Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has been missing in action since August 2010, and fans are starting to wonder what he has been up to.
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ has been through a lot in his absence, and he recently let MMA DieHards know what’s good with “King Mo.”
“Everything is good man,” Lawal told MMA DieHards. “I went to Holland and worked on my stand-up. I’m training at Reign (MMA) right now with world champion Allan Green, and after that we’ll go to AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) and do the rest of my camp there.”
“King Mo” has been busy training during his seven-month hiatus from the cage, but his camp has bounced around a bit. He has a new home gym that is flooded with some of the best MMA fighters in the world.
“I’m trying to improve,” Lawal said. “I joined AKA, that’s where I’m going to be at. I’m training with my boy, Rashad Evans, and Jon Chaimberg, those are my people right there. Cobra Kai, too. Marc Laimon is my dog.”
Lawal is putting in work at some of the best MMA gyms in the world. He has fantastic training partners everywhere he goes, but he has also enlisted the help of legendary boxing trainer Floyd Mayweather, Sr.
“At first it was hard,” Mo admitted. “There was so much stuff, I was overwhelmed, but by the second day it got way better, and after that I felt like a boxer as far as hand speed and my motion and everything; I was throwing sharper punches. You see a lot of MMA guys throwing their punches way too long. My jab is better, my speed went up, I would say everything improved.”
After spending time in the Netherlands, training at the best MMA schools in America and learning a vast amount of boxing skills from the Mayweather, “King Mo” is ready for his next opponent. However, he neither knows exactly who it will be, nor does he care.
“I heard that Strikeforce was saying that my next two options might be Roger Gracie or OSP (Ovince St. Preux),” Lawal said. “Whoever wants to get it, can get it. I don’t care who my next opponent is, I don’t care what I got to do to win because that’s what I do, I go out there and win.
“I’m open to anyone, especially (Rafael) ‘Feijao’ (Cavalcante), but we’ll see what Strikeforce wants to do. All I can do is wait and train.”
Lawal has the utmost respect for the Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson, and he says he would sign the contract for a title fight without hesitation.
“Dan Henderson is someone I always looked up to and still do,” Lawal confessed. “He’s one of the first wrestlers (in MMA) and we’re cool, but we’re not tight like Rashad (Evans) is with me, so he could get it.”
Lawal and Evans have known each other since their wrestling days in college. “King Mo” was a standout wrestler at Oklahoma State and Evans attended Michigan State, but their relationship elevated when Lawal helped Evans prepare for his bout against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Evans has been put in a peculiar position now that he is fighting his former training partner, Jon Jones, but Mo understands how business works.
“It is (messed up), and it isn’t,” Lawal stated. “People come in to train with you and that happens, that’s what it is. It’s part of business. I don’t care. It’s my job to fight and I fear no man. I will fight anybody, except somebody who is blood or my brother, but anybody else can get they ass whooped.”
While Lawal is anxiously awaiting his next opponent, he shared some insight into the upcoming welterweight title match between Paul Daley and champion Nick Diaz. Mo seems to agree with the rest of the MMA world that this fight will be nothing less than fireworks.
“Oh man, that’s going to be a good fight,” Lawal said. “Daley could punish (Diaz) with leg kicks, but Diaz is relentless. They’re both true fighters, it’s going to be a good fight. I’m not going to be there, I’m going to be in Tulsa, Okla., sparring and getting my ass whooped.”
Following Zuffa’s buyout of Strikeforce, Daley threatened to pull out of the fight with Diaz because he does want to work for a company that banished him from the UFC. Lawal understands Daley’s frustrations, but if the money is right, he feels there is every reason to fight.
“I can see from his point of view because he used to work there,” Mo explained. “But, if it was me, I really don’t care. It’s about getting that paper and if it’s right. After that, if it’s right, we see when it happens and where.”
After Zuffa bought Strikeforce, it left a lot of fighters in disarray with mixed emotions about the situation, however, Lawal is not fazed by the acquisition.
“Those things happen,” Lawal stated. “Dana (White) said its business as usual — of course it is — and people are going to fight. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I get paid.”
It is clear that Lawal has two things on his mind: fighting and making money. Mo, as flashy as he is, is not in this game to be a gimmick or a celebrity. He still has an active Facebook account, but he recently dismissed his Twitter page.
“I love message boards,” Lawal admitted. “People ask me questions that don’t matter and … it’s cool and all, but I don’t care about that. I got rid of Twitter because people only want to talk MMA and I think I want to talk about the big news. It’s cool, but I like boxing, I love music, I watch TV. I’m chillin.
“People on there are 40-years-old and broke and asking me questions that don’t matter, that (stuff) is for girls.”
“King Mo” may have been missing for the last half-a-year, but in his absence he has been doing what he always did, training and keeping it real.