“King” Mo Lawal picked up a big win Friday night at Bellator 175 in Chicago, capturing two out of three rounds on all three judges’ scorecards to win a unanimous decision in his rematch against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Following the bout, the promotion had some big news: bringing the newly signed Ryan Bader into the Bellator cage, it was announced that Lawal and Bader would square off at Bellator 180 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Lawal (21–6 (1)), who weighed in at 212lbs for the heavyweight scrap against Jackson, will be back at light heavyweight for the bout. Bader (22–5) will be making his promotional debut for Bellator, after leaving the UFC to sign with the Viacom-backed organization. Entering the cage, Bader stated that while he had expected a title shot, he’d make an exception for King Mo.
With the win over Jackson, which saw him using his wrestling to control the first and third rounds, Lawal bounces back from a loss to Mirko Cro-Cop in Rizin this past December. While Jackson was able to land some big shots in the second, it was Lawal who was able to persevere in the final frame. Bader, meanwhile, who was a top five light heavyweight in the UFC, is on a two-fight winning streak having bested Ilir Latifi and “Little Nog” Antônio Rogério Nogueira.
Though not officially announced in the cage, it’s expected that the winner of Lawal vs. Bader will move on to face Phil Davis for the Bellator light heavyweight championship.
The Lawal vs. Bader bout is expected to air on the Spike televised portion of the Bellator 180 card. The event takes place June 24.