Photo Courtesy: Ryan Parsons
Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal underwent successful knee surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament Friday in Los Angeles and the prognosis is already looking much brighter than originally thought.
Lawal, 29, could be back in the cage in six months following the ACL patellar tendon autograft surgery, according to his physician Dr. Neal S. Elattrache, of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Earlier estimates had the decorated wrestler out for nine months.
"Surgery went very well without any complications. Mo's knee is stable and he can start rehab tomorrow. I expect a 100 percent recovery," said Dr. Elattrache.
Elattrache was the same physician who performed arthroscopic surgery on Strikeforce heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum Aug. 18 to remove 27 loose bone fragments in the Brazilian’s left elbow.
Ryan Parsons, Lawal’s manager, said his fighter was particularly motivated to begin rehabilitation to make that six-month goal date.
“We have a lot of advanced tools for Mo's rehab ready to go,” said Parsons. “This has been a great learning experience for all of us, but now the hard work begins. I'm excited for Mo to put this behind him as he begins his journey back to Strikeforce,” said Parsons.
Lawal injured the knee during his first title defense against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante at Strikeforce “Houston” in August at the Toyota Center. In the third round, the Brazilian floored the collegiate wrestling champion with consecutive knees and a right hand to coax out a referee stoppage.
Lawal had been leading on the scorecards up to that point, Sherdog.com confirmed with the Texas Combat Sports Program.
A 2005 U.S. world wrestling team member, Lawal underwent ACL surgery in 2009 after tearing the same ligament during the first round of his bout against Ryo Kawamura at Sengoku “Seventh Battle” in March 2009.
Strikeforce acquired the former University of Central Oklahoma wrestler and 2002 Div. II national champion in late 2009. Lawal out-wrestled Gegard Mousasi to a five-round unanimous decision for Strikeforce’s 205-pound title at Strikeforce “Nashville” on April 17 in Tennessee and has become the one of the promotion’s biggest stars in his three-fight tenure.