The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed down a steep punishment for Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal on Tuesday, fining him $39,000 and dealing him a nine-month suspension.

Lawal appeared before the commission in hopes of receiving a less sentence after testing positive for steroids following his win over Lorenz Larkin in Strikeforce earlier this year.

The fight – which Lawal won – was changed to a no-contest. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion will have to complete a pre-fight drug test once his suspension is up in September before he can compete in the state of Nevada and gain back his fight license.

Currently, Lawal is battling back from a serious Staph infection that came about following knee surgery. Thanks to MMA Weekly’s Damon Martin for all the insight on what went down in the proceedings.

Lawal was very supportive in the decision by NSAC, appearing before them and offering up these words.

I appreciate you letting me come and tell my side of the story, and whatever punishment you all took for me, I’m a man, and I’ll take it like a man.

Lawal admitted to taking the banned substance, but said he purchased it at a general fitness store and assumed it was legal. The commissioners suggested that he be more responsible for what he puts in his body.

This seems like a sound suspension for Lawal, as he has admitted his mistake and seems ready to move on. Considering it is his first offense, expect Strikeforce to remain high on him as long as his knees hold up and the infections remain under control.

Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog