King Mo: As a matter of fact, I wanted to fight Cro Cop
Only two weeks after fighting Satoshi Ishii in Dublin, Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal flew to Japan to replace Wanderlei Silva and to fight Mirko Filipović at Rizin. Cro Cop defeated Mo via TKO and won the Grand Prix, but the American fighter is not sorry he stepped up to fight the Croatian legend.
“As a matter of fact, I wanted to fight ‘Cro Cop.’ At one point, they were going to try to re-draw the brackets, I think, and I was like, ‘No, I want to fight ‘Cro Cop.” Why not? I’m a fighter. This is how I get paid, and I want to go out there and knock him out. I wanted to knock his ass out. But he got me instead.”
“I trained for Ishii for about a month and a half,” Lawal said. “So I trained hard for Ishii to avoid the clinch. The main thing, whenever I was training, we’d spar, Steve Mocco would grab me, and people would just grab me, my thing was just to disengage the clinch. So I spent so much time disengaging the clinch, that when I fought ‘Cro Cop,’ I disengaged when I should have engaged in the clinch.
“That was my mistake. I should’ve made that adjustment on the fly. I’m a professional, I’m a vet now, so I should have known better. And two, I didn’t realize how stiff those ropes were.
“Because what Cro Cop was doing is – when I’d shoot, and get in deep, he would back up, and use momentum to bounce off the ropes and throw double under hooks to lift me up and back me up. So, he was smart, he had a great gameplan as well, but really, I should have won.”
But King Mo has no regrets and he would fight Cro Cop again because he simply loves challenges.
“Hell yeah, I’d fight him tomorrow,” Lawal said, before his Bellator 175 matchup was announced. “Look, I don’t care – it could be Hong Man Choi, it could be whomever. If there’s an opportunity for me to fight and get paid and challenge myself, I’m definitely going to do it.
“This is a dream. Any time you’re doing something that you enjoy doing and you’re getting paid for it, it’s the dream. It’s the American dream. So hell yeah, I would. I would fight ‘Cro Crop’ every day of the week if I could. I’m a fighter, it’s what we do.”