A longtime star of the sport, Muhammed Lawal, otherwise known as ‘King Mo’, has retired from MMA.
King Mo’s camp, American Top Team, announced the news on Instagram.
From Strikeforce, to Bellator, to RIZIN, King Mo has been a star everywhere he’s gone. After a successful freestyle wrestling career in which he won multiple US championships, Lawal smoothly transitioned to MMA in 2008. His first four fights took place in Japan, winning all four including a knockout against the ultimate longtime veteran in Travis Wiuff.
King Mo made his US debut in his fifth fight, knocking out former UFC heavyweight kingpin Mark Kerr under the M-1 Global banner. He then signed with Strikeforce, where he burst onto the MMA radar with a championship victory against Gegard Mousasi. With a 3-1 record with the promotion, the Tennessee native signed with Bellator, where he went 4-3 with a light heavyweight tournament victory.
The last fight of those seven was a 205-tournament final loss to Rampage Jackson. After the Rampage loss, Lawal went on a tear, winning four straight fights under the Bellator banner. The run included a win over Linton Vassell in a four-man one-night light heavyweight tournament, but Lawal injured his rib and was unable to participate in the finals.
That put a temporary stop to his time in Bellator, as the American Top Team product went back to Japan to take part in the promotion’s 2015 heavyweight grand prix. Three wins later, the then-35-year-old earned his most notable accomplishment since his Strikeforce title victory in 2010. Following the tournament win, King Mo went 2-5, going 2-3 in Bellator and 0-2 in RIZIN. His final fight took place two months ago, losing to RIZIN light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka in a rematch of the aforementioned heavyweight grand prix.
Overall, King Mo went 21-9 with one no contest in mixed martial arts over an 11-year career.