8CN Exclusive Interview with King Mo
Muhammed Lawal aka King Mo is one of the most engaging people to talk to. He loves fighting and has had to deal with a fair share of setbacks including several knee operations and a positive steroid result that had his fight with Lorenz Larkin changed from a win to a no contest. Recently he encountered another scare in which he feared his leg would have to be amputated. King Mo has endured a lot of things in a short period of time and throughout it all has maintained a belief in himself and the kind of confidence that makes you realise the strength he has as a person is quite remarkable.
8CNís Kevin Nelson had the privilege to chat with King Mo to discuss injuries, Rampage Jackson, his career, and the recent Boxing brawl between Dereck Chisora and David Haye. Hereís what the King had to say:
8CN: There have been reports that you suffered more complications since your knee surgery is there any truth to the rumour?
King Mo: The reason I had trouble with my ACL I found out is that my cartilage is unstable. The doctor told me your cartilage is unstable and thatís why your ACL tears. I did not notice anything beforehand but I did on the weekend of the Sonnen vs. Bisping fight experience cold sweats, swelling. I had two golf ball lumps in my knees. I told my manager and had blood work done. I visited the hospital figured it would be a random checkup and spent 3 weeks in the hospital. More atrophy in my leg. Four months of recovery now pushed to an extra 6 weeks. I hate needles and IvĎs and having to go through with that was complicated. I had to do so many things and told the doctors that I would rather die than have to do all this stuff. So the doctor found a solution. They have pushed IV medicine through my PICC Line thatís connected to my heart through my arm everyday for 6 weeks. So now having gone through all of this MMA is not a big deal. I have lost weight I am around 195 now. It doesnít matter if I win or lose as long as I have my health. It has been tough.
8CN: Who do you think is going to win on Saturday between Rampage vs. Bader?
King Mo: It depends on if bader can transition to a double leg. Create an angle. Bader shoots straight on and when you do that to Rampage he is able to stuff the takedown. But if Bader can do that he will win. But I think Rampage wins.
8CN: What is the biggest difference between fighting in college and in MMA?
King Mo: In college, for example your from Canada and you are an accomplished wrestler your opponent is already intimidated before he wrestlers you. In Russia or Cuba if you beat me I canít eat. You are standing in the way of feeding their children. Wrestlers from Cuba or Russia donít care who you are they will tear you apart. I have been sucker punched, grabbed by the crotch. The mindset of being an elite wrestler comes from a tireless work ethic. I have done 90 minutes of pure wrestling in high altitude in 90 degree heat. So MMA is an easy transition for a wrestler because to be an elite wrestler you have to have the right mindset.
8CN: You have openly expressed an interest in fighting Rampage. Are there any fighters that get on your nerves?
King Mo: I donít worry about Rampage. Iím respectful. The problem with rampage is he disrespected me. He can dish it but canít take it. There is no point in mentioning him he is with the UFC and I am with Strikeforce.
8CN: You are very passionate about wrestling and boxing. Would you ever consider venturing over to boxing or pro wrestling? If so when would it be the right time?
King Mo: Boxing I would do it for Like a USBA title or something. I grew up watching boxing. But I am 31 years old. Realistically itís late to start a career in. I love Pro wrestling.... Rick Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin, One Man Gang, Arn Anderson, the NWO. I miss the Wrestling of the 80ís and 90ís. I would do pro wrestling in a heartbeat.
8CN: What do you make of the Chisora/ Haye brawl on the weekend?
King Mo: He fought hard. He is real gangster. I like the guys that will fight. He is a heavyweight. Those cats from Zimbabwe are crazy. He challenges Haye and if he doesnít accept he threatens to burn him, man thatís nuts. You hear him say it and you believe him. I think Haye is scared of Chisora hitting him with the bottle right away is a punk move. It is a good thing to happen to boxing. It will create more interest in guys like Chisora and whoever he fights.
8CN: Are you still affiliated with AKA. If so how is the environment there since Josh Koscheck left?
King Mo: Yes I am they are my family, my brothers. The gym is different it is a real family atmosphere. Some gyms have cliques but at AKA everyone is treated the same. With Kos itís just him being him. Whatever he sees is his opinion but I donít look at it that way.
8CN: When it is all said and done in your career what do you want to be remembered for as a fighter?
King Mo: A black Badr Hari, a Blackuruba. At the end of your career people are going to label you and whatever lasts the longest will stick. I just worry about fighting; thatís it.
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