Muhammed Lawal, affectionately known as “King Mo” is coming off his second win in five weeks after defeating Chute Boxe fighter, Fabio Silva at Sengoku 6 in Saitama, Japan on Saturday. King Mo is now 2-0 while his two opponents have over eighty fights between them.
The King walked through his opponents while maintaining control as if the tables were turned and he were the veteran. Well, he is a veteran; just not an MMA veteran. You see, King Mo has more wrestling credentials than I can possibly remember and so far he has made the transition into MMA perfectly.
It was an honor to speak with the MMA rookie and I was actually able to tear him away from his harem for a few minutes to get to know Muhammad Lawal a little bit.
I feel it important to note how humble Mo really is. There was a point in the interview when I asked him to name his collegiate wrestling accomplishments and although he named quite a few, there were a lot more he did not name. In addition to that his friendliness and genuineness were refreshing.
Here’s what the King had to say:
PRO MMA: How are you feeling after your big win?
KING MO: My hand is kind of swelled up, that’s about it. I feel good. I hit him with some great shots but, he had me questioning my power a bit because I know I hit hard but I couldn’t get him out of there.
PRO MMA: You said before the fight that “you wanted to come out looking good” and you did. I don’t think he hit you with one punch did he?
KING MO: Two hammer fists while he was on his back and an up kick, that was about it.
PRO MMA: I noticed in both your fights you wore wrestling shoes. Are you allowed head kicks with the shoes?
KING MO: The rules are the same as barefoot. If I fight someone who is good with submissions I won’t wear them.
PRO MMA: At Sengoku 5 you fought at heavyweight and this fight was at light heavyweight right?
KING MO: Yeah my fight with Travis I weighed 218 lbs. with shoes and clothes on and Travis weighted 246 lbs. This fight Fabio and I both weighed 204 lbs.
PRO MMA: Where did you get those Japanese ladies, they were pretty hot?
KING MO: Those are my beautiful queens. I told Sengoku I needed a girl with an umbrella, a girl that can dance, and a girl throwing rose petals and they got them for me.
PRO MMA: You definitely make an entrance like no one else and you make an exit like no one I have seen.
KING MO: It’s all in fun. You have to have fun. MMA to me is fun, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s a sport and it’s a fun sport.
PRO MMA: I saw you give your crown to those two Japanese kids. I think you made their night, they looked so happy and in awe.
KING MO: Yeah, that’s gonna be my new thing. After every match I’m gonna give away my crown.
PRO MMA: How many fights do you have on your Sengoku contract?
KING MO: I have two more.
PRO MMA: Is there any word yet who your next opponent may be?
KING MO: January 4th is the date of my next fight but I don’t know who it will be yet.
PRO MMA: Is there anyone you want to fight that you think would be a good style match up and exciting for the fans?
KING MO: I will just let Sengoku give me some options and I can pick from that. Because I’ve only had two fights I think it would be disrespectful to call someone out.
PRO MMA: Another guy who has recently come into MMA with good collegiate wrestling credentials is Brock Lesnar. What do you think about him and how do you see his fight with Couture going?
KING MO: I think he’s a phenomenal athlete with a good solid collegiate wrestling background. He’s still young in the sport. If he wins great and if he loses it’s still great; like when Tito Ortiz lost to Frank Shamrock and then went on to become one of the more dominant fighters in UFC history. So Brock Lesnar is in a win/win situation regardless.
PRO MMA: You and Brock are kind of in a similar position. Both of you are very new in the sport with great wrestling credentials. What exactly are your credentials?
KING MO: My credentials are actually a lot heavier than his. At one point I was ranked number one in the world, I was a three time National Champion, University National Champion, Golden Grand Prix Dhampion, I won a lot of prestigious tournaments overseas, and the list goes on.
PRO MMA: You went to Oklahoma is that right?
KING MO: Oklahoma State.
PRO MMA: You are 27 years old now right? How long have you been out of collegiate wrestling?
KING MO: Yes 27. I’ve been out of collegiate wrestling since 2003 but I’ve been wrestling freestlye, the Olympic-style wrestling from 2003 until now, for the past five years. I was doing that with Team USA.
PRO MMA: Do you keep up with the UFC and what’s going on with MMA in general? If so who are some of the fighters that may have inspired you or that you look up to?
KING MO: I’m a student of mixed martial arts so I keep up with everything possible. As far as inspiration, my mom is my biggest inspiration because she’s a fighter just not mixed martial arts. But I like Kenny Florian, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Dong Hyun Kim, Thiago Alves, Anderson Silva, the list goes on.
PRO MMA: Are you still with Team Quest?
KING MO: I’m a Team Quest affiliate. I don’t train there. I train with a bunch of people like Dean Lister, Josh Barnett, Benji Radach, Mark Munoz, Babalu, and I train at Joker’s Wild some. I also have a boxing and muay thai coach.
PRO MMA: What would you like to accomplish in MMA? Would you like to fight for the UFC or other organizations, what is your ultimate goal?
KING MO: My ultimate goal is to be the best fighter pound for pound and to be the greatest fighter that ever lived. If I have to fight in the UFC to accomplish that I will. If I have to fight in Affliction I will. For instance, I consider Fedor the best pound for pound fighter but he’s never been in the UFC. It’s all about who you beat and how you look when you beat them.
PRO MMA: You’ve already fought twice in five weeks. How many times ideally would you like to fight per year?
KING MO: As much as Sengoku has to offer. If I can fight six to eight times a year I will.
PRO MMA: Well, I think you are a very exciting fighter. The fans obviously love you. So keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see you back in the ring. Do you have any shout outs or final words?
KING MO: I want to thank all the fans of MMA and combat sports.
Mo said the fans in Japan were really cool. But during his fight there was one point when he was on the ground on top of Silva trying to get in some ground and pound and it was pretty quiet and this one American man stood up and said “whaddaya gonna do just lay on him all night?”
So if you are reading this Mr. American or maybe you fall into the category of a “negative fan.” King Mo has a few words for you: “Those fans that are negative can stay home and watch it on TV.”
I think I would do what the King says.