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Muhammed Lawal

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Muhammed Lawal (January 11, 1981) is an American mixed martial artist currently signed to a multi-fight deal with the Strikeforce Organization. He is a former three-time U.S. Senior National Wrestling Champion, a former NCAA National collegiate wrestling Champion with Central Oklahoma, a Texas State Wrestling Champion with Plano East, as well as a decorated international competitor.

He is signed with Bellator Fighting Championships as an MMA fighter, and was formerly signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) as a wrestler.

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. From 2007-2008, Lawal was the #1 ranked wrestler in the country in the -94 kg division and was considered by many to be the best amateur wrestler in the United States, regardless of weight class.

Mixed martial arts

Lawal made his MMA debut for the Japanese World Victory Road promotion on their Sengoku 5 event. A late replacement for the injured Roger Gracie, Lawal surprised many with his quick TKO victory over veteran Travis Wiuff. He returned to competition just over a month later, securing a TKO victory over Fabio Silva and was victorious in January 2009 against Yukiya Naito. Lawal defeated the current light heavyweight King of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura at Sengoku on March 2009 even after suffering an ACL Tear in the first round it was Lawal's only fight so far in his career to go to decision.

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.

M-1 Global

On August 28, 2009, Lawal made his United States MMA debut and M-1 Global debut at M-1 Global Presents Breakthrough. Lawal's fight was the main event of the main card where he faced Mark Kerr, instead of the originally planned match up with mixed martial arts legend Don Frye. Lawal quickly scored a takedown and pounded Kerr unconscious, winning the fight (and sending Kerr's mouthpiece flying across the ring) twenty five seconds in the first round. Lawal recently became a member of "Team Thirsty" and "Team GDP" with professional fighters Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier but has since still trained more so with team "Kingdom Of Mayhem" for his more recent fights.

Strikeforce

On October 13, 2009, it was announced that Lawal had signed a multi-fight contract with U.S. based promotion Strikeforce. The contract allows him to continue fighting in the Japanese circuit where he has gained his notoriety.

On December 19 at Strikeforce: Evolution Lawal went fought Mike Whitehead beating him three minutes and eight seconds into round one. 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 at three minutes eight seconds awarding Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal the win by KO (Punches).

Lawal is scheduled to face Gegard Mousasi for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship on April 17, 2010 at the promotion's next CBS event.

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 (Drostanolone) 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 and TNA Wrestling

On May 10, 2012, it was reported that Lawal had signed contracts with both mixed martial arts promotion Bellator Fighting Championships as well as professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). The two promotions are connected through the Spike television channel.

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 Rosseau] 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 Larkins, 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

  • Strikeforce
    • Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship (One time)

Professional wrestling

  • Real Pro Wrestling
    • RPW Season 1 184 lbs National 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 International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles| Manitoba Open Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
    • 2003 Sunkist Kids International Open Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist
  • USA Wrestling
    • USA Olympic Team Trials Senior Freestyle Runner-up (2008)
    • International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles World Team Trials Senior Freestyle Winner (2005)
    • International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles World Team Trials Senior Freestyle Runner-up (2007)
    • USA Senior Freestyle National Championship (2005, 2006, 2008)
    • USA Senior Freestyle National Championship Runner-up (2007)
    • USA University Freestyle National Championship (2003)
    • 2006 NYAC Christmas Championships Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
    • 2004 NYAC Christmas Championships Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
    • NCAA Division I Collegiate National Championship 3rd Place (2003)
    • NCAA Division I All-American (2003)
    • Big 12 Conference Championship (2003)
    • NCAA Division II Collegiate National Championship (2002)
    • NCAA Division II Collegiate National Championship Runner-up (2001)
    • NCAA Division II All-American (2001, 2002)
  • University Interscholastic League
    • UIL High School Texas State Championship (1999)
    • UIL High School Texas State Championship Runner-up (1997, 1998)
    • UIL High School All-State (1997, 1998, 1999)

Mixed martial arts record

External links

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