Ex-Strikeforce Champ, Longtime Bellator Veteran ‘King Mo’ Retires from MMA

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 3, 2019


Muhammed Lawal is the latest fighter to call it a career.

The news was first revealed on the Instagram page of American Top Team, Lawal’s training home. “King Mo” exits the sport at age 38 with a career record of 21-9 with one no contest.

I just wanted to give [King Mo] a shout out and congrats for all he’s accomplished in this sport,” the ATT statement read. “For those that aren’t aware, he’s decided to ‘hang em up’ and dedicate the next chapter of his life to coaching our pro fighters.

“I have to note, I’ve seen countess fighters train and walk through our doors and King Mo is hands down one of the best teammates I have ever seen. Beyond selfless. Proud to call him a teammate and even more excited to have him working and coaching full time with the squad. All the best Mo!! Congrats on a hell of a career!! Let’s keep it positive and show this man some love!”

A Division II national champion wrestler at the University of Central Oklahoma and an NCAA All-American at Oklahoma State University, Lawal made his pro MMA debut in September 2008 at Sengoku “Last Battle,” where he stopped veteran Travis Wiuff in the opening stanza by technical knockout.

Lawal began his tenure with seven consecutive triumphs, a streak that culminated in a decision win over Gegard Mousasi to capture the Strikeforce light heavyweight crown in April 2010. His streak came to an end one fight later, as he lost the belt to Rafael Cavalcante in his next bout at Strikeforce “Houston.”

He spent a large portion of his career in Bellator, arriving as one of the promotion’s highest-profile signings at the time. He compiled a 10-6 mark in the California-based organization, earning notable wins over the likes of Quinton Jackson, Cheick Kongo, Linton Vassell and Satoshi Ishii. Lawal also competed for Rizin Fighting Federation and won the Japanese promotion’s eight-man heavyweight grand prix in 2015.

Lawal ended his career on a three-fight losing streak, falling to Ryan Bader and Liam McGeary under the Bellator banner and to Jiri Prochazka in Rizin. All three defeats came by way of technical knockout.

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I just wanted to give @kingmofh a shout out and congrats for all he’s accomplished in this sport. For those that aren’t aware, he’s decided to “hang em up” and dedicate the next chapter of his life to coaching our pro fighters. I have to note, I’ve seen countess fighters train and walk through our doors and King Mo is hands down one of the best teammates I have ever seen. Beyond selfless. Proud to call him a teammate and even more excited to have him working and coaching full time with the squad. All the best Mo!! Congrats on a hell of a career!! Lets keep it positive and show this man some love! #americantopteam, #mma, #wrestling, #coachlife, #accomplished, #moneyweight, #kingmo, #warrior

A post shared by American Top Team (@americantopteam) on Jun 3, 2019 at 7:38am PDT

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