|Association||Team Quest / American Top Team|
|Weight Class||Heavyweight / Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.)|
|Height||6′ 0″ (183cm)|
|Birth Date||January 11, 1981|
|Fighting Out Of||Temecula, California|
|Muhammed Lawal Pictures||[http://www.kingmo.us/ King Mo’s Official Site]|
”’Muhammed Lawal”’ is an American mixed martial artist and former NCAA Division II American Folkstyle wrestling champion with Central Oklahoma. Lawal was also a Division I all-American, wrestling for Oklahoma State. After his collegiate career, Lawal participated in the now defunct Real Pro Wrestling, a league with rules that closely resembled freestyle wrestling, and was crowned a champion in the first and only season. Lawal eventually became a World Team member, as well as the number one ranked wrestler on the US freestyle ladder for two years. He trained for the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 84 kilogram weight class, but failed to qualify.
In the mixed martial arts world Lawal goes by the name of “King Mo” which has made him very popular with the Japanese mma fans. He got the name King Mo from his friend Kami Barzini who told Lawal, “once you do what you gotta do, you’ll be a king” and the name has stuck ever since. He is currently signed to compete with both Sengoku in Japan, and Strikeforce in the United States, where he has competed as both a Heavyweight and a Light Heavyweight.
Lawal is the former [[Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship | Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion]].
== Professional Record ==
|Record||9 – 2 – 0 (Win ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚“ Loss ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚“ Draw) (1 NC)|
|Loss||Emanuel Newton||KO (Spinning Back Fist)||Bellator 90 Martinez vs Shamhalaev||2/21/2013||1||2:35||Bellator Season Eight Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||Przemyslaw Mysiala||TKO (Punches)||Bellator 86 Askren vs Amoussou||1/24/2013||1||3:52||Bellator Season Eight Light Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round|
|NC||Lorenz Larkin||NC (Overturned by NSAC)||Strikeforce Rockhold vs Jardine||1/7/2012||2||1:32||Originally declared winner by knockout; Tested positive for anabolic steriods|
|Win||Roger Gracie||KO (Punches)||Strikeforce Barnett vs Kharitonov||9/10/2011||1||4:33|
|Loss||Rafael Cavalcante||TKO (Elbows and Punches)||Strikeforce Houston||8/21/2010||3||1:14||Lost Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||Gegard Mousasi||Decision (Unanimous)||Strikeforce Nashville||4/17/2010||5||5:00||Won Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||Mike Whitehead||KO (Punches)||Strikeforce Evolution||12/19/2009||1||3:08||Heavyweight bout|
|Win||Mark Kerr||TKO (Punches)||M.1. Breakthrough||8/28/2009||1||0:25||Heavyweight bout|
|Win||Ryo Kawamura||Decision (Unanimous)||World Victory Road Presents Sengoku 7||3/20/2009||3||5:00||Light Heavyweight bout; At the time of the bout Kawamura was the current Light Heavyweight King of Pancrase|
|Win||Yukiya Naito||TKO (Punches)||World Victory Road Presents Sengoku Rebellion 2009||1/04/2009||1||3:54||Light Heavyweight bout|
|Win||Fabio Silva||TKO (Punches)||World Victory Road Presents Sengoku 6||11/01/2008||3||0:41||Heavyweight bout|
|Win||Travis Wiuff||TKO (Punches)||World Victory Road Presents Sengoku 5||9/28/2008||1||2:11||Heavyweight bout|
== Wrestling ==
Lawal was a Big 12 Champion and Division I all-American in 2003, wrestling for Oklahoma State. After his collegiate career, Lawal participated in the now defunct Real Pro Wrestling, a league with rules that closely resembled freestyle wrestling, and was crowned a champion in the first and only season. Lawal eventually became a U.S. national team member in 2005, placing 7th at the World Championships in Budapest. Lawal was the number one ranked wrestler in the United States for over three years in the 84 kilogram division.
== Mixed Martial Arts Career ==
[[ | thumb | right | 400px | “King Mo” defeating Travis Wiuff in his MMA debut]]
Lawal made his Mixed Martial Arts debut for the Japanese World Victory Road promotion on their Sengoku Fifth Battle event. A late replacement for the injured Roger Gracie, Lawal surprised many with his quick TKO victory over veteran Travis Wiuff at only 2:11 of the first round.
He returned to competition just over a month later, securing a TKO victory over Fabio Silva at 0:41 of the third round, and was victorious in January 2009 against Yukiya Naito due to TKO (Punches) in the first round. Lawal next went on to defeat the then-current Light Heavyweight King of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura on March 20, 2009 at Sengoku Seventh Battle, defeating his opponent with a unanimous decision.
Lawal was next expected to fight MMA legend Don Frye on August 28, 2009 at M-1 Global Presents Breakthrough, but Frye pulled out of the fight. The reason, according to Lawal, was due to the relocation of the event from Los Angeles, California, to Kansas City, Kansas. Instead he faced “The Smashing Machine” Mark Kerr, whom he knocked out via punches in the first round.
In October of 2009 it was learned that “King Mo” was to make his U.S. debut, inking a multi-fight contract to compete in Strikeforce, bolstering their weak Light Heavyweight division. The contracted deal would allow Lawal to still compete for Sengoku. He will make his debut on Strikeforce Evolution on December 19, 2009 against The Ultimate Fighter 2 alumni Mike Whitehead, who is coming off a win in Strikeforce over Kevin Randleman. In true “King Mo” fashion, Lawal made the announcement on his official Twitter page:
: “King Mo vs…Put it like this….It’s a type of pimple,” Lawal stated. “Ima bust it tho!!!”
It was later learned in at the end of November of 2009 that the bout would take place at Heavyweight, rather than Light Heavyweight. Though it was Whitehead who had fought as a Light Heavyweight in his previous bout, it was Whitehead who asked to have the bout take place at Heavyweight. On the day of the event, Mike Whitehead weighed a considerable 30 lbs more than Lawal, though it meant nothing in the bout, as Lawal once again showed why he is one of the sports top prospects by dismantling his opponent at 3:08 of the first round, earning a win via KO (Punches).
King Mo was fined 10% of the $10,000 he had been guaranteed to show up due to his post-fight celebration that saw the undefeated superstar spraying Rockstar energy drink over portions of the cage canvas.
=== Strikeforce Championship and Losing Title ===
Right at the end of 2009, Lawal announced his want to fight then-current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi on the next CBS card in April 2010, as well as his interest in fighting Fedor Emelianenko. The bout took place at Strikeforce Nashville, and Lawal went on to win the title by dominating Mousasi with his impressive Wrestling. Over and over again, Lawal brought Mousasi to his back. Powerful double-leg takedown scored points in the eyes of the judges, even as Mousasi stayed active from his back. Mousasi threatened with a powerful upkick in the fourth frame, but even after stalling led to a stand-up, Lawal still worked the fight back to the frame. After five rounds of fighting, Lawal was awarded the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title by Decision (Unanimous), going 49-45 on all three judges scorecards. By defeating Mousasi, Lawal ended his 15-fight win streak and handed him his first loss since 2006.
Strikeforce set up a catchweight fight between Renato Sobral, a trainer partner and friend of Lawal’s, and Robbie Lawler, with a title shot on the line for either fighter in their respective weight classes. Sobral went on to win the fight, earning himself a shot at Lawal, but he turned down the fight, since he did not want to fight his friend. Instead, Strikeforce signed Brazilian Rafael Cavalcante to be Lawal’s first title defense. The bout took place on August 21, 2010 at Strikeforce Houston.
Down two rounds to none after Lawal was just a little faster, just a little crisper, Cavalcante appeared to be fading as time wore on. But the daringly low hands of Lawal finally provided the opening Cavalcante needed. Unable to pull his head back enough to avoid the blow, Lawal tasted a firm right hand on the chin. Wobbled by the blow, Lawal returned to his roots and shot in from the outside. But as he had throughout the fight, Cavalcante shucked off the attempt and delivered a powerful knee in the clinch. Lawal staggered back, and Cavalcante refused to let him off the hook. A wild right hand clipped Lawal’s chin, and the belt holder was flat on his back.
Lawal showed heart in working back to his feet and instinctually looking for the takedown, but Cavalcante simply pinned himself against the cage and delivered a stunning array of elbows to the head. Lawal refused to drop, but his body swayed and rocked, and referee “Big” John McCarthy wisely called off the fight 74 seconds into the third round, handing Cavalcante the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.
== Feud with “Rampage” Jackson ==
During the festivities surrounding UFC 100, a feud began to evolve between Lawal and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson. In a blog post on FightHype.com by Jackson, which the former UFC champion also advertised on his Twitter account, “Rampage” blasted the prospect, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
: “This punk ass dude ‘King Mo’ is all butt-hurt because I don’t know who the hell he is,” Jackson stated. “Straight up, if you’re not one of my friends or fighting one of my friends or a potential later opponent, I might not get a chance to watch your fight. So I didn’t know who the hell ‘King Mo’ was and now [he’s] crying like a little girl.”
A portion of the original conflict was captured on tape and posted on [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXopiMyIkhs YouTube]. In a van ride with Jackson, Lawal and heavyweight Bobby Lashley, “Rampage” took offense to “King Mo” referring to him as “Bumpage” and advertising himself as “the best” despite just sporting a mere 4-0 record at the time of the incident.
In a later blog post, Jackson admitted that he doesn’t watch a lot of MMA outside of the fighters he feels necessary to track, and he advised future up-and-coming fighters to approach him differently than Lawal.
: “If you’re an up-and-coming fighter, don’t assume that I know you or (have) seen you fight,” Jackson stated. “Let me know that you’re a fighter so we don’t have the same problems like ‘King Mo’ over here. Because ‘King Mo’ would be half-cool if he didn’t have those gay ass nipple rings and didn’t talk so much.”
== Championships and Accomplishments ==
[[ | thumb | right | 600px | ]]
=== Wrestling Credentials ===
* 2008 U.S. Senior National Championships: 1st Place
* 2008 Golden Grand Prix International: 2nd Place
* 2007 U.S. Senior National Championships: 1st Place
* 2007 Golden Grand Prix International Open: 1st Place
* 2005 U.S. Senior National Championships: 1st Place
* 2005 U.S. World Team Trials: 1st Place
* 2005 World Wrestling Championships: 7th Place
* 2003 NCAA Division I National Championships: 3rd Place
* 2003 NCAA Division I Big 12 Champion
* 2002 NCAA Division II National Championships: 1st Place
* 2001 NCAA Division II National Championships: 2nd Place
=== Mixed Martial Arts ===
* Defeated then-current Light Heavyweight King of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura in his fourth career bout
* Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion (2010)