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Career Advice: Strikeforce ‘Houston’ Edition
Chad Griggs vs. Bobby Lashley: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Strikeforce’s event Saturday in Houston saw breakout performances from “Jacare,” “Feijao” and even the spectacularly sideburned Chad Griggs, but it was a night that will be remembered for the jaw-dropping failure of the fighters Strikeforce was pinning hopes on.
All is not lost, however, for the promotion’s would-be stars. They’re just a few months’ worth of tinkering and therapy away from developing as hoped. In an attempt to speed the process along, here is what the night’s less than lucky participants need to work on or flat-out ditch altogether.
King for a Day, Jester for a Lifetime
There isn’t a sane man or woman alive who would argue against the notion that Muhammed Lawal has the talent to become a truly special mixed martial artist. However, talent alone doesn’t cut it in a sport full of supposedly talented athletes making the fistic equivalent of minimum wage.
It was obvious during Lawal’s doomed fight with Cavalcante that he didn’t believe there was any way he could lose. Between the reckless defensive stance, telegraphed body punches and conspicuous absence of any chain wrestling, “King Mo” seemed certain that talent alone would win the day. Instead, he got his first career loss.
The only way Lawal will ever fulfill the potential he squandered Saturday night is by dropping the schtick and getting serious about fighting. That means no more emulating professional boxers he has no chance of ever approximating and a lot more time spent drilling the fundamentals of fighting he left by the wayside. Read more
Strikeforce Postmortem: Upset Specials, Noons’ Bad Knee, More
By: Jake Rossen
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (left) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
The problem with perfect records is their limited shelf life: no one can depend on being undefeated in order to remain an attraction. Fight enough and you will eventually run into someone who has answers for everything you have and questions you can’t address.
Bobby Lashley and Muhammed Lawal both had their pristine careers tarnished Saturday: Lawal was unable to hold down the relentless Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, while Lashley somehow managed to lose a fight he was winning virtually every minute of up until that point.
It’s hard to know who suffers more: that Lashley lost is not too surprising, though few expected it to be against Chad Griggs -- a man so far off the industry radar that Lashley hadn’t even seen tape of his opponent. Lawal, meanwhile, was perceived as one of the top athletes in the sport and had broken into the top 10 with a win over Gegard Mousasi. Losing to Cavalcante, who is barely a year removed from a KO loss to fringe player Mike Kyle, means we either underestimated the Brazilian or severely overestimated the former champion.
With Lawal’s confidence both in and out of the ring -- his hands-at-hips striking style has the arrogance of Roy Jones without the ability -- it’s easy to forget he’s barely two years into a fight career. But Lashley, always impatient to have a crack at Fedor Emelianenko or a current champion, may be more easily intimidated by finding out he’s human.
In either case, they both proved a point worth repeating: anyone in the business of promoting invincible fighters isn’t going to be in business for long.
Next for Lawal: A confidence-rebuilder against Kevin Randleman.
Next for Cavalcante: An opportunistic Mousasi.
Next for Lashley: Andrei Arlovski and a guaranteed win for someone who needs it.
Next for Griggs: Brett Rogers.
Next for K.J. Noons: Gilbert Melendez. Read more
Audio: Lawal-Cavalcante Conference Call
Strikeforce held a conference call for the media on Monday to promote its Aug. 21 Houston, Texas, event.
Muhammed Lawal, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Bobby Lashley, Chad Griggs and CEO Scott Coker participated in the call. Audio from the teleconference is available in the player below.