Saturday night’s inaugural Bellator pay-per-view 120 may be in the past for many fight fans and viewers but the painful loss of that night is still very fresh for Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Lawal lost to fellow light heavyweight, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and after the fight Lawal bluntly accused Bjorn Rebney of being a “dick riding ass”.
I had a chance to speak with “King Mo” and here is what he said regarding the controversial decision why he feels he lost and what his plans are for the future.
Susan: Tough break at the Bellator fight. How disappointed are you that you lost to Rampage?
King Mo: I’m not happy with the results. Everyone knows that I won that fight. Rampage knows, and he actually asked me for a rematch before the results were in. People were leaving the arena, 95-98% of the people had me winning the fight and result is Rampage Jackson is the winner! He was shocked and my corner was like “what the hell is going on… this is bogus”?
Susan: Looking back what would you have done differently, if anything at all?
King Mo: I would do a lot differently. Well, the whole game plan changed when I could not get my footing, I was slipping all over the mat, over the canvas and I tried to stick with wrestling. I wanted to stand more and punch more but I was slipping and falling and sliding and I just couldn’t get my footing on the mat. The game plan was to definitely to take him down. Mix it up and keep him guessing, but I just kept on wrestling because the canvas was so slippery, I couldn’t stick to my game plan.
Susan: Now, I’ve heard your manager talk about this and you have been vocal about this in the past For people who are new to MMA or for people who just need a refresher course can you explain what you meant by that and why it is such an important issue?
King Mo: Well yes. I’m a wrestler, I’m a puncher and I use my footwork. And as for the mats being slippery I couldn’t be effective with my wrestling take downs because I would slip and I couldn’t be effective with my movement or motion or my power punches because the mats were so slippery. To throw true power punches your feet need to be set.
With me, I’m a mover but at the same time I can plant my feet on a dime and throw those power punches. Well if you’ve got a slippery mat and you try to plant your feet to do something you’ll slide, and that is what I was facing the whole time. I would move to throw punches and I would slide.
The canvas was so slippery, I know guys that have complained about it. My friend Ron Keslar who fights for Bellator: he won’t throw kicks anymore because the canvas is so slippery he’s afraid he will slip and fall. There are a bunch of people that have complained about the canvas. I wear a size 14 shoe, I have flat feet and that’s a disaster with a slippery canvas.
Susan: Now it looked like during part of the fight you probably could not see out of your eye. Did you ever get your vision back at all during the Bellator fight?
King Mo: No, I never got my vision back, my left eye was shut. After the fight I got it back but no during the fight I could not see well.
Susan: And how is your eye doing now?
King Mo: My eye is great, the swelling is gone. Going to get those stitches removed.
Susan: Does it make you feel any better that many people, including myself, fighters and also other journalists really felt you won that fight?
King Mo: It does. I knew I won everyone knows I won. But here’s the problem you go on my record and there will be an asterisk marked with a loss to Rampage, but everyone knows I won and it’s a bad decision. It’s not going to say that, it’s going to say you lost. It’s bogus but there is nothing I can do about it.
Susan: Tell us what you meant when you said that Rampage should go fight for Glory.
King Mo: Well here’s what I meant. Rampage wants to stand and bang: it’s MMA. I can stand, I can kick, I can knee, I can elbow, I can pull guard, I can take him down. But in MMA, I can do what I want there are different ways to finish the fight. If you want to stand and bang go fight for Glory.
Glory is a kick boxing organization. People get knocked out all the time but you still have the option to stand and bang. He’ll go box and he will get beat. If you’re a good boxer, you won’t go to MMA, you will stick with boxing, you’ll box for money. MMA is different you have different ways to neutralize a boxer. If Rampage wants to bang so much then go to boxing. If he goes to Glory he’ll get beat and come back to MMA, trust me.
Susan: Are you surprised that Jackson was fined $10,000 by the Mississippi Athletic Commission for shoving you at the weigh-ins and do you find it ironic that the news was released just a few days after the controversial decision?
King Mo: Yes, I find it ironic. As far as the fine, I didn’t know until the day after the fight that he was fined. It was weird for me.This happened on Sunday when the weigh-ins were Friday it was bogus: a bad decision was made on Saturday night.
Susan: You got pretty emotional after the fight calling Bjorn “a dick riding ass”. Do you regret what you said?
King Mo: No, because it’s true. When they announced the decision, you know he knows Quinton lost that fight. We had a brief talk, like two men talk. Then at the press conference they asked him “Do you agree with the decision”. And he said yes. Well now, if he knows MMA and he is a promoter, he should know MMA. He has seen over 200 fights and he knows it’s a bad decision. Obviously he wanted Quinton to win but he didn’t, I beat him and the decision that was made was not a good one. Everyone knows I won that fight.
Susan: How is your relationship with Bjorn now? I read you and he had a heart-to-heart after the fight and things are okay then?
King Mo: There was no heart-to-heart. He just told me. “I heard you say some stuff alright”, and I was like “no I didn’t and it’s cool, we’ll squash that”. There was no heart-to-heart: you only have a heart-to-heart with your family and close friends.
Bjorn is my boss and I’m cool with him, I guess. I have a working relationship with the man. I don’t know the man. I know he is Bjorn Rebney, he has kids, he lives in California, he works with Bellator and he was a promoter in the past. I know nothing else about him, know nothing else. Think about it.
Susan: This question is from twitter @JacksonHerod wants to know. Will we ever see you wrestle in TNA?
King Mo: I don’t know, we’ll see. I have to see what is going on with my next fight first. TNA is secondary, I love pro wrestling. I would like to give Quinton the rematch he asked for even after I beat him, I don’t know yet, I have to see what happens in the future.
Susan: Are there any updates that you can share with our audience on when you will possibly be fighting Rampage again?
King Mo: I don’t know. You’ll have to wait and see hopefully in the next few weeks I will hear something.
Susan: Anything else you’d like to add?
King Mo: No that’s about it. I’d like to thank my sponsors Fit Fuel, Reebok, Nutrition Zone, MMA Elite, Lana’s Egg White and Strength Brands. I really appreciate their support. I really hate that I lost. There are 3 rounds in MMA, just because you did a little damage in one of them does not mean you won the fight. For those people who say my eye was swollen and I lost: watch the fight again. Obviously you don’t know what you are talking about!
Susan: Well that’s all from here. I want to thank you always classy “King Mo” for another great interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon and we’ll talk again.
King Mo: Alright thanks.