Muhammad Lawal wasted no time racking up his second TKO victory only five short weeks after making his pro debut. “King Mo” finished Fabio Silva in the opening moments of the third round at Sengoku 6 and in turn took another step en route to becoming a top prospect at 205.
He won his first MMA bout by finishing Travis Wiuff with vicious ground and pound at the two minute eleven second mark at Sengoku 5. Rafael “Feijao” and Thiago Silva may be two of the hottest prospects at light heavyweight; however, Lawal is starting to make noise in this division.
Being on Team Quest puts Lawal on the fast track toward improving upon his natural ability. Under the tutelage of Dan Henderson, Lawal’s skill set will excel leaps and bounds. Wrestlers tend to come into MMA with the best starting base for a fighter.
His stand up must improve but his ground and pound is daunting and he seems to take opponents down with ease. Coming off the heels of the Olympic trials, Lawal’s wrestling credentials can make the case for him having the best wrestling pedigree in the light heavyweight division.
Unknowingly, Lawal may be reaping the benefits of starting his career in Sengoku. With FEG being top dog in Japan, the spotlight isn’t shinning down hard on the Team Quest fighter. From a media and company stand point, it seems there is little or no pressure on Lawal to trounce every opponent put in front of him as opposed to being examined under a microscope while dealing with lofty expectations constantly being attached to you.
Fighters who are slowly advancing their careers shouldn’t be thrown to the wolves in their first few bouts. “Squash Matches” are not the answer either. Fabio Silva and Travis Wiuff may not be world beaters, but they possessed the tools necessary to test the former Olympic hopeful.
Lawal also possess charisma which is unmatched by the majority of fighters in the world today. His extravagant ring entrances and gaudy wardrobe appeal to fans. To truly be an entertaining fighter you must excite fans inside the ring and outside as well. Lawal loves to entertain the fans and will undoubtedly build a vast fan base and be a huge box office draw.
Before fans proclaim him ready for the likes of Forrest Griffin or Lyoto Machida, Lawal will continue to hone his craft against quality competition to improve his game. Be sure to see Lawal face even tougher opposition in his next contest. You need to crawl before you can walk, although “King Mo” appears capable of running the 100 meter hurdles in no time.
-Matt De La Rosa