“I didn’t take nothing from it, man,” Lawal said, “worse shit happens. It’s not like the dude thought, ‘Alright, I’m going to throw a one-two-three- spinning back fist.’ The mother****** had his back turned and was scared, so he threw that spinning back fist because he didn’t know where the f*** I was at, and it landed. You know what I’m saying, camp went good, trained hard for him, it’s not like he was setting that thing up the whole time, he just threw that s*** out the blue. S*** lands sometimes, you know what I’m saying? If it’s a rematch, 99% of the time, I’m going to win that fight. The dude knew it, he knew it, that’s why he was so shocked when it landed. It is what it is, you know what I’m saying, I ain’t take nothing from it. I’m not going to change shit that I do. S*** happens, know what I’m saying, so I’m just going to be more aware of spinning s*** that I don’t see, make sure I see it.”
Only the second loss of King Mo’s MMA career, the light heavyweight fighter remains confident in his skills. He trains with top level mma fighters and boxers, but he insists that his training had nothing to do with the loss. The punch was, to put it bluntly, lucky.
“Striking is striking, training is training,” he said in response to questions about his preparation. “Not many people throw spinning back fists in training because people get hurt from it. You don’t see spinning back fists… in Showtime because people get hurt from it, you don’t throw it. In K-1, how many times do you see it? How many spinning back fists have you ever seen? How many people throw spinning back fists? Cung Le is one, Shonie Carter, and that’s about it…. [Emanuel Newton] wasn’t outlanding me, I was outlanding him. He didn’t test me with nothing really, I was testing him. He was switching and going backwards, we threw a combo, an exchange; he had his back turned to me, I thought he was running away, and he threw a spinning back fist. People want to make a bigger deal about it, that’s the way it is, you know what I’m saying? People win, people lose. In a rematch, that s*** wouldn’t happen. If you watch the fight, the dude was like, ‘well, I looked over my shoulder.’ Mother****** you didn’t look over your damn shoulder, you threw that s*** out of fear. Because when you throw a spinning back fist, and you know you’re going to throw it, you’re going to throw like Shonie Carter did. You’re going to throw it like Cung Le throws it. They set that s*** up, they throw it, boom boom boom, they set it up. He just threw that s*** because he was scared and he had his back turned. It is what it is, you know what, good for him it landed. It landed, good for him. But that’s a one-time thing. It’s not going to land on nobody else.”
When asked about a rematch with Newton, King Mo was more interested in winning the Bellator championship than any fight with a particular opponent. He said, “Rematch is cool, but I was like, win the tournament. If he wins or loses, don’t matter because I know I’m going to see him eventually. The wrong will be righted, and then that’s it… I’m still whooping his ass next time I see him in the cage, or I can just win the tournament, get the belt, then he has to work his way to me. Makes no difference to me.”
For the time being, Lawal is busy training and waiting to hear what is next for his career in Bellator. “I don’t know,” he said, “right now I’m just doing some pro wrestling training in the gym. I’m waiting to hear back. I’m training, I’m back at the gym. I’m training my boy, Roy Nelson, Roy Nelson’s going to knock out Cheick Kongo. Training Ryan Martinez. I’m at the Mayweather gym, like I always am every day. Strength training, I’m doing everything man, I’m training for the next tournament. When that’s going to be, I’m not sure yet. But when it happens, I’ll be ready.”
Such a high-caliber training camp comes with his move to Las Vegas, NV. This move meant a departure from American Kickboxing Academy. For Lawal, however, the move made sense on more than one level. “I like working with Jeff Mayweather,” he explained. I work with Dewey Cooper as well. My two coaches, my boys. And ‘Master’ Roy Nelson, I work with him. You know, AKA was good, but you know man, living out there was way to expensive for me, you know what I’m saying… it’s expensive man. AKA’s a great team too. Vegas was good, I just thought I’ll go to Vegas for a little bit. My family was happy with the move, and I feel like it was the right move for me. So we switched some gears a little bit.”
Focusing on his training and helping his teammates, the furthest thing from King Mo’s mind is what his detractors think of his last fight. To him, “it’s like this: my biggest loss is better than their biggest win. Dog, it’s sports! You know, I train hard, I lose, I train harder, I train smarter to come back and win. I’m not worried what people think, because those guys that are talking about me probably ain’t done s*** in their life; and if you were to look at them, at who they were, they’d be losers. I’m not worried about people like that.”