights at the time,
knocking him out in the first round. At Sengoku 6, Lawal fought Fábio Silva
on November 1, 2008, defeating him in the third round via strikes.
On January 4, 2009 Lawal faced Yukiya Naito at World Victory Road Presents:
Sengoku no Ran 2009, defeating him in the first round with punches.
On March 20, 2009 at Sengoku 7, Lawal defeated Ryo Kawamura by unanimous
decision. His first time going the distance, Lawal attributed his
performance to a knee injury sustained about a week before the fight, “I kinda
tweaked it rolling around [with Dean Lister], and I tried to rehab it as much
as I could before the fight.”=M-1 Global=
On August 28, 2009 Lawal fought for the first time on U.S. soil against Mark
Kerr at M-1 Global Presents Breakthrough. Lawal defeated Kerr by
technical knockout 25 seconds into the fight.
=Strikeforce=On October 13, 2009, it was announced
that Lawal had signed a multi-fight contract with U.S. based promotion
Strikeforce. The contract allowed him to continue fighting in the Japanese
circuit where he has gained his notoriety.
On December 19 at Strikeforce: Evolution Lawal fought Mike Whitehead, defeating
him three minutes and eight seconds into round one via KO. Lawal came in showing
relaxed hands and strong counter punching and caught Whitehead with a
strong right which dropped him. Lawal followed up with three punches causing
the referee to stop the fight. On April 17, 2010, Lawal defeated Gegard
Mousasi by unanimous decision to win the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight
Championship. Lawal lost the Strikeforce Light
Heavyweight Championship in Houston Texas, on August 21, against Rafael
Cavalcante by TKO due to punches and elbows of 1:14 of round 3.
Lawal was out of action until mid-2011 after undergoing surgery to repair a
knee injury. Lawal was scheduled to fight Roger
Gracie at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson on July 30, 2011. Gracie,
however, withdrew from the bout in late June due to an injury. The fight was
rescheduled for Strikeforce World Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov on Sept.
10, 2011, and Lawal won via KO in the first round.
Lawal garnered his second straight victory, defeating previously unbeaten
Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine via second round KO.
However, Lawal tested positive for anabolic steroids and as a result of the
banned substance, the fight’s result has been changed to a no contest while Lawal
will have his license suspended for one year. After meeting with the Nevada
State Athletic Commission on March 27, 2012 his suspension was reduced to nine
months. Lawal was released from Strikeforce
following comments he made on Twitter regarding Pat Lundvall after his hearing
for his drug test. Lawal said, “She asked if I did research for my training.
I didn’t get what she meant by the question, and she rolled her eyes and
asked, ‘Do you speak English? Can you read?’ I felt I was disrespected by the
woman’s comments. How are you going to ask a college educated, well traveled
man if he can speak or read English? I’m speaking English right in front of you
and I’ve been speaking English right in front of you for the past 15 minutes.”
After the release, Lawal issued an apology to Lundvall, stating, “I was out
of line for calling the woman the b-word and I was wrong for that. I was kind of
mad about the comments, I was offended by the comments made towards me and I
was out of line. I was too emotional. I apologize for that. With that being
said, I still feel that I was offended, but I’m in the wrong for what I said.”
=Bellator MMA=On May 10, 2012, it was reported that
Lawal had signed a contract with the mixed martial arts promotion Bellator
Fighting Championships. On January 24, 2013, Lawal made his
Bellator debut as a participant in the Season 8 Light Heavyweight tournament.
He defeated Przemyslaw Mysiala in the quarterfinal round via right hook. Lawal
faced Emanuel Newton in the semifinals on February 21, 2013 at Bellator 90.
Despite being a considerable favorite, Lawal lost via KO due to a spinning back
fist in the first round. Lawal will compete in Bellator’s Light
Heavyweight summer series tournament on Spike. He faced Seth Petruzelli in the
opening round of a 4-man tournament at Bellator 96 on June 19, 2013, he won the
fight by KO due to a punch in full guard at 1:35 of the first round.
Lawal next faced Jacob Noe at Bellator 97 in the Light Heavyweight tournament
final. He won via TKO due to punches in round three to win the Bellator 2013
Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament.
Lawal faced Emanuel Newton in a rematch for the Interim Bellator Light
Heavyweight Championship on November 2, 2013 at Bellator 106. Lawal lost via
unanimous decision. Lawal entered into the Bellator season
ten Light Heavyweight tournament on February 28, 2014. He faced Mikhail
Zayats in the semifinals at Bellator 110 and won the fight via unanimous
decision. He faced Quinton Jackson in the tournament final for a title shot.
He lost the fight via controversial unanimous decision.
Muhammed Lawal was scheduled to fight Tom DeBlass on September 5, 2014 at
Bellator 123; however, Tom DeBlass suffered a knee injury and was forced
off the card. Lawal was expected to fight replacement Marcus Sursa at
Bellator 123; however instead faced Dustin Jacoby. Lawal won the fight via
TKO in the second round. Lawal was again expected to face Tom
DeBlass on November 15, 2014 at Bellator 131. However, on November 1, it was
announced that Deblass had suffered a cut during training and had to withdraw
from the bout. Lawal eventually faced Joe Vedepo. He won via TKO due to
punches in the third round. Lawal faced Cheick Kongo in a
Heavyweight bout on February 27, 2015 at Bellator 134. He won the fight by split
decision. Lawal was next a participant in
Bellator’s one-night Light Heavyweight tournament at Bellator MMA & Glory:
Dynamite 1 on September 19, 2015. He faced Linton Vassell in the opening
round and won by unanimous decision. However, Lawal was unable to advance to
the finals due to a rib injury. Mixed martial arts record
Professional wrestling career=Early career=
Lawal was a professional wrestling fan from an early age. Upon graduating from
college, Lawal was offered a contract by the professional wrestling promotion
World Wrestling Entertainment. Lawal spent a week at Ohio Valley Wrestling,
WWE’s developmental territory, before ultimately rejecting the contract offer,
instead opting to pursue a career in mixed martial arts.
=Total Nonstop Action Wrestling=In May 2012, upon signing with Bellator
Fighting Championships, Lawal also signed a separate contract with the
professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, with the
intention of simultaneously pursuing careers in mixed martial arts and
professional wrestling. Lawal stated that he expected to appear with TNA “two
or three times a month or whenever they can book me” and that “if I have a fight
coming up, I won’t be doing shows or taping”. In September 2012, it was
reported that Lawal would train as a professional wrestler at Ohio Valley
Wrestling, now TNA’s developmental territory in Louisville, Kentucky. Lawal
made his first appearance in TNA on the October 4, 2012 episode of Impact
Wrestling. He went on to serve as a special guest enforcer for a street
fight between Bobby Roode and James Storm at the Bound for Glory
pay-per-view on October 14, 2012. King Mo returned to TNA return on the
July 24, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling as a heel, attacking Tommy
Dreamer, Bully Ray and Devon and aligning with Team Dixie and Dixie
Carter. In late 2014, King Mo was removed from Team Dixie due to his
absence for TNA. When asked in February 2015 if he will
appear again for TNA, King Mo stated: “I’ve always been MMA 100%. If they call
me I’ll make an appearance. Right now, there is nothing going on in wrestling
unless they book me to do something.” On July 20, 2015, Mo announced his
departure from TNA.=Independent circuit=
On June 14, 2014 at House of Hardcore 6 King Mo took part in a special Master
Lock challenge from Chris Masters along with other wrestlers in the end, King Mo
was able to avoid being to put in The Masterlock and he was able to put
Masters in a leg lock submission making Masters tap out.
=In wrestling=Finishing and signature moves
Garvin Stomp Royal Flush
Royal Pain Personal life
Lawal’s parents are immigrants from Nigeria. Lawal was born in Murfreesboro,
Tennessee. He has a younger brother named Abdullah and a younger sister
named Aminat. The three were raised by a single mother, “My mom [Nike Rouseau]
pretty much raised us all. My dad was never around.” Muhammed’s father
committed suicide when Lawal was twenty years old.
After his fight with Larkin, Lawal was diagnosed with Staphylococcus obtained
from knee surgery. Lawal had a fever of 103 degrees, and the infection ate away
at parts of his hip and legs, “I had this moment where I was like, man, I can
see my hip bone. I was ripped still. I had an eight-pack. But there’s my hip
bone. I looked at my leg, and it looked like those zombies from The Walking
Dead. I feel like I looked death in the face, and I survived.”
Championships and accomplishments=Mixed martial arts=
Bellator MMA Bellator 2013 Summer Series Light
Heavyweight Tournament Winner Bellator Season 10 Light Heavyweight
Tournament Runner-Up Strikeforce
Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship
=Wrestling=Real Pro Wrestling
RPW Season One 184 lb Championship=Amateur wrestling=
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
2007 Hargobind International Tournament Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
2007 Alexander Medved International Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
2007 Pan American Championships Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
2007 World Cup Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
2007 Takhti Cup Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
2006 Golden Grand Prix Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist
2006 Uzbekistan Independence Cup Golden Grand Prix Senior Freestyle Gold
Medalist 2006 Yasar Dogu International Senior
Freestyle Gold Medalist 2006 Dave Schultz Memorial International
Open Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist 2005 Dave Schultz Memorial International
Open Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist 2004 Clan International Championships
Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist 2004 Dave Schultz Memorial International
Open Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist 2004 FILA Manitoba Open Senior Freestyle
Silver Medalist 2003 Sunkist Kids International Open
Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist USA Wrestling
USA Senior Freestyle National Championship
USA University Freestyle National Championship
2006 NYAC Christmas Championships Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
2005 FILA World Team Trials Senior Freestyle Winner
2004 NYAC Christmas Championships Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA Division I All-American
Big 12 Conference Championship NCAA Division II Collegiate Championship
NCAA Division II All-American University Interscholastic League
UIL High School Texas State Championship UIL High School All-State
See also List of male mixed martial artists
List of current Bellator fighters References
External links Professional MMA record for Muhammed
Lawal from Sherdog Official Bellator profile
MiddleEasy.com Interview Muhammed Lawal profile at the National
Wrestling Hall of Fame TNA Wrestling profile

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