You’re only as good as your last fight, which is a statement everyone has heard. That being said, Mo Lawal should be crowned knockout artist of the year (2013). Lawal defeated former ultimate fighter contestant and UFC fighter Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 96 on June 19th 2013 via KO (punch) at 1:35 in the first round. Petruzelli is most notable for being the man to KO former street fighter Kimbo Slice and has a TKO (punches) loss to Lawal’s next opponent Jacob Noe. It seems as if Lawal was looking to redeem himself after his last appearance where he was stopped at Bellator 90 on February 21st, 2013, in the first round at 2:35 via KO (spinning backfist). Lawal came into this fight and finished in such a dominate fashion that many people are speculating that it will win the KO of the year award. With this win, Lawal advances to the final round of the 2013 LHW tournament leaving Lawal to face Noe at Bellator 97 set for July 21st 2013.
Lawal was a NCAA Division 2 National Champion wrestler in 2002, then transferred to a Division 1 school. His senior year of college, he became the Big 12 Conference champion and Division 1 All-American in 2003 for Oklahoma State University; he was also the University Freestyle National Champion. Lawal also holds medals: after his collegiate accomplishments, he won silver at the 2007 world cup for wrestling and gold at the Pan American Championships in 2007. Lawal also competed for the United States Championships and won gold in 2008, silver in 2007, gold in 2006 and 2005, bronze in 2004. With all his wrestling accolades, Lawal is no stranger to competition. In the recent years, Lawal has redefined himself as a devastating striker known for incredible striking and vicious KO’s.
One of the scariest combinations is a wrestler with the wrestling mentality who has heavy hands. Men such as Dan Henderson, Josh Koscheck, Rashad Evans, Daniel Cormier, and Johnny Hendricks have all proven the mentality of a wrestler cannot be overlooked. These men were also all notable high level wrestlers who possess incredible KO power. Noe’s last outing was at Bellator 96 as well; he defeated long time veteran Renato (Babalu) Sobral at 3:32 of the 3rd round via TKO (referee stoppage) and will now be known in his MMA career as the man to retire Babalu.
After the fight, Lawal had some memorable quotes about Noe’s performance stating, “I wasn’t impressed at all. It was tied up 1-1, and Jacob was complaining about low blows. One was low, but the other one wasn’t even low. That’s all it was. Dude got tired because Babalu touched him up to the body, and hit him with the fast jab. He didn’t have no answer for it, then he got hit in the stomach, and tried to claim it was low.”
This was just a coal added to the fire between these two competitors as Lawal blames Noe that he is no longer affiliated with Syndicate MMA stating that when Noe started training there Lawal was asked to leave by head coach John Wood. Lawal was quoted stating “The beef is: I think he’s fake. He talks behind my back, but when I see him, he always looks away, the owner of the gym Jason Lucas said I could train there, but this other guy John Woods, Noe’s friend, said I couldn’t train there so I just left. I thought it was a joke… There’s no secret to fighting, I could have come earlier or later. I don’t care to see what he’s doing in training. I know he’s a “pro boxer” with a 0-1 record that got stopped in the second round of a four-round bout by a guy from Colorado Springs, Joey Montoya. He thinks he’s a banger, more power to him. If he thinks he’s a good striker, more power to him.”
There is absolutely no love lost in this rivalry and one that is sure to be a fan favorite when these two square off on July 31st 2013 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, at the Santa Ana Star Center. Be sure to tune in as Lawal looks to be crowned the king of Bellator and wear the Bellator light heavy weight championship belt for a long time. Go live or tune into Spike TV to watch this fight!
Follow me on Twitter at @mmadocket and stay tuned at www.mmaelite.net for the latest MMA news.