King Mo Promises to Show New Skills in First Title Defense


Photo credit: Rosemary Acosta Clark/Strikeforce

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has been fighting professionally for less than two years. The Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has climbed the ranks quickly, but he’s also still learning.

In fact, for his first title defense against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Lawal says some new skills will be on display.

“Feijao likes to bang, so this is going to be an exciting fight,” Lawal said Tuesday during a news conference at the Toyota Center in Houston, which will host the Aug. 21 Strikeforce event headlined by Lawal. “I'm going to show you all some new things I've been working on.”

Lawal won the title with a win over Gegard Mousasi in April. It was just the seventh bout for the 29-year-old Lawal, who is undefeated.

“Going into every fight, I feel like both a champion and a challenger because I challenge myself in training, but I'm always champion in my mind,” Lawal said. “So nothing is going to change for this fight.

In Feijao, Lawal will be facing a tough opponent. The Brazilian, who is 9-2 overall, is one of Anderson Silva’s primary training partners.

“I'll let KJ fight a war. I don't want to fight a war,” Lawal said in reference to K.J. Noons’ comments about his fight against Jorge Gurgel at the same event. “I'm going to look to finish (Feijao) as fast as I can. I don't ever want to fight a war. I always want to dominate and fight as one-sided a fight as possible."

“I think I'm going to keep the fight standing and keep it exciting. Whether you want to call it a war or whatever, it's going to be like all my other fights. I'm going to pick him apart and take him out.”

, who takes on Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza for the Strikeforce middleweight title: “As your career progresses, every next fight is the most important one. After I beat Jacare and have the title, they're going to say 'Is this the most important fight of your career?' I take every single fight with extreme seriousness and I take Jacare very seriously. I have great respect for him as an athlete and as a fighter. He's very talented. It's a tough fight. I don't know if he's my toughest opponent, but it's nice to be able to train full time, so this is going to be a tough fight for him.”

, who is also on the card but doesn’t have an opponent yet: “I think I've progressed well. The Bobby Lashley who fought my first fight is completely different from Bobby Lashley now. I'm anxious to get back out there. I had a little setback and when I finally got cleared, I called (Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker) and begged him to be on this card. … As far as comparing myself to the other heavyweights, we'll see real soon. I'll have opportunities to fight those guys in the next year.”

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