‘King Mo’ Respects but Doesn’t Fear Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu


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Muhammed Lawal has made a move to American Kickboxing Academy. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


Muhammed Lawal has made some changes since his August 2010 loss to Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.

Believing he needed more structure, he changed camps and joined American Kickboxing Academy -- the home of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, among many others.

“It’s a lot of fun, a lot of hard work,” Lawal said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “It’s good. I’m happy I’m here.”

“King Mo” also had to change his view on Twitter a little. While recovering from surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, Lawal was active on the social network. However, his outspoken style led to some disagreements.

“I was blocking more people than I was Tweeting,” Lawal said. “I had to deal with some haters. A lot of people are ignorant because I guess they wanted me to sugarcoat s--t. I don’t sugarcoat a damn thing. If there’s something on my mind, I’m going to say it. People want me to be all politically correct, and that’s not me. If something don’t sit right with me, I go ahead and say it.”

In less than three years of fighting, Lawal has quickly made a name for himself. Half of his fights have been in Japan, yet he’s still managed to garner a following. Not all of his Twitter followers were fans, though.

“People would get mad and call me disrespectful and call me the N word,” he said. “After a while it got to the point where I was hoping one of these fans that had been messaging would say it to my face because I’d f--k them up. It got to the point where I was hoping one of these people on Twitter would approach me with what they were saying over Twitter so I could have a reason just to whoop somebody’s ass right there. That’s when I knew I had to step back and get off Twitter a little bit because it would get me where I was getting mad. … Now I’m cool. I’m back on the scene.”

Lawal is also back to fighting. He meets Roger Gracie on July 30 at Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Henderson.”

“He’s good on the ground, but I’m not scared,” Lawal said. “I’m not scared of any position. The thing is, I know he’s good on the ground, but just because he’s good on the ground doesn’t mean I should fear what he’s strong at. I have to respect it, but I can’t fear it. If the fight goes to the ground, I just have to be smart. That’s all.”

Lawal also pointed out that he’s trained with plenty of jiu-jitsu black belts, including Fabricio Werdum, Marcelo Garcia and the Nogueira brothers.

“I really don’t get submitted much, but the thing is, he’s submitted a lot of those guys I just named,” Lawal said. “I just have to be smart more than anything. I can’t give my back to him and stuff like that. Other than that, I’m just going to fight with a good game plan.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 37:55).

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