Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal was dealt a stunning knockout loss recently in the Bellator MMA season eight tournament.

Lawal, making his second appearance inside the Bellator cage since returning from a suspension and an injury, was defeated by Emanuel Newton when Newton caught him with a shot in the first round.

Never one to make excuses, Lawal recently told Fight Hype that he doesn’t agree with all the critics who are jumping on his case for fighting with his hands down.

If you watch it, when he missed with his right hand, I threw a right hand and then he came with the spinning back fist so he kind of caught me in the act of punching, but no excuses. I’m good and I will be back, and hopefully I get to fight him again in the future.

The loss was the first knockout defeat of Lawal’s career, and took him out of the tournament and a chance at a future title shot. The 32-year-old is now 9-2 in his career.

It will be interesting to see how this loss changes Lawal, for the better or worse. The first KO defeat a fighter suffers tends to have a major impact on them, so we will see how the King responds.

Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog