Former Strikeforce lightweight champion and highly regarded contender "King Mo" Lawal is considered among the sports biggest new comers in the past few years. The gregarious and highly outspoken former US National Olympic wrestling alternate has kicked off his career at an impressive 7-1 earning the Strikeforce title with a solid unanimous decision over highly regarded former champion Gegard Mousasi.
UFC fans who haven't had the pleasure of watching the exciting light-heavyweight brandish his truly high-level world class wrestling, big power and emerging standup game are are in for a treat when and if he comes over to the UFC - a possibility now according to Lawal.
"I have a feeling that something big's going to happen," Lawal said. "Maybe we'll see some cross promotion, some AFC vs. NFC type stuff. I don't know, all I can do is speculate like the fans because I don't know, but I have a feeling big things are going to happen."
Among the biggest would be a potential showdown with an old rival, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. The two have exchanged several unpleasantries over the years, and while Lawal admits that he's gained more respect for Jackson in subsequent meetings, he'd still love to fight the former UFC champion.
"I'll beat Rampage," Lawal said. "What is he going to do? Stop my takedowns? Especially now that my knee is good. C'mon. Is he going to hit me with a big shot? As much as I like Rampage, I respect him, I seen him in Japan with his family. I respect him, he's a nice guy, but you know what? I'd like to fight him and get it out the way. There's too much money to be made. We could make this fight happen and then we could squash beef or keep not liking each other. But I know this, I seen him in Japan and I have more respect for him now, but I'd love to fight him. Get me up in there with him."
While fans salivate at the possibility of a fight between the two brawlers, Lawal will first have to dispatch of undefeated jui-jitsu superstar Roger Gracie. According to multiple sources the two are finalizing an agreement to fight on an upcoming Strikeforce fight card in July, at which time Lawal states he will be fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered in his only loss to Brazlian Rafael Cavalcante back in August.
"The knee is feeling great," Lawal said. "I just got back from Holland, and I'm able to throw kicks again, so I'm feeling great. I'm looking at fighting again in July in Dallas."
As for the loss to Cavalcante, Lawal believes that he would have beaten the heavy-handed jiu-jitsu specialist had he entered the fight healthy.
"If a rematch happens, I will beat him because I am healthy," Lawal said. "I wasn't one-hundred percent for that fight and I lost, whatever. I only had one leg. But the thing is, I was beating him. I controlled the fight, I did what I wanted to do, I just got overconfident. It was a good win for him, whatever, but in a rematch I would beat him."
One person he won't be beating any time soon is friend and current training partner Rashad Evans. The two are close and Lawal refers to Rashad as a brother stating that he would never renege on an agreement not to fight a training partner as had apparently and very publicly been the case between Evans and current UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones....