King Mo plans on entertaining at Bellator 142. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
A few years ago, Muhammed Lawal had concerns as to whether he’d ever fight again.
Thanks to a horrific staph infection that started around his surgically-repaired knee, “King Mo” not only had his career on the ropes, his life was hanging in the balance. At the time it seemed farfetched that he would ever contend for a title in an MMA promotion, much less compete again.
Luckily, Lawal conquered the toughest opponent of his career.
“I’m completely free of that. It took me over two years to fully overcome that, literally,” he told Sherdog.com. “When I got that staph infection, I was taking the medicine every day for a year-and-a-half for it. I took it because I had a few staph scares after that along the way. I had to have a lot of surgeries, my body wasn’t digesting food right, and I came back too soon. I was healing and training at the same time and it wasn’t working.”
Lawal has since made a full recovery and though he’s had a few setbacks, he’s won three straight fights. His recent success inside the Bellator cage has granted him entry into the four-man, one-night light heavyweight tournament on Friday. His initial bout is among the featured attractions on the highly anticipated Bellator "Dynamite" card and if he prevails twice, he’ll land a shot at Liam McGeary’s 205-pound title.
But first things first: he has to topple Linton Vassell in the opening round of the bracket. Lawal didn’t have much to say about the Englishman.
“He’s a solid fighter,” he said. “Good ground game, he’s big, he’s rangy. He’s solid and that’s why I gotta bring the fight to him. I think he’ll be aggressive. I will be, too. I’ll bring the fight to him and it’s going to be a dog fight.”
Lawal is one of the favorites, along with Phil Davis, to win the tournament and lock in the title shot. But, “King Mo” is never short of confidence and says he’ll go out there and take care of business like usual. With this being Bellator’s biggest show to date, Lawal isn’t fazed by any would-be added pressure.
“I’ve always been on big cards,” he quipped. “My first pro fight was on a huge card in Japan. I always want to go out there and put on a show no matter how many people are out there. No matter if people hate me or love me, I keep it real.
“I just got to get out there and make sure I do my part to entertain the crowd and get the win,” he added. “I need to entertain the crowd because I know Glory, Josh Thomson, Liam McGeary and the other guys will entertain. I just got to hold up my end of the bargain to entertain as well.”