Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal appeared poised for a run with the UFC after Zuffa purchased Strikeforce.
Instead, Lawal signed with Bellator and has put together an 8-3 record over the past couple of years. Recently, the former Strikeforce champion won three fights in two days to claim the Rizin FF Heavyweight Grand Prix.
While the UFC remains atop the MMA world in terms of promotional rankings, Lawal is happy with Bellator and doesn’t see himself ever competing inside the Octagon.
“Dawg, listen. I’m not a UFC fighter. I never will be. I don’t fit the mold,” said Lawal, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “You know, I’m too much end work for them. You know what I’m saying? Straight up, I can’t play the game. Like, they do their thing, I do my thing. People there, they do great. I’m happy for them. They’re getting paid. I just can’t, it’s not me. I don’t feel comfortable. Even when I go to a fight, because of my people I’m there, I don’t feel comfortable in that environment. I don’t know what it is. I feel more at home with like, the Strikeforce and the Bellator feel, and even in Japan. It’s just different with the UFC. I just felt different.
“Like, I shut down. And people there are cool and I’ve got all friends that fight for them and they’re doing great. They fit the mold and they’re making a lot of money. The UFC is promoting them. The UFC do their thing. They’re doing their thing, Bellator and me, we’re doing our thing. As far as competition, we ain’t trying to compete. We’re just trying to put on good fights and entertain our fans. That’s all we’re trying to do. The UFC’s doing their own thing. You know what I’m saying?
“We don’t talk about the UFC. I talk about the UFC when people ask me about it. I just chill. Just chill and take care of what I gotta take care of.”
After claiming the Rizin title, Lawal made it known that he wants to fight former heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko in 2016. “The Last Emperor” returned from a self-imposed retirement to fight in Japan.
“Well, you know, that’s where I’m from. You know what I’m saying? I wouldn’t mind having a big fight in Dallas,” he said. “We could do big things there; you know what I’m saying. Fedor is a known legend. We can go to Japan – at the same time, you know, why not do…you know, Bellator did me a favour by letting me go out there and fight and fighting in Rizin. So why not me return the favor back to Bellator and let Fedor fight me in a Bellator, free on Spike TV?”